The following is taken from the Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless (CSAH) websites About Us page!
We are sharing this now in order to solicit & engage in a discussion about the “Charter” for the CSAH & where the limitations are spelled out for how the community is engaged in the efforts to end homelessness.
Not shown on the CSAH website is the contract for members of the CoC (Continuum of Care) as required to support an organization that can be included in submitted responses to CoC Competitions (NOFA) every year for HUD & other Federal provided funding.
Inherent in this review is the question of why any organization in the community who delivers services intended to meet the goal of ending a persons homelessness or supporting their basic human needs in pursuit of that goal cannot be part of the Ten Year Plan, the CoC or Homeless Authority operational committees or otherwise engaged meaningfully with the other organizations thru the auspices of the CSAH (for purposes of coordination & collaboration) if they do not desire to be part of the CoC Competition (i.e. they do not desire to be funded by the awarded Federal or other government grant money)!
It is unclear whether the combination of the Charter & contract for CoC membership spell out the complete & sufficient regulations for being a part of the solution to end homelessness in a community & therefore part of the Strategic Plan (Ten Year Pan) also required by HUD to qualify for Federal funding.
We need to get to this level of discussion in order to determine why the CSAH operates with a membership requirement (adhere & sign the contract to be part of the CoC). Are the terms of that contract supporting membership from “outside” agencies?
Is CoC “membership” required to deliver services included in the Ten Year Plan (new plan is to be developed for 2014)!
We also need to know how & when the CSAH can exercise control in executing the Plan (covering a full ten years) & whether the plan can be modified during the life of the plan & decisions made to alter the plan or show cause why the plan should not be altered.
Ultimately, altering the Plan should include changes in funding for programs that are not meeting their desired & committed outcomes, i.e., not performing as specified during the life of the plan, in fact in yearly reviews to be measured to adherence & delivery of the outcomes to make the ten year plan effective at its goal of ending homelessness during its life.
There are in fact some communities who are making strides in ending homelessness in ten years & measuring their progress, adapting the plan & implementing new programs during the life of the plan.
The bottom line is someone has to be held accountable for making the deliverables & commitments made in a ten year plan a reality.
If we don’t make the goal of ending homelessness in a given ten year timeframe we must understand why we have not reached the goal of the ten year plan before we make a new ten year plan!
In Savannah, we are at a crucial point in the process of reforming our CSAH to take into consideration recommendations made by an Assessment Report.
We are also ready to embark on a process to develop our next Ten Year Plan & are at a crossroads in deciding the whether this new pan will be developed “for” the community or “with” the community at the table, making commitments of resources not to be sought from the government but from the community!
We can either decide to reform our CSAH to accomplish a broader responsibility TO the community for addressing homelessness, continue to allow them to function as an organization solely responsible for submitting grant requests to the Federal or State governments only & then create another entity to gather the commitments of the rest of the community to address homelessness on their own!
Here are a set of questions to get us started on some of these decisions asked for above:
- What are your thoughts on this conundrum?
- Who should be making these decisions?
- How should we evaluate the recommendations of the Assessment Report, as a community or just by the stakeholders who paid for the consulting efforts that produced the report?
So now, for your review & use in formulating comments to the above questions & observations, is the text of the About Us page on the CSAH website, as of March 16, 2013:
The Homeless Authority is a regional leader in the State of Georgia for the coordination of poverty and homeless services and has both a state and national reputation for developing unique and innovative collaborations. As part of its mission, collaboration is central to the delivery of community-based programs that focus on the inherent value of all individuals.
As a proven leader, and deeply rooted in the area, the Homeless Authority has collaborated and developed a continuum of services centered around child and family development, housing development, outreach, case management, education, training, literacy, employment, health and nutrition, transportation, and behavioral health services.
The organization places over 80 employees in a variety of programs through 20 separate contracts. The annual budget for the organization is $3.1 million dollars, and the Continuum of Care serves over 4,000 individuals and families each year.
Vision: A city free of homeless people
Mission: To partner with service providers and the community to help assist the homeless and those at risk of homelessness reach self-sufficiency
Purpose: The Georgia Legislature created Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless in 1989 to accomplish the following:
Develop a comprehensive plan for public and private agencies to deal effectively with the problems of homeless people in Savannah and Chatham County.
Coordinate, evaluate, and provide administrative services and assistance in implementing the plan.
Contract with public and private agencies to approve programs and services developed in the plan.
To offer services, including case management, employment training and referral, and other related services to homeless persons so long as such services do not duplicate services offered by other programs.
To provide uniform basic standards and practices for organizations offering services to homeless people.
via About Us.