Letter from Robyn Andrews, Executive Director of Florida Coalition for the Homeless

Dear Members, Partners, and Friends,

The last two years serving as Executive Director for the Florida Coalition for the Homeless have been a time of great accomplishment, growth and satisfaction. I have treasured this time working with all of you.

Today, however, I am writing to let you know that I have accepted a position with a national non-profit organization.

While this is a fantastic opportunity for me, which promises to be challenging and impactful, it is difficult to say goodbye to you and the wonderful work we do together. What we have accomplished together over the years in Florida has been phenomenal; fundamentally improving both the knowledge and effectiveness of our Continuum’s of Care, as well as increasing the level of advocacy and awareness throughout the State as it relates to serving the most vulnerable among us.

As is often the case, it is all of you who have made these experiences exceptional. Together we have spread awareness, increased advocacy, and put ego aside in order to focus on the critical work at hand. Not only has the time and effort been gratifying, it has resulted in an increased understanding and implementation of the best practices instrumental to our efforts to improve our communities and the lives of those in need. Now, it is my goal to continue to build on these rich experiences while serving the Southeast region.

Moving forward, I am committed to supporting a smooth transition and I will be available to the board as needed. Our Coalition board is fantastic; they are a cohesive team dedicated to the mission of ending homelessness in Florida, and I wish them continued success.

Although I am leaving this position with the Coalition, I will continue to be a part of the efforts to improve systems and services throughout the State. In closing, this is not “goodbye”, but merely “see you soon”, albeit in a different capacity.

Thank you for the opportunity and the pleasure of working with all of you.

 

Sincerely,

L. Robyn Andrews

Big Bend CoC Job Posting

Big Bend Continuum of Care

Job Title: System Administrator
Status: Full-time, salaried with comprehensive benefits.
Salary Range: $50,000 – $55,000, commensurate with experience
Logistics: This position is based in Tallahassee, FL. The candidate will be required to work out of the Tallahassee, FL office.
Application Deadline: February 28, 2018
Email detailed cover letter highlighting experience and qualifications along with resume to: mparker@bigbendcoc.org. Please put “System Administrator Position” in the subject line.

ABOUT US:
The Big Bend Continuum of Care (BBCoC) is a non-profit organization that administers the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) for the Big Bend area. The HMIS is a database that collects client-level data on homelessness in the CoC.

SUMMARY
This position will be working for the BBCoC as the administrator of HMIS, utilizing current HMIS software serving the CoC (Mediware/Bowman). This position will provide training, technical assistance and analytical support; and ensure compliance with HUD, CoC and HIPAA regulations. In addition, this position will ensure all system upgrades, updates, and data quality services are performed as required or needed.

ESSENTIAL JOB DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS

• Maintain current knowledge of homeless assistance programs and related initiatives
• Monitor compliancy of the HMIS software to meet all federal and state data collection and reporting regulations.
• Analyze data for internal reporting and monitoring purposes
• Create and revise forms and other tools to ensure compliance with US Department of Housing and
Urban Development (HUD) regulations and/or compliance with state funded projects.
• Maintain up-to-date records on all agency and end user agreement forms and required policy documentation
• Provide training and technical support to partner agencies and end users to ensure proper use of the
HMIS
o Assist partner agencies and end users to ensure data confidentiality, integrity, and security
o Attend local, state, and national trainings, as assigned, to keep abreast of changing rules,
regulations, and standards related to the HMIS
o Establish and coordinate training schedules and maintain user attendance records
o Review system data quality regularly and conduct related training as needed
o Work closely with partner agencies to resolve data issues and improve data quality
o Work with BBCoC staff to develop and update training materials as needed or required
• Collaborate with community partners and stakeholders
o Act as a liaison between partner agencies, state and local funders to facilitate effective collaboration and resolve issues affecting the HMIS
o Actively participate in meetings with partner agencies as it relates to HMIS
o Actively participate in designated CoC meetings and HMIS Committee meetings

o Assist with outreach and relationship building with agencies and individuals to expand the use and effectiveness of the HMIS
o Prove data reports and analysis for the CIS Project
o Assist in the annual homeless point-in-time and housing inventory data collection
o Work with staff to maintain and update the HMIS Policies & Procedures Manual
• Provide oversight for HMIS support staff to ensure assigned tasks are performed efficiently, effectively, and timely
• Assist with maintaining current website content
• Support BBCoC grant applications as appropriate
• Perform other duties as needed or assigned

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS Experience and Education:
• Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university
• Minimum one to three years of related experience or training related to job duties
• Minimum of two years of experience in a position with a high degree of job independence and responsibility
• Understanding of the evolving role of data and its role in addressing social problems
• Strong analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. Must be detail-oriented
• Working knowledge and understanding of homelessness and/or poverty related issues helpful
Ability to:

• Show strong administrative skills, be highly organized, motivated and remain flexible under pressure.
Attention to detail and ability to organize and set priorities a must
• Work in an occasionally fast-paced and demanding environment, handle multiple tasks simultaneously, and meet established deadlines
• Effectively present information and respond to questions from partner agencies, end users, governmental entities, the general public, and other stakeholders
• Work effectively with people from diverse backgrounds
• Provide technical support to individuals with varying levels of technical knowledge
• Read, analyze and interpret statistical reports, technical procedures, or governmental regulations
• Write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals
• Local travel maybe required, with occasional extended travel to trainings, workshops, or conferences
Knowledge of:

• Basic office equipment and technology
• Technical expertise required in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Access
• Relational database software
• Reporting platforms, including Business Objects, Qlik Sense or other data visualization tools
Other requirements:

• Prospective candidates will be subject to and must pass a comprehensive criminal background check

Reports to: BBCoC’s Director

Dates Announced for the 2018 Florida Institute Conference!

The 2018 Florida Institute on Homelessness and Supportive Housing

Wednesday, October 31st – Friday, November 2nd

Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld

6677 Sea Harbor Dr, Orlando, FL 32821

Registration will open in early March. Check back here for details.

Hotel Room Reservations are now available!

Click Here to make your hotel room reservation at the Renaissance at SeaWorld online!

We have secured a special rate of $129 per night for the 2018 conference!  Reserve your room online through the above link, or call the hotel on their group reservation line: 1-407-351-5555 or 1-800-266-9432, and mention the “Florida Institute on Homelessness and Supportive Housing” for the group rate of $129/night.  This rate is available for 3 days prior and 3 days following the event dates of 10/31/18 – 11/2/18.

We Need YOU in 2018!

New Year, New Efforts.

As we begin 2018, we encourage you to join The Florida Coalition for the Homeless and Be The Change that you’d like to see.

Ensure Your Seat at the Table
2017 was a year filled with change; new successes, new challenges, and new efforts to end homelessness.
As the state’s leading voice on homeless policy, the Florida Coalition for the Homeless needs YOU to help make our collective voice strong and heard in 2018.
The new year brings with it a new opportunity to redouble our efforts. We hope that you will join us going forward to achieve our mission to work collaboratively to prevent and end homelessness in Florida, and ensure that everyone has a place to call home.

 

Click Here to Learn More About Membership

 

 

Advocacy
FCH has an unwavering commitment to addressing homelessness in Florida by working with state and federal  stakeholders to develop solution-driven practices.
Members participate in the legislative session through weekly statewide advocacy calls, hosted by FCH, where Calls to Action, questions from the field, and outreach to legislators is reviewed.

 

 

Education
In addition to hosting an annual statewide conference, FCH conducts regional workshops on critical issues in the effort to end homelessness throughout the state of Florida.
We offer peer-to-peer mentoring and one on one assistance to members on a variety of issues.

 

 

 

2018 Conference
The dates for the 2018 Annual Institute on Homelessness and Supportive Housing will be announced soon, with registration opening early in the 2nd quarter. Don’t miss this opportunity to expand your knowledge and be a part of the change!  More information will be announced soon.  In the meantime, learn about the success of our 2017 Conference.

Thank You to All Attendees and Sponsors of the 2017 Institute!

The Florida Coalition for the Homeless, in partnership with the State Office on Homelessness, thanks our attendees and sponsors for their support of this year’s Institute. Workshop presentations that have been made available by our presenters can be downloaded HERE.

The Institute took place on November 1-3, 2017 at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld, Florida. This year’s theme, Breakthrough to Excellence: Building Bridges to the Future, was a tremendous success, with over 400 attendees from across the State.

Our “State of the Nation” and “State of the State” Plenary sessions featured national and State partners, as well as Keynote Address; “Ending the Criminalization of Mental Illness“, featuring Judge Steven Leifman, Chair, Task Force on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues in the Court, Supreme Court of Florida.

This year’s pre-conference day was comprised of a variety of half and full day intensive workshop sessions featuring the State Office on Homelessness, the Office on Substance Abuse and Mental Health, The Veteran’s Administration, the Florida Department of Education, and the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, as well as a full day SPDAT training with Orgcode’s Iain De Jong.

The Coalition extends a special THANK YOU to all of our sponsors.  Your support enabled this event to be successful and beneficial to all attendees!

 

 


Click here for the event speakers
Click here for the event agenda

 

2017 Florida Institute on Homelessness and Supportive Housing

Please visit FloridaDisaster.org for information on receiving emergency assistance in your area.

Our hearts are with everyone impacted by Hurricane Irma, particularly those without a home. Tremendous efforts were made throughout the State to ensure that everyone had safe shelter from the storm. 

Due to impacts and cleanup efforts following the storm, Early Bird Registration pricing has been extended through Friday, September 22nd

 

The Florida Coalition for the Homeless Presents:

The 2017 Annual Institute on Homelessness and Supportive Housing


The Florida Coalition for the Homeless, in partnership with the State Office on Homelessness, invites you to attend sponsor, exhibit, or advertise at the 2017 Florida Institute on Homelessness & Supportive Housing.

Click HERE to Register and for more Conference information!

The Institute will be hosted on November 1-3, 2017 at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld, Florida. Please join us to make this year’s theme, Breakthrough to Excellence: Building Bridges to the Future, become a reality.

Join us for our “State of the Nation” and “State of the State” Plenary sessions featuring national and State partners, as well as Keynote Address; “Ending the Criminalization of Mental Illness“, featuring Judge Steven Leifman, Chair, Task Force on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues in the Court, Supreme Court of Florida.

This year’s pre-conference day features a variety of half and full day intensive workshop sessions featuring the State Office on Homelessness, the Office on Substance Abuse and Mental Health, The Veteran’s Administration, the Florida Department of Education, and the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, as well as a full day SPDAT training featuring Orgcode’s Iain De Jong; all included in your registration! If you are interested in attending the full SPDAT training, please be sure to select it during your registration – spots are limited and will fill up quickly.

Check Out the Updated Agenda and Speakers
Click here for the event speakers
Click here for the event agenda

Conference Hotel Information

We are pleased to offer a special rate of $149 for the conference hotel – make your reservation early to ensure you can stay in the middle of the action.  Click here to book your room: https://aws.passkey.com/event/49048885/owner/210/home

PLEASE NOTE:  Hotel reservations can only be made through this link or by calling the hotel directly.  If ANYONE calls or emails claiming to represent the conference and offering to assist you with your reservation, or to offer you a discount, or anything else regarding a reservation, IT IS A SCAM.  We will NOT call you with discounts or offering to book your hotel or to tell you that the hotel is sold out and to offer to book a room elsewhere.  Please see the below notice for more information on this scam:

Warning: Beware of Scams from Companies Claiming to Represent the FIHSH Conference – Please Read

Unfortunately, it has been brought to our attention that there are multiple companies contacting our past attendees, claiming to represent FCH and/or the FIHSH Conference (and/or leaving out important information so that it’s not clear that they do not represent us), offering “assistance” with exhibitor registration and hotel bookings. Some are coming from the number 888-511-7936 and saying they can help with the FIHSH conference you are planning to attend.

Two such companies that are aggressively cold-calling and spamming companies whose names have appeared on our “attending company”, “speaker” and “exhibitor and sponsor” pages are Exhibitor Housing Management (EHM / ehmtravel.com) and Exhibition Housing (EHS / ehshousing.com).

To be clear, these companies and others are NOT IN ANY WAY AFFILIATED WITH FCH or the Florida Institute on Homelessness and Supportive Housing and are not authorized to use our name or trademark in any solicitations.

We are working through the proper channels to stop the deceptive practices of these companies and apologize for their annoying behavior.

Please be aware of the following known scams which we’ve heard about over the last couple of weeks:

  • If you get a call from 888-511-7936 asking to speak to you about the FIHSH conference you are planning to attend, this is not from us, it is a scam.
  • No one should contact you directly to book your hotel room or offer you a “special discounted conference rate” or “can save you $30.00 off your room rate”. If you receive one of these calls or emails, it is a scam. They are not affiliated with us.
  • If you receive an email from documents@rightsignature.com with the subject line “Reservations Team has sent you the document Contract_For_Hotel_Reservation_Services.pdf to sign,” please
    ignore this message. This company is not affiliated with us, and it is a scam.
  • If you receive a phone call from someone wanting to speak to the “tradeshow coordinator or the person who is handling Florida Institute on Homelessness and Supportive Housing that your company is attending in November”, it is a scam and they are not affiliated with us.
  • If someone emails you claiming to be from Florida Institute on Homelessness and Supportive Housing, or FCH,  Exhibitor Department, and the email is not from an FCH or AK Consulting email address, do not share any information with them. The company is not affiliated with us, and it is a scam.

We apologize to any attendees/exhibitors/sponsors who have received these scam calls or messages and assure you that we are not affiliated with these scammers.

City of Gainesville RFP to Administer and Implement Services for Low Barrier Emergency Services Shelter for Homeless Persons

The City of Gainesville has posted an RFP to “Administer and Implement Services for Low Barrier Emergency Services Shelter for Homeless Persons”.  Please click on the below link to view the details of the RFP;

https://www.demandstar.com/supplier/bids/Bid_Detail.asp?_PU=%2Fsupplier%2Fbids%2Fagency%5Finc%2Fbid%5Flist%2Easp%3F%5FRF%3D1%26f%3Dsearch%26mi%3D10071&LP=BB&BI=330790

City of Gainesville – Purchasing Division
P.O. Box 490, Station 32
Gainesville, FL. 32602-0490
Request for Proposal
Administer and Implement Services for Low Barrier Emergency Services Shelter for Homeless Persons
RFP -CMGR-180019-GD-0-2018/GD
                                                                                                              

 

Scope of Work: The RFP is designed to support an integrated system of housing assistance that can address the needs of persons experiencing homelessness and connect them with the resources needed to sustain housing and meet basic needs after services are provided. For these reasons, the City and County are requesting proposals from qualified organizations to provide Outreach, Low Barrier Emergency Shelter, Day Services, Rapid Rehousing Services and Housing Focused Case Management.
Ordering Instructions: This package can be downloaded from Onvia DemandStar on our website at http://www.demandstar.com.
Document Cost:
Bid Bond:
Pre/Bid Proposal Conference: Non-Mandatory
August 10, 2017
1:30pm
The Empowerment Center
Administrative Office
3055 NE 28th Drive
Gainesville, FL 32609
Due Date/Time: 8/29/2017 3:00 PM Eastern
City of Gainesville – Purchasing Division
Contact: Gayle Dykeman
Senior Buyer
Phone: 3523345021

 

Thank You!

As our fiscal year draws to a close, we wish to thank everyone across the State for their relentless perseverance in the efforts to end homelessness.  YOU are making a difference!

The 2017 legislative session was an extraordinary difficult budget and political year, with the state facing a three-year outlook budget deficit and vastly differing philosophical views in the Republican controlled House, Senate and Governor’s office.  Many organizations were unsuccessful this session in accomplishing their policy and appropriations requests for their legislative / executive agendas. But for FCH’s strategic planning, precise legislative agenda, local grassroots advocacy, and consultant advocacy in Tallahassee, FCH would have never achieved the successful results we had during 2017.

Since 2013, FCH and Adams St. Advocates have worked together to successfully implement legislative and executive agendas that represent the interests of FCH and Continuums of Care across Florida. This partnership with our consultants has yielded significant results for our organization statewide and is a partnership critical to meeting our organizations number one objective: to end homelessness across the state.

Below are a few highlights from the 2017 legislative session:

  • Homeless Lead Agency Staffing Grant – Our organization was successful in securing $300,000 recurring to be combined with $2.7 million in the base budget (recurring funding). Over the past five years, our staffing grant has increased from $0 to $3 million recurring funding. The predictability of the CoCs staffing grant is critically important to serving the homeless population across our state.
  • Homeless Challenge Grant – Our organization was successful in securing $1.2 million to be combined with $4 million currently in the base budget. Over the past five years, our challenge grant funding has increased from $0 to $5.2 million. The predictability for challenge grant funding has allowed the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to enter into multi-year contract agreements with grant recipients to help expedite the contracting process. The multi-year contracts for challenge grant have been a priority for FCH, and are a priority we worked with our consultants and DCF to achieve. Equally important, due to the predictability of the funding, grant recipients can now plan in advance for partnerships for innovative solutions to end homelessness.
  • 2016-2017 Challenge Grant Reappropriation – FCH was successful in building a solid business case with our advocates to convince legislators to reappropriate the 2016-2017 Fiscal Year unexpended balance of challenge grant funding for the same purposes in 2017-2018 Fiscal Year. This was a significant accomplishment as many CoCs simply did not have adequate time to expend the challenge grant funds efficiently and effectively due to contracting delays. The result, without the reappropriation, would have been a loss for all unexpended challenge grant funds during the current Fiscal Year as funding would have reverted to the state coffers.
  • Affordable Housing Trust Fund (SHIP/SAIL) – Our organization was effective in advocating for affordable housing trust fund dollars to be used for affordable housing – an issue we must fight each year – opposing sweeps to the trust funds, certainly in tough budget years where the legislature is looking for sources of revenue to fund other programs/projects. This year, the Governor and House originally proposed $44 million of trust fund dollars to be used for affordable housing. Our advocates were successful in advocating on our behalf for our affordable housing priority and the end result was $137 million towards affordable housing. As part of our partnership with Adams St Advocates, our consultants sit on the Sadowski Coalition on FCH’s behalf – an organization focused on supporting the affordable housing trust funds. For information on the Sadowski Coalition, please visit the following website:  http://www.sadowskicoalition.org/facts/
  • Affordable Housing Workgroup – The 2017 legislature created an affordable housing workgroup with the intent to develop recommendations for addressing the state’s affordable housing needs. These recommendations will be presented to and approved by the board of directors of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation. FCH identified the language in the implementing bill and later worked with legislative sponsors to amend the language to include a ‘homeless advocate’ as one of the Governor’s five appointees to the workgroup. With the homeless advocate language added to the bill, your interests will be represented on the workgroup. FCH is currently advocating for the homeless advocate to be the President of the FCH, or their designee.  Appointments to the workgroup must be made on or before September 1, 2017.
  • House Bill 1121: Child Welfare – The bill made significant changes to child welfare statutes, including amending Florida Statute 743.067(1) to define who may certify an unaccompanied homeless youth. The bill, which originally did not include ‘a Continuum of Care Lead Agency, or its designee’ as an entity who may certify an unaccompanied homeless youth, was amended by FCH with this language. This language ensures all unaccompanied homeless youth across our state are accounted for and appropriate services provided to. The Governor has signed the legislation into law effective July 1, 2017.

We recognize and appreciate all of your efforts statewide in continuing to work toward ending homelessness!

Robyn Andrews

Executive Director, Florida Coalition for the Homeless