2020 brought unprecedented challenges to CSH, our partners, and funders. Despite responding to the most significant health crisis in more than a century and an enduring assault on the lives of Black Americans, CSH and our collaborators continued our work to advance supportive housing.
The year marked year two of our Strategic Plan, designed to guide our efforts in helping communities and people move beyond perpetual states of crises to supportive and holistic models that enable them to thrive. The three-year plan, which the CSH board and leadership have since extended for an additional year, established three drivers.
These drivers – A Framework of Equity, A Focus on Thriving, and Harnessing the Power of Data to Generate Results – buoyed CSH’s mission and sharpened our focus on guiding communities away from their overreliance on institutional models of emergency response and towards evidenced-based solutions that help people to thrive for the long term.
Our Strategic Plan served as a beacon of light guiding CSH through the realities of an evolving public health crisis, escalation of public outrage at the persistent ravages of racism, and the impact of an entirely remote work environment on our staff.
As we stated in our 2019 annual report, we cannot predict what lay ahead. The changing world demanded that we dig our heels even deeper in committing to our values like equity, collaboration, and accountability while remaining flexible to adapt to whatever comes our way. We are proud of what our staff, partners, and funders accomplished in 2020 and remained inspired by their resilience.
Above all, we are committed to supporting our staff and partners to continue to scale supportive housing as the proven approach to stop cycles of crises that affect people and communities so harmfully in favor of housing and supports that enable them to thrive.
Stephen NormanBoard Chair
Deborah De SantisCEO & President
2020 Board of Directors
2019-2022 Strategic Plan
Rapid Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
CSH Publishes a Wealth of Content to Guide Supportive Housing in the Age of COVID-19
COVID-19 Training, Technical Assistance, and Consulting
CSH is known for our training, technical assistance, and consulting work designed to advance quality supportive housing through funding strategies, design and development, operations, certifications for quality, and staff professional development.
The CSH Training Center is the hub of our education and training programs. Prior to 2020, our Training Center was conducting virtual training, but quickly scaled up much further to meet the demand for content that would guide communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Training Center launched a website page and content to offer a variety of resources to supportive housing providers and developers. We conducted a dozen webinars over 12 weeks that addressed equity, home visits, care coordination, CARES Act, administering home visits and more.
Our field staff, who typically conducted in-person training and consultations, shifted to the virtual environment to continue working with our partners. CSH created the COVID-19 Supportive Housing Community Platform, and the CSH COVID-19 Resource website page offered a centralized place for resources, content, and training related to policies, protocols, and data tracking mechanisms while also responding to the quickly changing landscape as this crisis evolved.
With the increased participation in our virtual events, the CSH Training Center adopted a new virtual learning platform, acquired Zoom technology for the entire organization.
“Seeing opportunity in adversity enabled us to adapt and be responsive to the moment. It put us in a better place to support a new virtual learning space and offer much more content that is relevant to our partners,” said Lisa Sepahi, Director, CSH Training Center.
FIRST-EVER VIRTUAL SUMMIT
CSH is known for its annual, multi-day Supportive Housing Summit held at locations throughout the country. In 2020 of course, CSH had to shift the Summit to a virtual environment. More than 1,000 people attended the virtual Summit held over two days. The Summit addressed the challenges and opportunities to the supportive housing sector in a pandemic environment and why centering race equity in our collective work was more urgent than ever.
CSH Framework of Equity
Since A Framework of Equity was a key driver in CSH’s Strategic Plan, our journey toward race equity began prior to the public reckonings for racial and economic justice that occurred in 2020. The public outrage punctuated by a global health pandemic and racialized police violence was a catalyst to declaring publicly that CSH committed to becoming an anti-racist organization.
This declaration meant that CSH would put race equity on the table when working with our partners and funders and that we turned the lens inward to scrutinize our own culture and practices. To that end, CSH launched our Racial Disparities and Disproportionality Index (“RDDI”) data tool. The CSH RDDI utilizes 16 unique systems to measure whether a racial and/or ethnic group is over/under represented in a particular public system (proportionality) as well as the systematic differences between groups and geographies (disparities). RDDI allows practitioners to use disaggregated data to examine inequities in systems inflow, operations and, outflows to advance targeted strategies to center racial equity in critical systems redesign.
CSH appointed Pascale Leone as Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) to lead our internal efforts. Ms. Leone was promoted internally and previously was Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and before that, she was Associate Director with our New York Metro Team.
In December 2019, CSH formed the Race Equity Design & Implementation Team led by Leone and established seven subcommittees comprising staff at all levels and areas. To assist with our internal assessment, CSH adopted an approach advanced by Demos that helps organizations operationalize racial equity. CSH also contracted with the National Innovation Service (NIS) for three one and half-day trainings that covered key terms and definitions, tactics on recognizing, acknowledging, and combating racial biases. Also, CSH enrolled nearly 20 white-identifying staff at all levels for a yearlong training with Los Angeles-based Social Ventures Partners. Finally, CSH created its Race Equity Impact Assessment (REIA) tool to guide project and policy, design staff. REIA will help staff conduct a systematic analysis of how different racial, ethnic, and other minoritized groups will likely be affected by a proposed action or decision, thereby pre-empting racial inequities before they occur.
CSH’s efforts continue with staff and the Board of directors to publish the CSH Race Equity Framework that will guide our work internally and externally.
CSH Maintains Community Investment Activities
The impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on our lending and community investment work extended to our partners and borrowers. In some cases, the evolving pandemic delayed closings and in others, the crisis required that understandably, providers shift their focus to the front lines.
A case in point was our work with New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) lending, which is innovative financing of mixed-use projects involving community health centers that often are co-located with supportive and affordable housing development. Since our borrowers were addressing a public health crisis head-on by pivoting to telehealth services, and as a result, many of the projects in progress were put on hold.
Yet, CSH still offered COVID-19 guidance related to health providers. CSH is unique in our NMTC lending since we bridge the lending with our technical assistance, which offers additional resources, guidance, and training specific to housing and health.
Community of Hope - The Commons at Stanton Square – Washington, DC
As part of our NMTC investment in the Commons at Stanton Square project, CSH provided pro bono technical assistance to the two nonprofit partners co-located in the building, Community of Hope and Martha’s Table. CSH worked with the partners to research, plan, and design the Baby and Me program, which provided care coordination across multiple care providers for health services, healthy food access, infant healthcare, home visiting, and parent and family support. In its first phase, launched in October 2020, Baby and Me served 50 moms and their infants.
Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) - Hobson Place Health Clinic - Seattle, WA
CSH provided $16 million in NMTC financing to develop a 30,000 a square foot Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and pharmacy operated in partnership with Harborview Medical Center, Seattle’s safety-net healthcare provider which is named after DESC founder and industry pioneer, Bill Hobson. It is co-located in the same building with 92 of the 177 units of on-site supportive housing, all affordable to those at or below 30% of AMI and funded separately with 9% LIHTCs.
Lighthouse Youth Services (LYS) Sheakley Center - Cincinnati, OH
In 2017, CSH provided $10.5 million in NMTC allocation to LYS to develop a 26,000 square foot comprehensive service center targeted to homeless youth 18 to 24 years old. The project, known as the Sheakley Center, included a 36-bedroom dormitory-style transitional housing facility, a day services room, classroom/multi-purpose space, nurses’ station, and office space for 50 employees. In 2020, CSH provided training for LYS staff, which focused on housing first and harm reduction in the shelter and supportive housing programs. CSH and staff from LYS participated in peer exchange meetings with True Colors and other youth housing providers in New York City. These meetings and trainings were very well-received and appreciated by the staff.
Additionally, CSH, Lighthouse, and a Cincinnati story telling nonprofit, BeSpoken, created a youth-specific Speak Up! advocacy cohort based on our Los Angeles model. The eight youth were selected from the LYS Sheakley Center and completed six months of training and coaching sessions with young professionals paired up with the tenants based on interests and personalities. Six of the eight youth have continued to participate in Speak Up! advocacy activities. They presented to and met with US Senator Sherrod Brown, the US Interagency Council on Homelessness, state representatives, a judge, and staff from Ohio members of Congress. They have continued to engage in policy discussions around affordable housing with other local organizations and one Advocate has become part of CSH’s ongoing advocacy work.
2020 Expenses & Revenue
CSH's Direct Lending & Investment in Affordable & Supportive Housing
Billion in Loans Since 1991
Training and Technical Assistance
CSH shifted its training and technical assistance real time to respond to the emerging COVID-19 Pandemic.