CSH applauds NAHRO for moving the PHA industry forward in learning how to best serve vulnerable populations. NAHRO featured a number of workshops on ending homelessness during it’s national conference in Baltimore, and it hosted the first-ever Symposium on Ending Homelessness in collaboration with USICH.
Thanks to a grant from Capital One, CSH was delighted to be able to present at both events. During the conference, Kim Keaton and Susan Lee led a session on serving frequent users with and Peter Lynn, Section 8 Director from the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles. Thirty-five people attended and participated in a great discussion about engaging hospitals and health care in paying for services. Debbie Thiele presented with Bill Pluta from the Illinois Housing Finance Agency, Mark Thiele from Houston, and Jacob Fox from Eugene, Oregon, on developing supportive housing. Forty-two people attended and shared their work and interest in creating supportive housing.
The weekend-long Homeless Symposium began Saturday afternoon with about 50 participants, including speakers Laura Zeilinger (USICH), Ann Olivia (HUD), and Nan Roman (NAEH). Debbie presented during the Symposium on ways that PHAs can serve people who are chronically homeless, focusing on how a narrow preference, based on referral source, is the tool for serving people who need supportive housing the most. There was much discussion about the challenges of prioritization, balancing community needs, and waitlist demands. Debbie explained that each agency can’t decide what percentage of subpopulations to serve; this has to be determined as part of system-level decision-making. Because PHAs administer the largest, deepest subsidies available, they are critically-needed partners in serving the people who are the most vulnerable. Peggy Bailey presented on a panel about using mainstream resources, focusing on health care and Medicaid. The audience was very engaged, and the discussion that followed demonstrated the commitment that PHAs have to aligning housing and service resources.
For more information about CSH’s work with PHAs, visit www.csh.org/pha.