14th Annual Training Institute

Ready for Zero: Innovative and Sustainable Solutions for Housing

May 12th, 2016, 7:45 AM – 4:30 PM 
Connecticut Convention Center, 100 Columbus Blvd, Hartford, CT 06103
The Annual Training Institute (ATI) is Connecticut’s premier capacity-building event for organizations working to prevent and end homelessness. At this event, CCEH provides training and information on best practices, national and state-level policy changes, and changes in major systems as they relate to ending homelessness.

Workshop Tracks

Z16 〉 Ready for Zero: Innovative and Sustainable Solutions to End Chronic Homelessness by 2016 

This workshop track provides proven strategies to optimize your community’s by-name list, target and prioritize housing resources, and accelerate the rate of housing placement.

Y 〉 Building Connections to End Youth HomelessnessCSDElogo_vertical_blue (4)

The federal goal of ending youth homelessness by 2020 will require new ways of thinking in identifying, engaging, and serving homeless youth and young adults. 

This track is sponsored by: Connecticut State Department of Education

〉 Connecting the Dots: Utilizing Resources Creatively to Meet Client Need 

This track focuses on inventive ways to utilize existing local and state resources to provide clients with the assistance they need.

〉 From Shelter to Home: Best Practices in Responding to Family Homelessness

This track focuses on some of the strategies for reducing trauma for families with children by responding to safety and service needs of families from shelter to housing.

HS 〉 Optimizing Outcomes for Housing Stabilization

Demonstrating the successful ways Critical Time Intervention (CTI), rapid re-housing and employment have been deployed in transitioning homeless veterans, people with mental illness in CT, families and individuals into housing.

The Power of Data: CT HMIS today and tomorrow 

With resources tight and communities across the state striving for ambitious goals of ending chronic and veteran homelessness by 2016 and all homelessness by 2020, the importance of accurate data has never been so apparent. 

Workshop Schedule:

Workshop Session A: 9:30 – 10:45 A.M.

A-1 Maintaining Zero for Veterans (Z16)

This year we celebrate the end of veteran homelessness in Connecticut. Esteemed panelists will discuss the significant strides we have made as a state and share the strategies and interventions integral to reaching and sustaining functional zero. Panelists will also share lessons learned and highlight what is needed to maintain the systems, supports, and resources to continue to do great work that has been done to end veteran homelessness in the state.

Lisa Pape, LISW, Connecticut Department of Veterans’ Affairs;
Commissioner Sean Connolly, Connecticut Department of Veterans’ Affairs;
Katie Durand, Connecticut Department of Housing.
Maureen Pasko, Connecticut Department of Veterans’ Affairs

A-2 Innovative Solutions for Ending Youth Homelessness (Y)(R)

This workshop will provide an overview of the community and statewide work being done to address youth homelessness across CT. The panel will present on the system that youth and young adults use to access information and get connected to services, including the findings of an in-depth assessment of this system conducted by the Youth Action Hub, a CT research center led by youth and young adults. In addition, the Torrington community will present on the collaboration between the statewide efforts on youth homelessness and the partnership of the school system and the local coordinated access network. Best practices will be shared to enhance efforts at the school and community level when addressing youth homelessness.

Mimi Haley, Ph.D., Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness;DCF Logo
Heather Mosher, Ph.D., Institute for Community Research;
Michelle Anderson, MSW, Education Connection and McKinney-Vento Liaison;
Angel Cotto, Youth Action Hub;
Natalie Garcia, Youth Action Hub;
Artemis Fontaine, Youth Action Hub.

This workshop is sponsored by the Department of Children and Families and is part of the Building connections to End Youth Homelessness track sponsored by the Connecticut State Department of Education.

A-3 Closing Beds, Opening Doors (F)

In 2015, 900 families entered emergency shelters across the state. Connecticut providers are finding creative solutions for ending family homelessness. In this workshop you will hear about two strategies for helping families find long-term housing sustainability. The Thames Valley Council for Community Action, Inc. (TVCCA) will present their process for transforming from a traditional shelter for families experiencing homelessness to a rapid rehousing facility. Inspirica, Inc. will present a person-centered model focused on providing stabilization services and community support to families exiting shelter.

Lisa Shippee, Thames Valley Council for Community Action;
Ida Parker, Thames Valley Council for Community Action;
Brenda Earle, Department of Housing;
Gabrielle Borba, Inspirica, Inc;
Noel Kammerman, Inspirica, Inc.

A-4 CTI and Chronic Homelessness: A Statewide Approach (HS)

DMHAS is currently implementing CTI as the model for working with chronic homeless populations as part of a statewide crisis response system. Through the use of CTI and housing first, stakeholders are redefining traditional service relationships and leveraging community resources to build a more comprehensive homeless service system, which incorporates the use of CTI case managers, employment specialists, housing specialist, SOAR specialist, and recovery assistants.

Kara Capone, New Reach, Inc;
Alice Minervino, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services;
Suzanne Wagner, Housing Innocations.

A-5 Digging the Data (D)

Ready to roll up your sleeves and dig into the data? At this workshop national data expert Katharine Gale and local data enthusiast Lauren Zimmermann of Fairfield County will present ways to understand and use system and program data to monitor progress and make decisions.  This workshop will include hands on activities using sample data to assess CAN and system performance and brainstorm strategies to use the data to improve impact. Includes a sneak preview of new data dashboards for CANs and communities!

Rebecca Allen, Melville Charitable Trust;
Katherine Gale, Katherine Gale Consulting and Focus Strategies;
Lauren Zimmerman, Supportive Housing WORKS.

Workshop Session B: 11:00 A.M. – 12:15 P.M.

B-1 Getting to Zero Through Coordinated Exit (Z16)

One of the key ways we will end chronic homelessness in Connecticut by the end of 2016 is through the development of innovative and effective practices to help people quickly exit homelessness and return to permanent housing. As we develop coordinated exit systems, we are learning what critical adjustments need to be made in order to make them more effective. Panelists for this session will share these lessons and discuss the best ways for you to evaluate and strengthen your coordinated exit system. They will also provide guidance on how to work through common challenges to improve the functionality of your coordinated exit process.

Veronica Cruz, Columbus House, Inc., United Way of Greater New Haven;
Leigh Shields-Chruch, LCSW, CAN Manager, Connecticut Department of Housing;
Jessica Kubicki, LCSW, Supportive Housing WORKS;
Sarah Fox, LMSW, Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness;
Dave Pascua, Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness;
Cindy Dubuque, LMSW, MAT, Partnership for Strong Communities.

B-2 Educational Rights of Homeless Students (Y)

This presentation provides an overview of the federal requirements the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act places on school districts to protect the rights of homeless students, including changes that go into effect this year. In addition to basic legal information, participants will learn about provisions specific to unaccompanied homeless youth and a newly created McKinney-Vento Toolkit.  Participants will also have an opportunity to apply the law to case examples and learn about helpful resources.

Kelly Bonafe, Greatre Hartford Legal Aid, Inc;
Lynn Cochrane, Greater Hartford Legal Aid, Inc;
Maria Morelli-Wolde, Greater Hartford Legal Aid, Inc;
Stacey Violante Cote, Center for Children’s Advocacy.

This workshop is part of the Building Connections to End Youth Homelessness track sponsored by the Connecticut State Department of Education.

B-3 Diversion Tools and Strategies: Using Client Strengths and Supports to Prevent Homelessness (R)

A key component of retooling our crisis response system, shelter diversion prevents homelessness at the front door by helping clients identify immediate alternate housing arrangements and, if necessary, connecting them with services and financial assistance to help them return to permanent housing. Diversion programs can reduce the number of families becoming homeless, the demand for shelter beds, and the size of program wait lists. Strategies for active listening, empowerment, and improving diversion outcomes will be addressed.

Mary Ann Haley, Ph.D., Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness;
Kara Capobianco, LCSW, Department of Housing;
Jomarie Vargas, Alpha Community Services.

B-4 Enhancing Shelter Environments for Families with Young Children (F)

Equipping shelters and other housing to better support the unique needs of families with young children is an important part of our work.  Ways to enhance environments include the Early Childhood Self-Assessment for Family Shelters Tool, which looks at physical conditions and basic needs, and Side by Side Learning, which offers clinicians, staff and students the skills to create a learning environment where parents and children learn together.  We will discuss each of these strategies, challenges to their implementation and successful engagement, and innovative ways to replicate in other facilities.

Barbara McLaughlin, Inspirica, Inc;Liberty Bank Foundation-horizontal-logo
Grace Whitney, Ph.D., MPA, IMH-E, Connecticut Office of Early Childhood;
Measi O’Rourke, Saint Joseph Parenting Center.

This workshop is sponsored by Liberty Bank Foundation

B-5 Evaluating the Rapid Rehousing Program (HS)

Want to hear feedback provided by Rapid Rehousing participants about how the program worked for them? Interested in learning the stories of families served? Evaluators from the UConn Health Disparities Institute will present final evaluation findings from a state-wide evaluation of Rapid Rehousing.

Aubri Drake, UConn Health Disparities Institute;
Bhumika Parikh, UConn Health Disparities Institute;
Emil Coman, Ph.D., UConn Health Disparities Institute;
Judith fifield, UConn Health Disparities Institute.

B-6 Using HMIS Data to Support Program Improvement (D)

This workshop will focus on ways providers can utilize data in HMIS to track progress and make program improvements. Brian Roccapriore will present an overview of the reporting functions that are available through HMIS. In addition, the Secure Jobs pilot has utilized CT HMIS to track implementation and use data to support program improvement. Through a collaborative effort involving funders, Secure Jobs evaluators and staff, Rapid Rehousing providers, CCEH, and Nutmeg Consulting, the CT HMIS has been enhanced to track participants and create customized reports on Secure Jobs clients and housing outcomes. Housing providers are now able to enter housing placement and retention data in HMIS. This workshop will review how the Secure Jobs project utilized CT HMIS, and how all CT HMIS projects can use the reports in the system to review data and program improvement.

Brian Roccapriore, Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness;
Nicole Barnofski, New Reach, Inc.;
David Bechtel, Cross Sector Consulting.

Workshop Session C: 2:30 – 3:45 P.M.

C-1 Getting to Zero: Jennifer Ho – Executive Roundtable Discussion (Z16)

 This session is for executive level leadership.

Jennifer Ho, Senior Advisor for Housing and Services at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will be meeting with executive level leadership from across the state on how we can effectively end chronic homelessness by the end of 2016 in a resource-constrained environment. She will provide a view from the highest level of the campaign across the nation to end homelessness and discuss the best practices she has learned to help us reach and maintain our goal of ending chronic homelessness.

Jennifer Ho, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

C-2 Queering Care: Supporting and Engaging LGBTQ Youth (Y)

This workshop will address the diverse experiences of queer and trans at-risk youth and equip participants with the language and conceptual understandings they need to provide informed and effective care to this population. The workshop will clarify best practices against a backdrop of evolving legal rights, healthcare politics, and the structural barriers to health and stability facing this population.

Elizabeth Larkin, Youth Continuum, Inc.;
Sarah Lipkin, VA Connecticut Health Care System/Errera Community Care Center.

This workshop is part of the Building Connections to End Youth Homelessness track sponsored by the Connecticut State Department of Education. 

C-3 The Benefits of Benefits: Successful SOAR Collaborations (R)

SOAR plays a crucial role in ending homelessness by increasing access to income for persons with disabilities. Navigating this complex process takes more than expertise – it can’t happen without collaborative partnerships.  Learn how successful SOAR providers in Connecticut are using these collaborations to create system change while helping clients.

Emmett Ruff, Journey Home, Inc;
Dawn Emerson, New Reach, Inc;
Elizabeth Protzman, Columbus House, Inc;
Betsy Branch, Corporation for Supportive Housing New England.

C-4 What You Need to Know About WIOA, the New Workforce Legislation (F)(HS)

Participants will learn from both a national and a local expert about the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) which is new legislation that has the potential of better serving youth and adults who have high barriers to employment. In addition to better understanding the fundamentals of WIOA and its planning efforts in Connecticut, some national employment best practices will be shared.

Rebecca Allen, Melville Charitable Trust;
Melissa Young, Heartland Alliance’s national Initiatives on Poverty and Economic Opportunity;
Jill Watson, Workforce Alliance.