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The Manifesto 2.0

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 defining who we were as an organization and coming to wild and inaccurate conclusions about where we were headed. As naive as it was in hindsight, it was born of a time and place where we needed to put our f...
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1472 Hits

An Open Letter to the WV Balance of State Continuum of Care on Prioritization

It’s come to my attention that despite continued training, technical assistance, and guidance on Coordinated Access, Prioritization, and Centralized Intake, we still have quite a bit of confusion as to the purpose and function of prioritization. Therefore, I want to take some time to clarify some things in a simple, straightforward way:

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589 Hits

WVCEH Seeks Qualified Applicants for HMIS System Administrator

The West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness, located in Bridgeport, WV is seeking qualified applicants for a Homeless Management Information System Administrator/Trainer. The position will work directly under the Executive Director, and in collaboration with the HMIS System Administration team, and be responsible for the successful implementation and management of the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).

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631 Hits

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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618 Hits

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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551 Hits

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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West Virginia Selected to Join National Campaign to End Veteran and Chronic Homelessness

West Virginia has been selected, along with 68 other U.S. communities, to  participate in Zero: 2016, a national campaign to end veteran and chronic homelessness in the next two years. The Campaign is being spearheaded by Community Solutions, a national non‐profit based in New York City. The organization said it would work intensively with Beckley, Charleston, Clarksburg, Huntington, Lewisburg, Martinsburg, Morgantown and Parkersburg, in collaboration with the West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness (WVCEH), to meet the federal goals set by President Obama to end veteran homelessness by Dec. 2015 and chronic homelessness by Dec. 2016. The initiative is a rigorous follow-­‐on  to the group’s successful 100,000 Homes Campaign, which announced in June that it had helped communities house 105,000 chronically homeless Americans in under four years.

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396 Hits

Killing them with Kindness?

Whenever I am talking to people about the need to prioritize the people most likely to die on the streets for housing, or if I get into a discussion about performance, data, and the need to limit rules and conditions for housing so we can get people off the streets, I usually get any number of responses, depending on the audience. Often, I get a “right on!” or the less enthusiastic “that makes sense”. But, when I look at the most frequent response I get, it would be something to the effect of, “Well, Zach, there are a lot of really good, kind, people out there in agencies doing their best”. By in large, I would agree that we have an absolute army of kind, concerned people helping homeless individuals and families the best way they know how. But often, I think we tend to confuse kindness and compassion with qualification and knowledge.

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724 Hits

What “The Walking Dead” Taught Me About Ending Homelessness.

I like “The Walking Dead”. A lot. And its mass appeal gives me the indication that a lot of other people do as well. So, what’s the appeal? I have my theories, but I think in many ways it’s less a story about zombies than it is about collaboration, and the human question, “what are we capable of becoming?” In desperate circumstances, what are the paths that we take as people that lead us to excel, fail, change, give up, or overcome. Watching the show actually stresses me out. It’s not one of my more relaxing hobbies, but I enjoy it nonetheless. But, there are definitely morals to the story that I think resonate with all of us. I know they certainly do me. So, I’d like to examine some areas in terms of ending homelessness where the show has given me insight (and I will speak in generalities, so as to not create spoilers for those who may be a season behind).

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488 Hits

The Manifesto

“So what is it that you actually DO?” I get that question a lot. Almost as much as I get the question, “Oh “Zach Brown”? Like the band?” And boiling down what we do into an “elevator pitch” (being able to explain your organization in the time it takes to ride an elevator to your destination floor) can be a tall order. Honing in on our identity as an organization and deciding where time is best spent is an ongoing struggle and an ongoing work in progress. It’s a question of vision, management, funding, and the ability to remain flexible and realistic. It’s the ultimate exercise in “switching gears”.

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669 Hits

The Obligatory Blog Introduction

“So, the Coalition has itself a blog, does it?” you may be asking. Well, yes, yes we do. It’s been a long time coming, and we fancy ourselves an opinionated, informed, progressive group of people, and a blog seemed the natural e next step in our ability to reach out to communities. As with all things we do, however, this blog will have some organization about it, and a purpose. In short, it will come with some general rules, both for the public and us. Not hard and fast rules, necessarily, but friendly ground rules and really more of a promise to you in terms of expectations and what purpose we want the blog to serve.

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481 Hits

WVCEH Blog

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...

wvceh twitter

Our Collaborative Application and Priority Listing are submitted to HUD! Happy Friday!

WVCEH has posted the CoC-Approved Consolidated Application for FY2018. You can access the application at our websit… https://t.co/quefu6f6eP

WV Balance of State Continuum of Care's Priority Listing for FY2018 Continuum of Care Funding has been submitted an… https://t.co/1iIzRKDz7y

We are also pleased to have on staff: Eric Miller, Outreach Worker, Mid-Ohio Valley (Parkersburg area) Larry Sewel… https://t.co/zFwLYuNtCi

New Careers Section on our website! If you want to join our growing team, keep checking back! https://t.co/JogXWJUAae

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