2011 July Newsletter

Issue: 11 July/2011
In This Edition

MCoC’s Semi-Annual Report

Agency Spotlight: Liberty House

Individual Spotlight: Nan Comai

AHAR: Following Recession, Homeless Stagnant

What’s New in the MCoC?

Click on any one of the following housing projects to receive more information:

85/87 Laurel Street

335 Somerville Street

Lowell Street Housing

Valley and Belmont

If your agency is developing or has recently developed housing for the homeless, please email [email protected] to have it listed on our website!

Thank You!
On July 19th, 2010, I started my AmeriCorps*VISTA service with the Manchester Continuum of Care.  I was fresh out of PSO (Pre-Service Orientation) and was a recent graduate of Southern New Hampshire University. Now a year later, I am preparing for the end to my service in AmeriCorps.  However, I am leaving with much more than I came in with – experience and knowledge in nonprofits, a better understanding of homelessness, new professional relationships and friendships, and, in my personal life, a marriage!  I can only hope I have left at least half of the wonderful things I have received during my service.  It truly was a humbling experience, both rich in professional and personal growth. I cannot thank all of you enough for the guidance, trust, and respect you provided me.  I don’t think I could have chosen a VISTA experience that was as rewarding as it was challenging.

Thank you!

Kyle Beaulieu, MCoC Coordinator/VISTA

Semi-Annual Report of MCoC
With the summer solstice past, and days slowly growing shorter (sorry for the reminder), it’s time to provide MCoC’s semiannual report.  This article summarizes that report, providing MCoC’s results and trends on (1) HUD’s 3 outcomes, (2) attendance at meetings and (3) volunteered hours in meetings and events.  While these may not be the best indicators to measuring MCoC’s progress, they are all currently being measured, and are readily available for reporting purposes.

HUD Outcomes: Jan ’11 to June’11

The following graphs chart MCoC’s monthly results for each HUD outcome, and compares that to MCoC’s and HUD’s set goal.  The bar furthest to the right in each chart is an average of the 6 month period.  (Click on the image to display the full-sized chart)

On average, 89.85% of permanent supportive housing clients remained in their programs over 6 months, which is 12.85% higher than both the MCoC and HUD goals.  Also, on average, 74.87% of transitional housing clients exited their program into permanent supportive housing, which is 9.87% higher than the HUD goal and 4.87% higher than the MCoC goal.  Lastly, on average, 23.35% of clients exited their program with employment, which is 3.35% higher than the HUD goal but is 16.65% lower than the MCoC goal.

Attendance and Volunteers: Jan ’11 to June’11

The following graph displays the attendance at General Assembly meetings over the past 6-months.  The bar furthest to the right in the chart displays the average attendance per meeting over that time span. (Click on the image to display the full-sized image)

During that same time period, the following statistics map the results from all meetings:

  • 40 meetings;
  • 343 attendees (~8 attendees per meeting);
  • 64 deduplicated attendees;
  • 37 agencies/organizations; and,
  • 293.50 hours, which is a value of $6,104.80.

In addition, between the two Point-in-Time Counts conducted during this period, there were:

  • 70 volunteers;
  • 59 deduplicated volunteers;
  • 20 agencies; and,
  • 254.10 hours, which is a value of $5,285.28.

In total (meetings and events), for the first 6 months of 2011, there were 547.60 volunteered hours valued at $11,390.08!

Summary of Results

MCoC’s results for the three HUD outcomes are very positive.  Exceeding all three of HUD’s set goals and 2 of MCoC’s set goals are accomplishments that can be attributed to all of the hard work that is not only being done in these meetings, but in each agency!

In addition to the positive results, when put into context, with the MCoC in the 10th month of its restructuring phase and the current dreary climate of State and Federal funding, these results really are remarkable!

Congratulations everyone!

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MCoC Spotlight
Agency Spotlight
Liberty HouseFounded as a non-profit in 1994 by Don Duhamel, Liberty House offers first-transitional housing, medical, and job assistance for homeless Veterans in New Hampshire. While Liberty House did not open and serve its first homeless Veteran until 2004, Don worked tirelessly with many public officials and Veteran’s Groups to secure funding and a facility for homeless Veterans, which is currently located at 75 West Baker Street in Manchester, NH.

All homeless ex-servicemen and women who were honorably discharged and who are committed to changing their lives are eligible for the Liberty House program. In their program, they provide meals, clothing, household goods, and case management to Veterans while guiding them towards permanent housing. If other services are needed, such as mental health counseling, substance abuse, or other mainstream entitlements, the Liberty House staff function as liaisons between the agencies that offer those services and the Veterans that need them.

One of Liberty House’s staple events is its Annual Run for the Shelter. Last August, Liberty House held its 10th Annual Run for the Shelter event, raising $1,400 for their Transitional Housing Program. The annual “run” consists of motorcyclists riding (under City and State Police escort) up to the New Hampshire Veterans’ Cemetery in Boscawen, NH. Once there, ceremonies of remembrance for fallen comrades are held, while gatherers reflect on their service to America.

Liberty House has continued to support the Manchester region and the Manchester Continuum of Care by providing Transitional Housing to homeless Veterans in need. They have also participated in the MCoC’s 2010 Project Homeless Connect, where they provided valuable information on their programs and services to homeless individuals and families, and volunteered for the 2011 unsheltered Point-in-Time Count.  For more information, visit their website: http://www.libertyhousenh.org.

Thank you, Liberty House, for your continued support and participation in the Manchester Continuum of Care!

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Individual Spotlight
Nan Comai, Development Director, New Horizons for NH

Nan Comai is the development director for New Horizons.  Nan acts as the liaison between the organization and the community.  She is responsible for developing strategies to meet set fundraising goals. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Organizational Management and has over 20 years of corporate marketing and event planning experience, which she has received national recognition and awards for.  She has expertise in streamlining processes to benefit a wide range of organizations and companies.

Nancy has a solid track record of executing a broad range of organized, successful, and efficient events utilizing volunteers. One of her most recent accomplishments is a volunteer kiosk system to centralize all volunteer correspondence, record food donations  and reporting, as well as keeping track of  food distribution from their food pantry.    In an effort to share their knowledge and experience with others in the field, Nan, Michelle Casale and Mary Silva presented this system at the Governor’s Council on Volunteerism, on May 17, 2011!

“As Development Director, I am committed to improving public understanding of the work we do at New Horizons,” said Nan Comai. “When Susan Howland asked me to take part in the Manchester Continuum of Care, specifically the Community Awareness Committee, I jumped at the chance to participate.”

“New Horizons has always been considered a leading advocate for the homeless, and an organization dedicated to providing essential services that people need.  Our facility, our people and our donor base are committed to serving those who come to our doors, no matter what the challenge, no matter what the need.”

Thank you, Nan Comai, for your continued support and participation in the Manchester Continuum of Care!

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Following Recession, Homelessness is Stagnant

In mid-June, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development presented its 2010 annual homeless assessment report (AHAR) to Congress.  The US Interagency Council on Homelessness subsequently released the report to the public.  The report shows a 1.6% increase in overall homelessness since 2009.  This comes as a surprise to most, especially as the economy has not fully recovered from the worst recession since the Great Depression.Families continue to take the brunt of the recession, even during the sputtering recovery, with homelessness increasing for families by 1.7%, and homelessness among persons in families in increasing by 2.2%; this is compared to a 1.2% increase in homelessness among individuals.Another indicator showed that, compared to a 0.1% increase in sheltered homeless persons, there was a 5.6% increase in unsheltered homeless persons.  Yet, positive news was found among chronic homelessness, which showed a 1% decrease from 2009 to 2010, which is part of a 4-year 11% decrease.

In an attempt to explain the stagnation in homelessness despite a recession, Nan Roman, president of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, attributes the federal government’s investment in homeless prevention and rapid re-housing efforts.  The 2010 AHAR is the first to capture a full-year of data from HPRP.

“…[HPRP] and local efforts to promote housing-based solutions staved off an increase in homelessness during an economically troubled time,” Roman said.

So, what’s next?

“[B]igger obstacles are ahead.  Not only is HPRP ending, but federal, state, and local budget cuts will arrest our ability to dedicate the resources necessary to prevent and end homeless in the face of rising need.”

While a 1.6% increase in homelessness following a recession is much lower compared to estimates and general expectations, Roman is on track in identifying that increased scarcity in resources will hinder many providers’ abilities in continuing to make significant progress in ending homelessness across the nation.  In addition, various trends in homelessness, such as a 5% increase in homeless sheltered families, a 3% increase in homeless sheltered youth, and a 3.5% increase in homeless individuals over the age of 50 (all from 2007 to 2010), illustrate changing demographics that will likely result in changing needs.  Services and programs will need to adapt to those changing needs, which will require resources.

The stagnation in homelessness across the nation could lull many into a dangerous trance of content; Roman, however, recognizes the need to continue efforts in ending homelessness, now more than ever.

“Now is not the time to become complacent; now is the time to rally to meet the challenge.”

For the full report, visit our Research and Reports page.

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Last month, HUD released each Continuum of Care’s score from the national competition program for 2010. For the 3rd consecutive year, the MCoC has increased its score, which is nothing short of amazing! These scores represent the MCoC’s overall performance and are based on several categories: CoC Housing, Services, and Structure, Homeless Needs and Data Collection, CoC Strategic Planning, CoC Performance, and Emphasis on Housing Activities. The following is a more in-depth look at the MCoC’s scores over the past 3 years, including what areas the MCoC has excelled in, and where the MCoC could use improvement.