In September of 2010, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) invited San Diego to participate in the Priority Community Initiative (PCI), which brings $120,000 in HUD technical assistance (TA) to the region in an effort to strengthen our Continuum of Care (CoC) performance, meet HEARTH expectations, and achieve the goals of Opening Doors: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. The focus areas of this technical assistance, which is being provided by Abt Associates and ICF International, include CoC governance and coordination; CoC infrastructure and administrative capacity; data analysis through the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS); and evaluation and assessment.
Abt and ICF kicked off of the PCI last month at the University of San Diego with the Regional Continuum of Care (RCCC), USICH Executive Director Barbara Poppe, and other community stakeholders. They then met with our elected leaders, service providers, resource providers, and business community to further understand our region and systems. As a result, Abt and ICF made several recommendations for moving forward, including enhancing governance capacity; increasing practical utilization of the HMIS system; improved coordination and access to homeless services and resources; and improved monitoring and evaluation of projects. Abt and ICF also invited stakeholders to participate in a PIVOT Group which will work to build trust, and increase communication and transparency across different tables within the San Diego region. PIVOT members include the RCCC, the San Diego Housing Commission, the County of San Diego Housing and Community Development, the Regional Task for on the Homeless, the San Diego Grantmakers Homelessness Working Group, South Bay Community Services, North County Interfaith Council, Father Joe’s Villages, Michael McConnell representing the San Diego business community, and LeSar Development Consultants. Abt and ICF are working with the community over the next ten months to reach all goals, and we will report back on their progress in future Campaign News editions!