CONTINUUM OF CARE

Continuum of Care Membership Form

The Continuum of Care (CoC) Program is designed to promote communitywide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness; provide funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, and State and local governments to quickly rehouse homeless individuals and families while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused to homeless individuals, families, and communities by homelessness; promote access to and effect utilization of mainstream programs by homeless individuals and families; and optimize self-sufficiency among individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

MDHA serves as the Collaborative Applicant for HUD competitive Continuum of Care (“CoC”) funding.  The Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County government response to issues of homelessness are coordinated by the Metropolitan Nashville Homeless Impact Division of Metropolitan Social Services.  This includes serving as the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) Lead entity, leading Coordinated Entry, and primary staffing for the Homelessness Planning Council.  For more, follow the links below.

All citizens in Nashville are welcome to join the Continuum of Care. Please complete the Continuum of Care Membership Form below. The form will help the Membership Committee compile and track all membership request. 

CoC Membership Committee Descriptions

Nashville-Davidson Continuum of Care Homeless Service Workforce Survey- Final Released Feb 2020

In the summer of 2019, the Data Committee of the Nashville-Davidson CoC administered a voluntary survey to staff across member agencies. Our goal was to learn more about the homeless service workforce and take a beginning look at workforce equity and inclusion across agencies, with a focus on racial equity. HUD prioritizes funding to communities that are assessing their systems for racial disparities in services offered and outcomes achieved (and, where found, developing action plans to address them). This workforce survey is one part of our CoC’s effort to conduct these assessments.

We asked respondents for demographic information, including race, gender, ability, and lived experience. We also asked about perceptions of how well those working in homeless services reflect people served, perceptions of equity across hiring and advancement, and barriers and facilitators to participating in professional development opportunities.

We found that:

  • The majority of respondents were White – 74% of frontline staff and 82% of senior management.
  • Among different aspects of lived experiences asked about, 13% reported having lived experience with homelessness.
  • There was more agreement that frontline staff reflected the race, ethnicity, and lived experiences of people served than staff in supervisory or management roles.
  • On average, staff of color reported less opportunity to move up or be promoted in their agency.

Findings such as these are not uncommon in human service agencies. Across the country, the homeless service field is working on tackling racial inequity, and a number of workforce reports show similar trends. Although we are not alone in these challenges, we hope to work together to address them. Based on these and other findings, the Data Committee drafted specific recommendations for member programs, committees, and the CoC to:

  • Develop human resources policies and procedures around recruiting, hiring, retaining, and promoting people of color;
  • Provide quality training for all staff related to equity, inclusion, and social justice; and
  • Prioritize equity in community wide planning.

A meeting was held on October 30, 2020 to solicit feedback from management staff at Nashville agencies, and get replies to the following:

  • What else is your agency already doing to improve diversity of the workforce?
  • How do you evaluate and address disparities in promotion and advancement?
  • How do you create accessible and equitable opportunities for people with lived experience of homelessness?
  • Do you have any other recommendations in light of your experiences, trainings, or initiatives?

On November 18, members of Nashville’s Homelessness Planning Council unanimously approved the plan, posted for the public below.  If you have any questions, or additional input, please send to Suzie Tolmie,  Homeless Coordinator at MDHA stolmie@nashville-mdha.org  with subject heading Workforce Survey.

Survey Results

2020-2021 Fillable COC Membership Application Form

If you cannot complete the form online, or have trouble, below is a fillable PDF document that you can complete, save and then mail or email  to Suzie Tolmie, Homeless Coordinator, MDHA, 712 South 6th Street, Nashville, TN 37206 stolmie@Nashville-MDHA.org.

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MDHA serves as the Collaborative Applicant for HUD’s competitive Continuum of Care (CoC) funding or the Nashville-Davidson County, TN CoC. Located in the Community Development department of MDHA, CoC staff carries out:

  • CoC monitoring of grant receipients
  • Competition Planning and staffing relevant committies
  • Coordinated Entry Systems (CES) lead for the CoC
  • Staff CoC Committees & provide expertise on HUD policies
  • Coordinates and maintains compliance with (HUD)
CoC General Meetings: Agenda and Minutes
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The Homeless Impact Division, a longtime partner of MDHA, is located within the Metropolitan Social Services Department and serves as the CoC HMIS Lead. HID staff co-leads several community efforts and administers the following tasks:

  • Offer expertise and support to the work of the Nashville-Davidson County Continuum of Care Homelessness Planning Council
  • Serve as the Continuum of Care’s (CoC) HMIS Lead
  • Lead and co-lead local community efforts by serving as the backbone organization to further collaborative goals
  • Provide expertise and training to implement a community-wide Coordinated Entry System as required by (HUD)
  • Coordinate Metro departments in the city’s response to homelessness
Homeless Planning Council: Agenda and Minutes

HOMELESS MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM

A Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) is a local information technology system used to collect client-level data and data on the provision of housing and services to homeless individuals and families and persons at risk of homelessness. Each Continuum of Care (CoC) is responsible for selecting an HMIS software solution that complies with HUD’s data collection, management, and reporting standards.

Public comment for HMIS Data Quality Plan

Please find below the draft Data Quality Plan and Data Quality Monitoring Plan for public comment.  The implementation of this process will directly impact all HMIS participating agencies; for that reason, we encourage feedback before its approval is officially voted on by the Homelessness Planning Council on June 9th.  Please send comments, edits or questions to Shanley.deignan@nashville.gov by the close of business June 3th.

Process and representation

Working stakeholder group: The working group reviewed local data, HUD’s recommendations, HUD’s example DQP and various DQPs from other Continuums of Care to make recommendations for the data benchmarks listed in the DQP. Representation from:

  • Data Committee
  • Standards of Care Committee
  • Performance Evaluation Committee
  • MHID
  • HUD TA
  • Variety of participating agencies and project types

HMIS Oversight Committee: Built on the draft from the working group to create the DQP incentives and enforcements as well as the Data Quality Monitoring Plan (DQMP).

Please click HERE to access the Data Quality Plan and Data Quality Monitoring Plan.

YOUTH HOMELESSNESS DEMONSTRATION GRANT

On August 29, 2019, HUD announced $75 million in funding to 23 communities to help end youth homelessness. The communities that submitted applications took an important step in preventing and ending youth homelessness. HUD congratulates the 23 selected communities, commends all communities who applied, and is committed to supporting them, regardless of whether they were selected.

CoC COMPETITION MATERIALS

CoC Approved Consolidated Application

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coc-2021-project-priority-listing-public-posting

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CoC FY2021 Funding Opportunity

Each year, Nashville competes with other Continuums across the country to secure federal funds to end homelessness, made available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Continuum of Care program.  On behalf of the Nashville Continuum of Care (CoC) & as the CoC Collaborative Applicant, MDHA requests applications for new projects for inclusion in the CoC’s FY2021 application for HUD CoC funds.  Renewal agencies are also asked to complete a more basic application.  Both can be found below.

The key related outcomes desired by HUD are:

HUD CoC System Performance Measures

  1. Reducing the length of time persons remain homeless
  2. Reducing returns to homelessness by persons who exit homelessness to permanent housing
  3. Reducing the number of homeless persons
  4. Access to jobs and income growth for homeless persons in CoC Program-funded projects
  5. Reducing the number of persons who become homeless for the first time
  6. Successful housing placement

This year, in addition to funding intended to renew a substantial existing inventory, HUD has new funding available for CoC Bonus projects to house and serve persons experiencing homelessness ($297,411 for Nashville) as well as Domestic Violence (DV) Bonus funding ($687,057 for Nashville).  Additionally, just over $110,000 is available via local funding reallocation; there may be more available if any additional existing project funding is reallocated, but this is yet to be determined. 

The type of projects that can be funded includes new or expanded housing and/or services via both the Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH – for people with disabilities who meet HUD’s definition of chronic or the more flexible DedicatedPlus) and Rapid Rehousing (RRH) components, as well as any dedicated Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS) project proposed by Nashville’s HMIS Lead entity, the Metro Homeless Impact Division.  HUD requires all new projects to adopt the Housing First approach.

Applications for new project funding are encouraged from nonprofit agencies that have never previously received CoC funds as well as from applicants that are currently receiving, or have in the past received, CoC funds.  There will be a workshop for interested agencies on Thursday, September 9 at 1:00 pm in the cafeteria in the Central Office of MDHA, 701 South 6th Street.  To ensure that you receive the latest information about this local process, please subscribe to the Nashville CoC listserv by emailing stolmie@nashville-mdha.org – subject heading CoC 2021 Listserv.

CoC GOVERNING DOCUMENTS

HUD Technical Assistance staff is assisting Nashville via a Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) Capacity grant awarded to the Metropolitan Homeless Impact Division (MHID).  They noted federal requirements for HMIS that were missing from the Charter.  The following provisions were added, to revise the Charter accordingly:

  1. Indicate which entity serves as HMIS Lead
  2. Specify the Continuum of Care (CoC) responsible for entering into an operational agreement with the HMIS Lead
  3. Clarify that HMIS Policies & Procedures have a review process
  4. Identify information that can be found in supporting documents, such as the HMIS Policy and Procedures Manual
  5. Note if HMIS user fee exists. It does not currently, but one may at some point in the future.  This belongs best in HMIS Policies & Procedures document, but reference can be made in the Charter.

The proposed changes were announced at the December 17 CoC General Membership meeting; per the Charter, the public had 15 days from notification/posting for review and any comments.  The deadline for public input in written form was 12:00 noon on December 23rd, 2020. Final approval by the CoC General Membership occurred at its January 21 meeting. Please note that per HUD requirements, the CoC Charter is to be reviewed for updates at least annually.  The CoC Charter Committee has resumed meetings, and will be working on additional revisions for 2021 that will be announced at a later date.

All CoC’s and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG)  recipients are required to develop written policies and procedures for sub-recipients to use in providing assistance for households experiencing homelessness.  These Written Standards can be accessed below, as can the CoC’s HMIS Policies & Procedures. CoC Charter HMIS Revisions December 2020.

CoC Charter_Approved by CoC General_Sept 2019

*General Membership Approval on 01/21/2021

HMIS Policies and Procedures

*Homeless Planning Council Approved on 08/14/2019

CoC & ESG Written Standards

*Homeless Planning Council Approved on 07/14/2021