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How Did We Get Here? The Past, Present, and Future…. Katheryn Preston Executive Director Georgia Coalition to End Homelessness, Inc. Georgia’s Involvement in Homeless Policy Academy Opportunities.

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How Did We Get Here? The Past, Present, and Future…

Katheryn Preston

Executive Director

Georgia Coalition to End Homelessness, Inc


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Georgia’s Involvement in Homeless Policy Academy Opportunities

  • Invitation in August 2001 to Governors and Chief Executives to apply to participate in these sessions.

  • Help states better coordinate access to mainstream health and human services for people experiencing homelessness


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Georgia’s Policy Applications Include

  • Application guidelines and criteria must include…

    • Letter of Support from Governor.

    • List of proposed State Team Members.

    • Include local level stakeholders.

    • Prepare a narratives that explains why the State is seeking to participate.

    • Clearly defined problem and roster of team participants.


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Improving Access to Mainstream Services for “Chronically” Homeless Persons

  • April 9-11, 2002 - Boston, Massachusetts

  • Georgia’s Team of 12 Members

    Terry Ball - Dept of Community Affairs

    Wayne Bland - Recovery Place Savannah

    Craig Burnette - Project CHALLENG for Veterans

    Juanita Blount Clark - Division of Family and Children’s Services

    Debra Elovich – Dept of Human Resources

    Scott Frederking – Office of Planning and Budget

    Earnestine Pittman – Fulton Regional Board, Division of Mental Health

    Karl Schwarzkopf – Division of Mental Health

    Mark Trail – Division of Medical Assistance

    Katheryn Preston – Georgia Coalition to End Homelessness

    Paul D. Bolster – Commission on Homelessness


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Guiding Principles and Values First Policy Academy Team

  • No wrong door, with the full service meal available at entry.

  • Efficient use of resources…what can we do with what we have.

  • Expand access to mainstream services.

  • Supportive housing for homeless individuals and those at risk.

  • Common definition of homelessness and capacity to collect data on homeless clients served.


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After We Left Boston…Next Steps

  • Determined Technical Requests

    • On example was a site visit from Baltimore Medicaid Outreach Program

    • Medicaid eligibility waivers

  • Engagement of the State Leadership

    • Department Heads, Governor, State Legislature

    • Resurrect State Interagency Council on Homelessness

  • Identify and Establish Key Strategies for Homeless Action Plan Outline

  • Identify additional Policy Team Members


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Key Strategies

  • Expand access to mainstream services

  • Execute Memorandum of Agreement between key state agencies (DHR/DCH/DCA)

  • Develop a local planning model of integrated housing and service delivery strategies

  • Double the State Housing Trust Fund Appropriations

  • Redirect some eligibility workers to include Medicaid eligibility work

  • High quality data collection and analysis reporting capacities

  • Explore recuperative center approach

  • Explore Mental Health/Behavioral Health Treatment Courts

  • Examine discharge plan processes

  • Training program for local providers on integrated service delivery model


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First StepsHomeless Action Plan

  • Assign Office of Planning and Budget cost/benefit analysis of current housing programs

  • Re-affirm the functions of the Georgia Interagency Homeless Coordination council by Governor’s Executive Order

    • Changes in Administration Delayed Process

    • Governor Sonny Perdue’s Executive Order on February 11, 1004

    • Co-Chairs of Georgia Interagency Homeless Coordination Council

      • Commissioner Mike Beatty, DCA and Commissioner B.J. Walker, DHR


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State of Georgia Homeless Action Plan Vision

Homeless persons have increased their independence and been restored to the mainstream of society because State and local resources have ensured optimal opportunities through the creation of an integrated and seamless system of quality services. As a result of these actions, the State of Georgia will have the resources to prevent homelessness, to transition homeless families back to self sufficiency and to end chronic homelessness within ten years.


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To Accomplish this Vision…

The State of Georgia Interagency Homeless Coordination Council (GIHCC) has six strategies/goals and accompanying activities of a Plan of Action.

See Policy Academy Notebook

Tab 2


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Presentation of Plan

  • Governor Sonny Perdue acknowledged the work of the Georgia Interagency Homeless Coordination Council on November 29, 2004

  • Challenged the Council to continue your work and begin implementation phases called for in the Homeless Action Plan


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Members of the Georgia Interagency Homeless Coordination Council Include

  • Representatives from:

    • Georgia Department of Community Affairs

    • Georgia Department of Human Resources

    • Office of the Governor

    • Georgia Department of Education

    • Georgia Department of Labor

    • Georgia Department of Community Health

    • Georgia Department of Corrections

    • Georgia Technology Authority

    • Georgia Association of Primary Health Care

    • Union Mission, Savannah

    • Georgia Coalition to End Homelessness

    • Criminal Justice Coordinating Council

    • Etc., etc., etc.


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Policy Academy Opportunity #2Co-occurring Disorders

Georgia sent a second team of experts

  • Cherry Finn, Adult Mental Health Program

  • Bruce Hoopes, Division of Mental Health

  • Khari Hunt, Research & Development, DHR

  • William Kissell, Georgia Dept of Corrections

  • Pierluigi Mancini, Ph.D. Treatment & Prevention of Addiction, Inc.

  • Mark Trail, Department of Community Health

  • Becky Vaughn, Georgia Council on Substance Abuse

  • Ken Whiddon, American Work, Inc.


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Focus on what you want to build, not what you want to change

Given Georgia’s current

Energy and interest in this issue,

Opportunity of new leadership,

Lack of meaningful data,

Unlinked services,

Desire to get as much “bang for our buck,”

We propose to build consensus around the following issues:


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We propose to build consensus around the following issues

  • Enhance workforce Capacity and Development

  • Standardize Screening and Assessment

  • Incorporate Evidence and Consensus Based Practices

  • Improve the System of Entry and Aftercare

  • Maximize Financing Options

  • Standardize Data Collection

  • Share Information Across Agencies


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Focus on what you want to build, not what you want to change

So that Georgia will have

Integrated, effective, compassionate, and culturally competent services for those with or at risk for co-occurring disorders


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Next Steps:

  • Expand team to include

  • Governor’s Office

  • State Representative

  • Public Provider

  • Homeless AP Representative

  • Parole

  • Division Director


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Next Steps Continued…

Schedule an all-day meeting

  • Update new members

  • Complete action steps and responsibilities

    Build a team to begin working on strategies and expected outcomes


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And Then There Was Policy Academy Opportunity #3

Action Plan for Families with Children Experiencing Homelessness in Georgia

April 20-22, 2005

Houston, TX


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Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Action Plan for Families with Children Experiencing Homelessness in Georgia


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Homeless Children and Families Team Roster

  • David Davidson, Department of Education

  • Cliff O’Connor, DHR, Division of Family and Children Services

  • Alex Ortiz, Office of the Governor

  • Rep. Judy Manning, Chair of Children and Youth Committee

  • Dawne Morgan, C&A Systems of Care, Div of Mental Health

  • Mary Ellen Brown, Division of Family and Children Services

  • Cynthia Davis, Georgia Dept of Labor

  • Beverly DeVoe-Payton, Dept. of Public Health

  • Paul Bolster, Regional Commission

  • Diane McCants, Metro Atlanta United Way

  • Joyce Dorsey, Fulton Atlanta Community Action Authority

  • Mary Hudson, Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence

  • Katheryn Preston, Georgia Coalition to End Homelessness

  • Michael Elliott – Union Mission-Savannah

  • Ann Howard – Division of Family and Children Services


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A Home for All Georgians

“There’s No Place Like Home!”


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How do we accomplish our Goal?

“Just Click Your

Heels Together”


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Priority #1: Build public and political support for improving access to mainstream services for families and youth experiencing homelessness.

  • Strategies

    • Secure the support of the Governor’s Office

    • Build an inclusive and strong infrastructure to ensure plan implementation

    • Create and disseminate a compelling case statement

    • Engage in and promote public policy advocacy


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Priority #2: Develop a comprehensive data collection and analysis reporting capability that strengthens families with children.

  • Strategies

    • Identify existing systems to determine available data

    • Create a profile of homeless families with children

    • Develop a comprehensive information system

    • Utilize data to tell success stories


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Priority #3: Propose and advocate for systems that ensure access to mainstream services for individuals and families at risk for homelessness.

  • Strategies

    • Provide resources for individual transitioning out of institution/system to prevent homelessness

    • Provide resources to strengthen families at risk of homelessness


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Priority #4: Expand accessibility and availability of affordable housing for homeless individuals and families in Georgia.

  • Strategies

    • Examine capacity and practices of housing that enable affordability and access

    • Consider promising models to ensure best practices

    • Identify funding sources for gaps and expansion of housing option

    • Develop resources for housing stability


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Priority #5: Homeless families will have services and support designed for their individual needs.

  • Strategies

    • Inventory available services and fill gaps

    • Access all homeless families

    • Streamline enrollment for benefits

    • Connect families to jobs


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Technical Assistance Needed

  • Use of technology to gather data

  • Use of technology to coordinate services and access

  • Need assessment tools

  • Copies of RFPs


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Next Steps

  • Draft Action Plan for review by full team

  • Briefing of Agency Sponsors

  • Presentation at In-State Policy Academy

  • Presentation to Interagency Homeless Coordination Council


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“Over the Rainbow”


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