"Bridging the Gap" – May 28-30, 2014
Grand Hyatt Washington
In nearly every community across the country, the resources exist to end veteran homelessness. However, having every puzzle piece does not mean the full picture has been completed. We must connect the pieces and, where pieces are still missing, push for targeted and immediate action.
This connectivity and action must be informed and strategic if we are to achieve the objective of ending homelessness among veterans by 2015. In May, you were a part of the country’s premiere forum for engaging in this strategic dialogue: the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans’ Annual Conference.
The 2014 NCHV Annual Conference, themed "Bridging the Gap," was a two-and-a-half-day intensive training event with over 30 unique workshops and over 80 expert panelists from government, research, and the service provider community. The Conference included several opportunities for attendees, including a networking lunch and awards banquet to honor the hundreds of peers from across the country who are actively involved in ending homelessness among veterans.
For communities where sufficient resources exist, the Conference provided instruction on how to convert housing, speak the language of mainstream medical and supportive service providers, and decrease the time it takes for a veteran to move from on the streets to stably housed. Those communities lacking in sufficient resources learned about new targeted initiatives across several Federal agencies, methods for improving local data collection to ensure adequate resource allocations, and prevention best practices. The NCHV Policy Session provided resources and guidance for successfully engaging Members of Congress. These were only of a few of the training topics at the Conference.
Now is the time to continue helping your local community to connect the pieces and bridge the gap between where you are and how you define success in your community. As VA Secretary Shinseki stated at the 2013 NCHV Annual Conference: “We've given ourselves two more years to do this, and in the words of the U.S. Cavalry, we're burning daylight. There is work to be done; let's get on with it.”
Track 1: Removing Legal Barriers
"Homeless Veteran Justice Initiative through the ABA Commission"
"Child Support Initiatives and Connecting to Local Legal Clinics"
"Legal Court Models: VTCs and HCPs"
Bill Russo (VA)
"Discharge Updates, and Where to Go For Services until the Upgrade"
"VA Legal Services: HCRV and VJO Initiative"
"SSVF and Legal Services"
Track 2: Access to Affordable Housing
"Rural Housing: Resources from USDA and Philanthropy"
"GPD: Transitional Housing within the Continuum of Services"
"Housing First Implementation"
"Supporting Home Ownership"
"SSVF and Rapid Rehousing"
"Community Boot Camps"
"Housing Services within the CoC"
Brandi Jancaitis (Virginia Dept. of Veterans Services)
"Getting Creative about Housing Stability"
Lori Cook (THDF, Good 360)
Track 3: Employment, Training, and Income
"Using SOAR to Connect to Social Security Benefits"
"Social Security Benefits and Employment Networks"
James Wackerbarth (SSA)
"Employment and Training Resources: National Programs, Local Impact"
"Expedited VA Benefits Processing and Working with Local VSOs"
Dana Niemela (Denver Dept. of Human Services)
"Employment and Training Resources from DOL"
"Evidence-Based Supported Employment: Working with Veterans with Serious Barriers to Employment"
Sandy Reese (Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center)
Track 4: Data Improvement
"Improving Local Data"
"Targeting Tools for Smart Service Planning"
"New Research from the NCHAV"
Track 5: Emerging Unmet Needs
"Tribal and Minority Populations: Needs and Services"
"Rapid Placement for Veterans with Families"
"Traumatic Brain Injury and Homelessness"
"Trauma Informed Care"
"The Aging Homeless Veteran: Rights and Responsibilities of Service Providers"
Carol Salter (Easter Seals)
Each year, NCHV honors the commitment and service of a few of the many deserving organizations and individuals helping homeless veterans across the nation. The following NCHV Annual Awards were presented May 29 at the NCHV Annual Awards Banquet at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C.
Jerald Washington Memorial Founders’ Award
The Home Depot and The Home Depot Foundation – For launching the Veterans Initiative, a three-year, $30 million grant program to help community organizations create affordable housing for homeless and at-risk veterans and their families. The Veterans Initiative was soon increased to a five-year, $80 million grant program.
Together, the Home Depot and The Home Depot Foundation have created more than 10,000 housing units for clients of NCHV associates, more than 11% of the total number of housing units envisioned in the original VA Five-Year Plan to End Veteran Homelessness. It is the single greatest corporate contribution in the history of the homeless veteran assistance movement.
Peter Dougherty Award for Excellence in Supportive Housing for Homeless Veterans
Announced during the 2013 NCHV Annual Conference, the Peter Dougherty Award honors its namesake – the personal advisor on homeless veterans for seven Secretaries of Veterans Affairs, one of the principal authors of the Five-Year Plan to End Veteran Homelessness, and the man who introduced The Home Depot Foundation to NCHV for the Veterans Initiative.
Four organizations advanced to the final round of consideration for the 2014 Peter Dougherty Award, with a $50,000 grant for the Grand Prize winner and a $10,000 grant for the first runner-up.
Thomas Wynn, Sr. Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement
Shaun Donovan, Secretary, Department of Housing and Urban Development – In President Obama’s FY 2015 budget request to Congress, there is a call for $75 million for an additional allocation of Section 8 vouchers for the HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program. If approved, the most critical housing program in the national campaign to end veteran homelessness will reach a total of nearly 80,000 VASH vouchers, a full 33% more than originally envisioned in the VA Five-Year Plan.
Department of Housing and Urban Development ( HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan deserves much of the credit for this historic accomplishment; his leadership has made it possible to virtually eliminate chronic veteran homelessness in the United States in the span of less than five years.
Donovan has a long history of working to provide affordable housing to American families. He previously served as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). He implemented the department’s New Housing Marketplace Plan, creating 165,000 units of housing, the largest affordable housing plan in U.S. history.
He also helped develop the New York City Acquisition Fund, working with foundations and banks to finance affordable housing, an innovative metropolitan zoning program, one of the nation’s largest supportive housing plans, and one of the earliest response programs to the nation’s foreclosure crisis.
Meritorious Service Award
Corporate Partner Award
Outstanding Member Award
Outstanding Partner Award
VA Staff Award
Unsung Hero Award