As we reflect back on milestones in 2018, none strike us as more consequential and far-reaching than bringing new people with lived experience in supportive housing to the table as decision-makers. Through our SpeakUp! initiative, CSH has been elevating individuals and families with lived experience for several years now, ensuring they become community leaders and advocates for supportive housing across the country. Their stories of triumph over the traumas of housing instability, unnecessary institutionalization, addiction, severe medical and mental health disabilities, neglect and stigma, are inspirations and testimonies to the ability of supportive housing to move people from just surviving to openly thriving in our communities. As we take stock in the progress we made in 2018, we tell our collective story of achievement through the eyes and voice of CSH SpeakUp! Advocate Frank Ybarra, and salute him and all of our Advocates and partners with lived experience for showing us the way forward.
Stephen NormanBoard Chair
Deborah De SantisCEO & President
Meet Frank Ybarra, CSH Speak Up! Advocate
Frank took over the family business at sixteen when his father passed away. Then in 1989 he suffered two brain aneurisms and lapsed into a coma for several months. After extensive hospitalization and treatment, his business and personal affairs were in shambles. Soon he found himself impoverished and living the reality of homelessness with chronic health issues. Fortunately, Frank found supportive housing. Working with CSH Speak Up! throughout 2018, Frank has come to terms with the tragedies and barriers he faced and now shares with others how he turned his life around. Read more about Frank's 2018 Speak Up! Graduation.
2018 Community Investment
Million in Loans
Housing IS Healthcare
Navigating health care systems is hard enough with a permanent address let alone for those without a home. Frank Ybarra shares this perspective by engaging participants in a discussion of self-advocacy within a system hobbled by bureaucracy and bias. Appropriately, Frank is a committed member of the Board of Directors of the Central Neighborhood Health Foundation, a non-profit Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). He is the first individual with lived experience on the Board. Throughout 2018, CSH continued to broaden the connections between two vital sectors in supportive housing – affordable housing and healthcare stakeholders.
Bringing Sectors Together
In 2018, CSH hosted its largest national Summit ever. Over 1100 leaders from 38 states gathered for three days of networking and cross-sector collaboration that focused on how the traditional sectors in supportive housing – affordable housing, human services, healthcare – can broaden coalitions and partnerships to attract more policymakers to the table in such areas as child welfare, education, community development and labor. Frank and other CSH SpeakUp! advocates were on hand to add their perspectives and insights on how supportive housing transforms lives and builds healthier communities through cooperation and coordination. The CSH Summit also serves as the largest opportunity to access training on every aspect of supportive housing from creation to implementation to impact. In 2018, the CSH Supportive Housing Training Center helped train nearly 2,000 professionals involved in improving supportive housing and bringing it to scale.
Coordinating Through Consulting
CSH served as a consultant in nearly four dozen communities in 2018, helping local partners develop and implement Coordinated Entry. Los Angeles, where Frank lives, is one such community. In the most effective circumstances, Coordinated Entry serves as a front door to connect people facing instability to affordable and permanent housing and supports in an accessible, equitable, transparent manner. This new way of doing business allows all partners in the community – government, corporations, nonprofits and philanthropy – to collaborate to improve access and outcomes for people who lack housing while also delivering critical and trauma-informed services to keep people housed and healthy. One of the key ingredients to a successful local model is making sure people with lived experience, individuals like Frank, are part of the decision-making process that are designing and implementing Coordinated Entry. In addition to expanding the number of communities where Coordinated Entry is operating and delivering results, CSH devoted great attention and resources in 2018 to elevating the planning, design, operation and maintenance of quality supportive housing through our Quality Endorsement and Certification initiatives.
Advocating for Supportive Housing
2018 witnessed major achievements in legislation and public policy that bolstered CSH efforts to expand supportive housing opportunities for individuals and families in need of rental assistance and services to thrive. The Congress of the United States and Administration agreed on appropriations for federal housing assistance programs at the highest levels in eight years. Important tax overhaul legislation preserved the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) with further favorable adjustments during the year that maintained and continued the vital role the LIHTC plays in supportive housing development. The Families First Prevention Services Act adopted in 2018 clearly aligned federal and state policies in favor of Keeping Families Together in homes of their own as a viable alternative to out-of-home placement for children whose parents struggle to access and provide housing. The federal government allocated record numbers of dollars to address substance use addiction. In the various states where CSH has an influential presence, SpeakUp! Advocates like Frank shared their lived-experience stories with policymakers and helped draw attention and build momentum for legislative accomplishments directly funding the creation of supportive housing.