Face-to-Face SIF Convening Offers Cross-Site Sharing after Three Years of Implementation

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SIF Participant Displays Contents of Overdose Prevention Bag during Harm Reduction Discussion

CSH convened its third annual Face-to-Face gathering in Los Angeles this October for sub-grantees of the of the Social Innovation Fund demonstration project focused on high utilizers of healthcare, now entering its fourth year. Continuing the cross-site learning opportunities that have been a key part of the project, representatives from the four sites participating in the initiative – Connecticut; San Francisco, California; Los Angeles, California; and Washtenaw County, Michigan -- spent two days at the California Endowment for the Arts engaged in discussion guided largely by the providers who have been implementing SIF on the ground for the past three years. This year’s gathering centered on the theme of sustainability beyond the five-year grant program, with each site presenting a detailed financial sustainability plan for feedback from an expert panel including representatives from HUD, the Technical Assistance Collaboration, Health Management Associates, and the Hilton Foundation.

Other sessions addressed strategies for programmatic sustainability, building on the sites’ collective body of experience and expertise. One of the key emerging lessons of the work on the ground with these high-utilizing cohorts is that the majority of individuals being served have an array of medical, behavioral, and social challenges resulting in a need for support that is both acute and complex. Participants engaged in rich discussions on innovations and best practices in harm reduction, cross-sector coordination, and nontraditional models for engagement with healthcare.

"I really appreciated being in a space where everyone was so focused on shared tasks and challenges.  SIF has been a huge resource for our agency, helping us learn how to add housing support services to our emergency shelter operation.  It was encouraging to hear from colleagues around the country who have successfully implemented on a larger scale many of the measures we have built into our own sustainability plan." -David Gonzalez-Rice, Housing Support Team Manager at the New London Homeless Hospitality Center in Connecticut

CSH staff also had the opportunity to partner with the Skid Row Housing Trust to have dinner on the garden terrace of a new supportive housing residence for medically vulnerable high-utilizers, the Star Apartments. To learn more, click here.

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SIF Sites Share On-the-Ground Experiences with Harm Reduction and Housing First

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