(SSVF) Program Update Friday December 18, 2020

From: SSVF 
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2020 10:21 AM
Subject: SSVF Program Update Friday December 18, 2020



NEW: Emergency Housing Assistance Guidance

REMINDER: Reinstatement of Stage 2 of the Homelessness Prevention (HP) screener

REMINDER: Review and Update HP Stage 2 Screening Threshold Score

RESOURCE: Creative Staffing Strategies Webinar

REGISTER NOW: SSVF National Webinar: January 14, 2021 2PM EST

REMINDER: Request for Success Stories for FY2020 HPO Annual Report


NEW: Emergency Housing Assistance Guidance


Invocation of the Stafford Act has allowed SSVF to temporarily suspend the 45-day limit for placement of Veterans into Emergency Housing. This flexibility was introduced early in the COVID-19 crisis, as Permanent Housing became more difficult to identify and obtain and the risk of COVID-19 to vulnerable Veterans became apparent. SSVF sought to ensure the safety of Veteran families who might otherwise experience living situations that increased their risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19. However, SSVF's primary goal is assisting Veterans in obtaining Permanent Housing and ending their homelessness – as ending homelessness is of course the best means to ensure the well-being of Veteran families.

When suitable Permanent Housing options exist, Veteran families should be supported in moving into Permanent Housing as soon as possible. Veterans should not remain in Emergency Housing without the intent to move into a Permanent Housing unit when such an option is available. This includes units support by HUD-VASH and other subsidy programs. If Veterans prefer ongoing residential treatment or other non-permanent support, transitional housing such as GPD or other community-based options should be sought as long as those options can provide accommodations that meet CDC guidelines related to social distancing and reducing the risk of COVID-19. Only when no viable, safe option is available should hotel/motel stays be extended beyond 45 days. Grantees should continue to use the 45-day Emergency Housing limit as a guideline for the purpose of developing housing plans with Veteran families. The SSVF Program Office remains committed to both ensuring the safety of all Veterans and SSVF's mandated goal of facilitating exits from homelessness and into Permanent Housing solutions.


REMINDER: Reinstatement of Stage 2 of the Homelessness Prevention (HP) screener

In response to the COVID-19 public health crisis, the SSVF Program Office issued guidance that gave SSVF grantees broader flexibility in delivering SSVF Homelessness Prevention SSVF services.  These flexibilities included suspending the requirement for SSVF grantees to use Stage 2 of the Homelessness Prevention (HP) screener and allowing grantees to enroll and assist Veterans in HP before an eviction moratorium is lifted to mitigate economic fallout and housing loss resulting from the pandemic.

Effective January 1, 2021, SSVF grantees are required to use the SSVF HP Stage 2 screener again in anticipation of the growing demand for limited HP resources as eviction moratoria expire.


The Stage 2 Screener is an important tool for prioritizing eligible Veterans in a standardized and equitable manner when the demand for HP assistance exceeds available program capacity or temporary financial assistance (TFA) funding. For additional information on the SSVF HP screening, please refer to the SSVF Homelessness Prevention Screening Companion Guide.


REMINDER: Review and Update HP Stage 2 Screening Threshold Score

The SSVF Program Office recommends that SSVF grantees review and update their Stage 2 Threshold Score prior to re-instituting Stage 2 Screening.  This Threshold Score is the minimum score in which eligible Veterans must meet to qualify for SSVF TFA and can be adjusted as program resources and capacity allow.

Stage 2 Threshold Scores should be established based on the current and expected HP demand, program funding, and capacity after accounting for all RRH demand for all eligible Veterans expected to need assistance. The Stage 2 Threshold Score is needed when there are insufficient resources to assist all eligible Veterans particularly those who require TFA or other ongoing HP assistance beyond one-time or short-term rapid resolution assistance not involving TFA. When a program has sufficient capacity to meet the prevention assistance needs of all eligible Veterans, a Threshold Score of -0- may be used.

Grantees are not required to submit changes to their Threshold Scores at this time.  The SSVF Program Office will provide guidance to grantees on how to submit these changes through the grants management system when it becomes available later in the grant year.


RESOURCE: Creative Staffing Strategies Webinar

VA has provided additional CARES funds to SSVF grantees to provide services to Veterans during the pandemic; however, many organizations continue to face challenges with hiring, onboarding, and retaining staff.   The SSVF Program Office, in collaboration with TA providers, has developed a webinar featuring ideas for staffing up quickly and supporting new employees as they learn how to support efforts to end Veteran homelessness.   The webinar features promising practices from SSVF grantees and strategies that most agencies can implement within their organizations.    The SSVF Program Office has also created a companion document to the webinar.  Grantees may access the links to the webinar recording and companion document below:




REGISTER NOW: SSVF National Webinar: January 14, 2021 2:00 PM EST

Please register for SSVF National Webinar: HMIS Monthly Data Reports on January 14, 2021 2:00 PM EST at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4732378721802553356

In this webinar, ABT Associates will review the newest SSVF monthly reporting from the VA HMIS Repository and how to interpret the results each SSVF program receives at the end of each upload cycle.  A refresher of the Data Quality Summary and Data Quality Details reports, which are sent with every successful upload, will also be provided. There will be an opportunity for data collection questions and clarification on any upload concerns that have arisen within the first few uploads of the new fiscal year. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


REMINDER: Request for Success Stories for FY2020 HPO Annual Report

The SSVF Program Office is seeking success stories to include in the FY2020 VA Homeless Programs Office (HPO) Annual Report.  If you are interested in spotlighting an example of your SSVF Program's incredible work, please submit the following information to Regional Coordinator Maxie Pulliam at: Maxine.Pulliam@va.gov no later than Wednesday, December 23, 2020.

.          Case manager's name, telephone number and email address

.          Veteran's name, telephone number, and email address

.          Veteran's demographic information (age, gender, branch of service, etc.)

.          Veteran's location (city and state)

.          Closest VAMC to the Veteran

.          Overview of Veteran's journey from homelessness to stable housing (one-page maximum)

.          Type of SSVF Assistance (RRH or HP)

.          Relevant KEY services and financial assistance received

.          Picture of client/household

.          Release of Information (see attachments)



SSVF Program Office