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Judgment Goes Both Ways

I’ve learned a lot since my direct service days in a family shelter from 2003-2009. Fresh out of college with big ideas and a big heart, I put all of myself into my work as a case manager for children and adults, a Housing Counselor and a grant writer. Now, in hindsight, I will admit that I did a lot of my direct service work pretty poorly, though the best I knew at that time. I focused on housing readiness, I focused on life skills, I focused on stuff; I knew I needed to provide my clients with everything they needed to get back on their feet. I claimed to have a housing focus, but only after my families were "ready" for housing. What I did do well was love them. I followed up with them when they left. I did not want them to come back and my biggest failure was to see a family re-apply for my programs.

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The Kinetic Point in Time Count

Prepare your quiver of buzzwords, because we’ve just minted a new one (reader, beware, jargon ahead). We are a Balance of State Continuum of Care. We cover a huge area (44 counties of West Virginia’s 55 counties). Historically, we have a really shitty Point in Time Count (shitty=15 counties out of 44 returning some semblance of hard survey data). We don’t like that. So, if we are going to continue to have a shitty Point in Time Count, we’ve decided there will be some purpose behind. That being the case, our Assistant Director, Amanda Sisson, had a late-night idea about how we can change things (insomnia CAN be good).

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Plain Zero Part 1

Did you see the recent story about Vegan hot dogs? Some of those tested were found to have several ingredients that were neither vegan, nor particularly hot dog-like, including human DNA (which is really weird). I’m not a vegan, but if I were, I would be asking some questions about this. Particularly given the fact that I had chosen veganism for specific health, moral, or ethical reasons. What’s this have to do with ending homelessness? A lot, I think. I chose this work (like you may have, I presume) based on specific moral or ethical reasons. I believe I have a debt to those I serve and a job to accomplish. I believe that the clock is ticking and people’s lives are potentially in my and my staff’s hands. I think that nothing replaces the need for expediency, diligence, and forthrightness in conducting this work. I believe that housing is key to ending homelessness. I accept no substitutes.

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More than Just Charity

I’m sort of a social-media-butterfly. I love Facebook to connect with our friends and family, Instagram to show off my wanna-be-photographer skills and I’m learning to Tweet with wit.

Always the shopper and always looking for a good deal, I follow (on Facebook) several [Insert County Here] Online Yard Sale pages; my home county, and a couple neighboring counties. Last Friday, I stumbled upon a post on a neighboring county’s yard sale site that gave a lot of details about a man who is living in an old travel trailer with no heat, water, or utilities. The closing line of the post was “he’s been building fires to stay warm.” There were 237 comments under this post of well-meaning citizens offering clothes, blankets, propane fuel, wood, food, and any other myriad of “stuff.”

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Spaghetti at McDonalds?

Zero:2016 follows a proven model that works to end homelessness, particularly chronic and veteran homelessness.  After working with nearly 200 communities throughout the United States end homelessness, they have developed an outline, or how-to-guide, on how to organize your community to determine how much housing you have and how to move people experiencing homelessness into that housing. A way to, in fact, maximize on the housing you have available and make a case for additional housing resources while you’re providing housing  for the most vulnerable persons needing it in an incredibly simple format.

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October 02, 2017
Around 2013, I wrote a Manifesto. I wrote it out of anger, at a time when I was done with other people, organizations, and entities constantly definin...
February 15, 2017
What is Housing a First? Why should I (or my agency follow it)? Where is proof that Housing First works? But, Michael...it's really hard to implement?...
August 31, 2016
A few months ago, I was invited to a homeless awareness event where people would be sleeping outdoors for the night in an effort to understand the pli...

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Are you looking for flexible funding to help end homelessness in your community? The Federal Home Loan Bank of Pi… https://t.co/2hZLgvUnKM

📢 UPDATE 📢 The deadline has been extended to May 15, 2019 for agencies wishing to apply for Continuum of Care Fundi… https://t.co/Avwgc81QnZ

Some words of wisdom for us from our dear friend, Iain DeJong, for all of us working in this field.… https://t.co/zDlJYNxBI6

FHLBank Pittsburgh's Affordable Housing Program can provide up to $750,000 for affordable housing projects in West… https://t.co/fFcrbioVyZ

WV Coalition to End Homelessness | PO Box 4697, Bridgeport, WV 26330 | 304-842-9522 | info@wvceh.org | website by brickswithoutstraw