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Homeless Prevention & Response System Outreach Update

Weekly Digests

Centennial Park outreach event last week, October 14th, 2022.

Homeless Prevention & Response System Outreach Update

Pop-up Outreach Events will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays.

10/20/22 Pop-up will be at Davis Park Ball Field across from the snow dump 1 pm – 4 pm

At these events, outreach teams provide Coordinated Entry assessments and information regarding available services. SALA Medics are on location to provide First Aid for clients as needed. Snacks, coffee, and other items are to be distributed to unsheltered individuals.

Total Clients Engaged: 51

  • 30 Male
  • 21 Female

Client Age Ranges:

  • 14 between 18-30
  • 29 between 31-50
  • 8 at 51 and older

Providers from the following organizations were at the events:

  • Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness
  • Alaska Behavioral Health
  • RurAL CAP
  • Southcentral Foundation
  • Brother Francis Shelter
  • United Way of Anchorage
  • SALA Medics

  Supports Services: 

  • 1 client referral to Beans Café Streets to Success (work ready)
  • 2 client referrals to Catholic Social Services relocation program (They want to move back to AZ)
  • 4 clients treated by SALA Medics

To the following members of the community who volunteered at these events, THANK YOU!

M. Hill
L. Cates
L. Suiter

Donation items requested by clients:
•    Cold weather jackets
•    Hats and gloves
•    Socks

If you are interested in donating your time or resources please reach out to outreach@aceh.org

Donations can be dropped off from 9 am-4 pm, Mon/Tues/Thurs at the ACEH office:
3427 E. Tudor Road, Suite A

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Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness Updates

The Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness (ACEH) works with allies in the community to design, create, and lead the implementation of the Anchorage community plan on homelessness. More about ACEH

Anchorage, Alaska CoC Strategic Plan for Serving Individuals and Families Experiencing Homelessness with Severe Service Needs

COVID-19 significantly impacted the Anchorage Homelessness Prevention and Response System (HPRS). Anchorage’s sole low-barrier shelter quickly decompressed from over 200 beds to 70, refocusing on elders and people with mobility issues.

Many people experiencing homelessness (PEH) lost their informal housing situations such as couch surfing or staying with an acquaintance. Anchorage quickly stood up mass care shelters as an emergency response, including congregate and non-congregate sheltering. At its peak, these mass care facilities sheltered approximately 795 people experiencing homelessness in Anchorage.

In 2022, the wind-down of mass care began, with a target date to close all facilities by June 2022. This effort underscored the urgent need for more housing in Anchorage. Using a public-private partnership model allowed Anchorage to jumpstart a variety of efforts, dubbed the Mass Care Exit Plan. This plan leveraged a combination of one-time federal funding, local tax revenue, and philanthropic contributions. Through these efforts, new additional units of housing were created, along with shelter for Anchorage’s most vulnerable PEH.

Anchorage continues to develop housing capacity accessible to PEH: the last non-congregate facility, which shelters approximately 200 individuals, closed at the end of September 2022. The Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness (ACEH), the lead agency for AK-500’s CoC, has been convening the community to address the wind-down of mass care and the ongoing community challenge to ensure adequate services to support PEH.

Currently, approximately 350 individuals are unsheltered with no access to low-barrier shelter or housing. Anchorage has seen a growing crisis of unsheltered homelessness since the closure of its largest congregate shelter on June 30, 2022. With winter approaching, a parallel effort is underway to provide emergency winter shelter, but we know that the real solution lies in continued investment in housing and supports to help people with severe care needs secure and maintain housing. Continue Reading…

Alaska HMIS

You know what’s scary? Data breaches!

Each person who handles AKHMIS data is responsible for keeping those data secure. Whether you use paper intake forms, enter data into AKHMIS, run grant reports, or supervise staff who do, you are responsible for ensuring that private client data is never shared inappropriately. Clients depend on us to keep their data private.

Never send client names or other identifying information over email unless the email has end-to-end encryption. Unless you are certain your email meets these requirements, avoid sending client names over email. Instead, use the client’s ID number from their AKHMIS record.

Be especially careful when sending reports over email. Reports sent over unencrypted email should never contain names, dates of birth, Social Security Numbers, or any information that could be combined to identify a client. For example, if you have a report that lists age, gender, race and ethnicity of individual clients, even if there are no names or dates of birth, that report should not be sent over unencrypted email. Email the AKHMIS Help Desk with your question if you’re unsure if a report can be shared.

If you share client data outside of what’s allowed in AKHMIS Policies & Procedures, you will lose access to AKHMIS and need to complete additional training before your access is restored. If one organization has multiple incidents within a 12-month period, the entire organization will have its access to AKHMIS suspended for 30 days.

Local Housing & Homelessness Highlights

Inspiring stories from the Anchorage community, news and information about housing and homelessness, and tangible ways you can get involved and help people in need.
View ACEH Members

NAMI Anchorage

Virtual NAMI Peer-to-Peer course in partnership with NAMI Juneau

NAMI Peer-to-Peer is a free mental health, wellness, and recovery program open to any adult (18+) experiencing a mental health challenge – no official diagnosis is required.

Each class is led by trained NAMI mentors who have lived with mental illness and can understand and teach about mental health recovery. This course is a valuable resource that will help you uncover what living well looks like for YOU. With new knowledge, tools, and support, you can better take charge of your life and choices.

The 8-week course will be held Tuesdays beginning November 8th from 5:30 to 7:30 PM online via Zoom. Participants are expected to attend each class as each class session builds on the knowledge of previous classes. All class materials are provided.

Pre-registration is required. Click here to register

If you have any questions, contact meryl@namijuneau.org.

National Housing & Homelessness Highlights

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

 

Opportunity for Community Feedback: Centering Clients in Homeless Data Collection

Efforts to end homelessness ultimately begin and end with the people experiencing homelessness. How and why housing and services are provided must be centered on people with lived experience of homelessness and communities should provide opportunities for people with lived expertise and homeless experience to shape efforts to end homelessness.

New Resources
New resources that focus on trauma-informed and client-centered efforts to collect data and an opportunity to give feedback on proposed changes to the race, ethnicity, and gender Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data elements are now available on the Community Support to Gather Feedback on Proposed Changes to HMIS Data Elements page (resources are also available in Spanish).

As part of a Technical Assistance (TA) effort, stakeholders representing people with lived expertise and homeless experience, advocates, researchers, and Continuums of Care (CoCs) were engaged to evaluate how HUD collects data on race and ethnicity as well as gender. As a result of these efforts, a short training resource has been developed to help underscore the importance of racial and ethnic identities and gender identities and to remind communities why it is important to be sensitive and respectful when collecting data on race, ethnicity, and gender.

Through feedback from this effort, HUD has also developed proposed changes to the race, ethnicity, and gender data elements. HUD is grateful for the input received, and also acknowledges that we would greatly benefit from the insights of many of you.

Providing Feedback
HUD has released a set of proposed changes to these important data elements and are inviting you to join in the collaboration to improve this process. Providing feedback is completely optional and the information provided is open-ended so that communities can share what would enrich the process as HUD considers changes to the data standards. HUD will be accepting your feedback through December 31, 2022.

Changes should not be made to HMIS based on this effort. This effort is about going to the people served every day and giving them a space to make their voices heard. For more information on this effort please refer to the Community Support to Gather Feedback on Proposed Changes to the Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Identity HMIS Data Elements resource (also available in Spanish).
The goal is to have data elements with response options that people feel adequately reflect how they want to identify that can be used as part of the efforts to provide the housing and services needed to end their homeless experience.
Thank you for your efforts to meaningfully engage people with lived expertise and homeless experience and for allowing us to work alongside you in this important work.

National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH)

Improving Homeless Response Systems Through Diversion and Problem-Solving

Diversion is the intervention that has the greatest impact on the community level for those experiencing homelessness. It helps people avoid entering shelter and/or the homeless response system by resolving their immediate housing crisis through creative housing-focused problem-solving, connection to natural supports and/or community resources, and financial assistance (not a requirement but impactful). Most importantly, it is not a denial or barrier to shelter or homeless system entry. Diversion happens at the front door of the homelessness system, but housing-focused problem-solving – which is a crucial part of diversion – can happen upstream and throughout the system. Continue Reading…

We Want to Hear From You

If you have thoughts or suggestions, reach out and send us a message. Please let us know what you think.

Email us at communications@aceh.org

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