Two-Day Training on Supportive Housing in MN

CSH delivered an intensive two-day training on creating new supportive housing and improving the quality of existing supportive housing in Minnesota. The curriculum focused on housing finance, partnership development, and service design and included a bus tour of existing sites.

In addition, a select number of organizations will be offered the opportunity to receive individualized follow-up technical assistance from CSH to support their efforts to advance and strengthen application-ready projects for the MN 2017 Super RFP expected this June.

The Minnesota Supportive Housing Academy was generously sponsored by Minnesota Housing and operated by CSH.

Multi-System Collaboration to End Youth Homelessness

youth TAYThe State of Minnesota is one of seven jurisdictions that will participate in the fourth cohort of the Multi-System Collaboration Training and Technical Assistance initiative to implement the state plan specific to decreasing homelessness for systems-involved youth. This federal initiative, implemented by the Center for Coordinated Assistance to States, is hosted by the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University. CSH will serve as a local project manager in Minnesota for this one year effort, which will include training webinars, project team planning and implementation activities with state partners. The state partners are the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Department of Public Health, Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee and Department of Corrections.

The goals of this initiative are to improve leadership alignment, data sharing infrastructure, and to develop a strong action plan based on information gathered from systems (such as criminal justice, child welfare, healthcare and housing) with the focus on preventing and ending conditions that result in youth homelessness.





Ending Youth Homelessness in Minnesota

As communities focus on ending youth homelessness by 2020, it is essential strategies are developed to increase supported opportunities to get youth off the streets and out of shelters while going upstream, partnering with child welfare, education and juvenile justice systems to identify risk factors of and the entry points into homelessness. The intersection of the juvenile justice and child welfare system and youth homelessness are particularly complex but an aspect being tackled both at the local and national levels.youth TAY

In Minnesota there are ongoing efforts within the juvenile justice and the homelessness systems to raise awareness. Nonetheless, there still exists a need to elevate the focus on cross systems coordination and collaboration.  In response to this, CSH, in partnership with the Minnesota Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, Olmsted County Community Corrections, and YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, will host a workshop: Understanding the Intersection of Youth Homelessness and Juvenile Justice/Corrections Involvement at the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless Annual Conference on October 11, 2016.

Additionally, Josephine Pufpaff, CSH Senior Program Manager in Minnesota, has been invited to serve as an adviser to the Center for Juvenile Justice national initiative: Collaborating for Change: Addressing Youth  Homelessness and Juvenile Justice. This project, supported by the Raikes Foundation, the Tow Foundation and the Melville Charitable Trust, has two main goals: (1) to decrease the likelihood that youth experiencing homelessness become involved with the juvenile justice system, and (2) to prevent youth homelessness among justice-involved youth.  In collaboration with project partners the National Network for Youth and the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, the project will generate policy and practice recommendations, training and technical assistance resources, and avenues for greater collaboration across systems.

CSH Minnesota Team Meets US Senator Franken

The CSH office in Minnesota joined with other affordable and supportive housing advocates for an informational session with US Senator Al Franken (MN) this past Saturday. The purposes of this meeting were to highlight projects that connect housing with integrated health and social services, and to explore opportunities to build on and expand this type of work throughout the nation.

As a result of the meeting, Senator Franken has committed to return to Washington, DC and begin some cross-party conversations with his colleagues, US Senator Collins (ME) and Senator Bill Cassidy (LA), in an effort to engage policymakers and collaborate on priority actions that will promote ideal integrated health/housing services at the federal level.

Pictured left to right: Jennifer Ho – Senior Advisor for Housing and Health Care HUD, Erin Sutton Sullivan – Division Director MN DHS, George Stone – Director CSH, Jennifer Decubellis – Hennepin County Deputy Administrator, Cathy ten Broeke –State Director to Prevent and End Homelessness, Commissioner Mary Tingerthal – MN Housing, US Senator Al Franken, Amy Ward – Director of Helath Initiatives, Wilder Foundation, Martha Lantz –ED Touchstone Mental Health

Pictured left to right: Jennifer Ho – Senior Advisor for Housing and Health Care HUD, Erin Sutton Sullivan – Division Director MN DHS, George Stone – Director CSH, Jennifer Decubellis – Hennepin County Deputy Administrator, Cathy ten Broeke –State Director to Prevent and End Homelessness, Commissioner Mary Tingerthal – MN Housing, US Senator Al Franken, Amy Ward – Director of Helath Initiatives, Wilder Foundation, Martha Lantz –ED Touchstone Mental Health


Child Well-Being Convening in MN

MN Conf


This past week at the Children’s Home Society in St. Paul, Minnesota, CSH hosted Partnering and Planning for Greater Impact: A Convening on Child Well-being in Supportive Housing.

The Convening was an engaging and action-oriented conversation involving administrative and management level professionals from county and State child welfare agencies; supportive housing developer and provider organizations; funding sources; universities and other educational systems; MCOs and healthcare systems; mental health organizations; and family services programs. Participants were motivated to move beyond educating and building awareness on supportive housing’s role in child well-being to:

• Expanding common understandings of child well-being, definitions and outcome indicators
• Assessing and identifying opportunities to cross-innovate and collaborate for greater impact
• Growing participation in the process of leveraging supportive housing for child well-being

By encouraging frank dialogue, partnership building, and sound implementation planning, participants are taking what they learned at the Convening and strengthening initiatives and practices throughout Minnesota to promote child well-being in supportive housing.


Convening Planning Partners
CSH                                                                                      Simpson Housing Services
Family Housing Fund                                                       courageous heARTS

Artistic Credit
BotJoy                                                                                 Greater Minnesota Housing Fund


OSF Grants $150,000 to CSH for FUSE Replication

OSFThe Open Society Foundations (OSF) U.S. Programs initiative supports efforts to advance equality, fairness, and justice with a focus on the most vulnerable and marginalized communities and the most significant threats to open society in the United States today. OSF works to further a vibrant democratic society in which all people can meaningfully participate in its civic, economic, and political life and to ensure that the core institutions of civil society are effective and accountable to the public.

Areas of particular emphasis in U.S. Programs’ grant-making and other activities include:

  • The advancement of effective and fair criminal justice and drug policies,
  • Support of the rights of racial minorities and other vulnerable groups;
  • Support of institutions and practices that advance a more informed and engaged public and responsive and effective government.

OSF’s recent contribution of $150,000 to CSH to promote a scaled replication and the sustainability of the FUSE (Frequent Users/Utilizers Systems Engagement) model will help ensure that more people leaving our jails and prisons will have a real chance to become a part of the communities in which they live. Because of the generosity of OSF and others, CSH is able to recreate FUSE in more communities across the country.

FUSE is a CSH signature accomplishment that helps communities identify and engage high utilizers of public systems and place them into supportive housing in order to break the cycle of repeated use of costly crisis services, shelters, and the criminal justice system. In the FUSE model, supportive housing serves to smooth the transition from institution to community, promoting a transformation that serves those released from jails and prisons, and the general population, by improving lives and public safety.

The critical support of OSF and our partners will allow CSH to aggressively pursue our vision to create additional policy and resource tools, such as FUSE, that encourage cross-system collaboration and allow innovative responses to complex social problems.


CMS Issues Bulletin on Using Medicaid for Supportive Services

CMSThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) has released an Informational Bulletin intended to assist states in designing Medicaid benefits, and to clarify the circumstances under which Medicaid reimburses for certain housing-related activities, with the goal of promoting community integration for individuals with disabilities, older adults needing long term services and supports (LTSS), and those experiencing chronic homelessness. Consistent with statute, CMS/CMCS can assist states with coverage of certain housing-related activities and services.

Read the full CMS/CMCS Informational Bulletin here.

For more information on how states are currently using Medicaid in supportive housing, see CSH’s four new resources, released earlier this month.

Read our joint statement with the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the Technical Assistance Collaborative and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council.

OrgCode, Community Solutions & CSH Launch Next Step Tool for Youth

The Next Step Tool for Homeless Youth

The Next Step Tool for Homeless Youth, or Next Step Tool, integrates the TAY Triage Tool, developed by the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) through research by Eric Rice, PhD, Associate Professor at University of Southern California, with the VI-SPDAT, created by Community Solutions and OrgCode Consulting, Inc.

The TAY Triage Tool predicts which youth are most likely to experience long-term homelessness, essentially on a trajectory to becoming chronically homeless adults. The VI-SPDAT helps understand current vulnerabilities and risks to future housing stability, in order to support youth in ending their homelessness.

The Next Step Tool carefully merges all of these tested ideas together. Through a closed-ended survey where youth provide a yes, no or one-word answer, service providers have a better understanding of the intensity of supports to begin with when supporting the youth.  You can download the Next Step Tool at


The Youth SPDAT

To complement the launch of the Next Step Tool, OrgCode has also created a modified version of the Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (SPDAT) for use specifically with youth. The Youth SPDAT was developed based on feedback from many communities using the SPDAT who identified the need for a complete assessment tool that emphasized the unique issues faced by homeless youth.

You can download the Youth SPDAT at


CSH Transition Age Youth (TAY) Triage Tool

The CSH Transition Age Youth (TAY) Triage Tool – A Tool to Identify Homeless Transition Age Youth Most in Need of Supportive Housing – can be accessed directly here.


Harvard Releases State of the Nation’s Housing 2015

The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University has released The State of the Nation’s Housing 2015 and this is what it says about our PROGRESS IN REDUCING HOMELESSNESS and the role supportive housing is playing, effectively getting people off our streets and keeping them housed:

“The lack of affordable housing in the United States continues to leave nearly 600,000 people homeless. More than a third are people in families, including 130,000 children under the age of 18. By comparison, chronically homeless individuals (those who have been without a place to live for at least a year or have had repeated episodes of homelessness over the past few years) account for a much smaller share (15 percent) of the homeless population. Recent increases in federal funding have aided progress in reducing both homelessness overall and among the most vulnerable groups. Indeed, the number of beds in permanent supportive housing expanded 60 percent between 2007 and 2014, to over 300,000. Beds for the chronically homeless accounted for just over half of this increase. As a result, total homelessness fell 11 percent in 2007–14, the number of homeless veterans dropped 19 percent, and the number of chronically homeless individuals was down by 30 percent. At the same time, however, the number of homeless people in families declined by only 8 percent.

But the national reduction in homelessness is not apparent in all markets. Rising rents and a dwindling supply of affordable rentals continue to put people at risk, especially in high-cost locations. Indeed, total homelessness jumped by 29 percent in New York and 40 percent in Massachusetts between 2007 and 2014. The increase in the District of Columbia was even larger, at 46 percent. Family homelessness is particularly acute in major cities, which were home to 45 percent of this population in 2014. New York City headed the list with 41,600 homeless people in families, or nearly 20 percent of the national total.”