Seeking Community Engagement!
ACEH News & Updates
Sharing the love on Valentine’s Day
Thank you to Julie, a community member who volunteered yesterday to assemble outreach kits for those experiencing unsheltered homelessness. We are grateful for this special act of kindness and all our wonderful neighbors who give their time and resources to help make homelessness in Anchorage rare, brief, and one-time. We appreciate you!
File for your PFD before March 31 & remember to Pick.Click.Give.!
Thank you to everyone who has already filed for their Permanent Fund Dividend and selected ACEH for Pick.Click.Give. If you still have to file, please remember our neighbors experiencing homelessness when applying.
Last year over 1,500 Anchorage neighbors received housing assistance through the combined efforts of the Anchorage Coalition to end Homelessness and our many partners. The generosity of community members is essential in making homelessness rare, brief, and one-time.
How to give:
1. Go to mypfd.alaska.gov
2. Select “Yes, I want to Pick.Click.Give.” when prompted
3. Select Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness
Local Housing & Homelessness Highlights
Covenant House Alaska
Covenant House is in need of volunteers in their kitchen as well as mentors to youth.
National Housing & Homelessness Highlights
U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Homeless System Response:
What is Street Outreach?
Street outreach is an important component of a community’s homeless response system that identifies and engages people living in unsheltered locations such as in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, and encampments or on the streets. It involves meeting people where they are, on their terms, to develop authentic relationships and provide linkage to community resources with the primary goal of connecting them to stable housing. Street outreach workers engage people experiencing homelessness of all backgrounds who may not otherwise interact with a community’s homeless response system and play a critical role in ensuring equity in the provision of homeless and housing resources by using trauma-informed and culturally sensitive best practices. A well-coordinated housing-focused approach to street outreach can also dramatically improve systemic responses to homelessness and outcomes for people experiencing unsheltered homelessness by quickly connecting them to safe, stable permanent housing without requiring them to first enter emergency shelter or imposing other prerequisites to housing services.
How Does Housing-Focused Outreach Differ from Traditional Street Outreach?
Street outreach has historically centered around providing wellness checks, basic goods or light services, and connections to emergency services including emergency shelter. While these critical resources can be used to help fulfill temporary crisis needs of persons experiencing unsheltered homelessness, they fall short of achieving the primary objective of housing-focused outreach: connecting people as quickly as possible to permanent housing with the necessary supports needed to remain stably housed. Housing-focused outreach fulfills the goals of traditional outreach through the provision of support for basic health and safety needs, but with a greater emphasis on the need to work with people experiencing homelessness to develop and implement a housing plan.
Some communities have designed their homeless response systems to include linear pathways to housing that require persons experiencing homelessness to enter emergency shelter before they are connected to housing opportunities. Such a policy does not align with a housing-focused approach or Housing First principles, which prioritizes rapid placement and stabilization in permanent housing that does not have service participation requirements or preconditions. There are several reasons that emergency shelter may not be an ideal placement for a person or household experiencing homelessness, including the client’s concerns about entering a congregate setting. Furthermore, many communities do not have the emergency shelter capacity to support the volume of unsheltered households, so requiring a stay at an emergency shelter prior to receiving housing services imposes an unnecessary barrier. While emergency shelter services should be offered to clients when they are available, clients have a choice about whether they would like to utilize those services and their refusal to enter emergency shelter does not make them ineligible for referral to housing programs or other housing services. Housing-focused outreach explores all pathways to housing, including housing people directly from the street and other unsheltered locations.
National Alliance to End Homelessness (NEAH)
New Center for Learning Courses Available: Fostering a Data-Informed Culture
Everyone in a homeless services organization can contribute to data collection, data quality, and fostering an overall data culture.
The new course series, Mobilizing Data as a Tool for Ending Homelessness, offers three new online courses for frontline staff, program managers, and CoC leads about improving data collection and creating a data-informed culture.
National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC)
NLIHC Releases Winter
Issue of Tenant Talk!
NLIHC released the winter issue of Tenant Talk, our semi-annual newsletter designed to engage residents in housing advocacy. The new issue, Advancing Tenant Protections: Building Tenant Power to Achieve Renter Equity, highlights the rapid growth of tenant protections in the U.S. and the role played by tenants in the movement for tenants’ rights. Download a digital copy of the new issue here, or register to receive a free physical copy in the mail. Digital copies will soon be available in Spanish.
Oregon county unveils plan to house homeless people in Portland
Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson announced a plan Friday to quickly house hundreds of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness in and near downtown Portland.
The plan will build off the county’s successful 2022 Move-In Multnomah pilot program, which used $4 million to place people into 214 privately owned apartments and houses over the course of four months, and what county officials have learned from Seattle’s effective Housing Command Center, Vega Pederson said.
After concentrating on downtown, Old Town and the Central Eastside through May, the county will work to house people living unsheltered in the Gresham area for the next many months, she said.
The new initiative, billed as Housing Multnomah Now, aims to better unify local and state efforts to address homelessness. Vega Pederson said the county will spend $14 million on it over the coming 12 months.
The initial focus will be a four-month drive to move 300 people living primarily in tents in and near downtown into apartments. The county would guarantee private landlords it will pay them a year’s worth of rent plus give them other protections such as mediation services if tenant-landlord issues arise. 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.
The Homelessness Prevention & Response System
The Homelessness Prevention & Response System serves those at risk of or experiencing homelessness to safely house people.
Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness Monthly Data Report
Since September 2022, the HPRS has seen a 28% increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness. Why?
Homelessness is the result of not enough housing
MEASURING NEEDS ACROSS THE SYSTEM The Gap Analysis quantifies the scale of estimated need for improvement (gaps) in the HPRS.