For CoC/ Local Planning Group Representatives

Starting with the 2016 PIT count, HUD has issued a revised definition for “chronic” status individuals. VHA has devised sample questions and narrative guidance for PIT count surveys that incorporate the important aspects of the new definition.

As part of the federal Opening Doors Initiative to end chronic homelessness by the end of 2017, VHA is committed to helping the Commonwealth assist and house the most vulnerable of its homeless population.

Starting with the 2016 PIT count, HUD has issued a revised definition for “chronic” status individuals. VHA has devised sample questions and narrative guidance for PIT count surveys that incorporate the important aspects of the new definition.

Follow the link to access the recording of “Making the PIT work for you:  Using the PIT count to address chronic homelessness” from January 11, 2016.  Here is the webinar presentation to follow the audio.

Couple the PIT Count with a Registry Week.

Follow this Step-by-Step Guide coming out of the 100,000 Homes Campaign to learn how you can use this year’s PIT to develop a registry week or by-name list in your community.

Criteria and Benchmarks

The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and its 19 federal member agencies released criteria and a benchmark that define what ending chronic homelessness should look like.

USICH Chronic Homelessness Criteria and Benchmarks

Virginia’s Homeless Crisis Response System

Read VCEH’s report on The State of Virginia’s Continuums of Care published March 2014. VHA’s work will continue to support local efforts to improve community systems and the local response to homelessness.


Housing First Research and Community Examples

VHA summarized research on housing first and provides it to you with links to the original documents.


Permanent Supportive Housing

VHA published The State of Permanent Supportive Housing in the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2010 (updated in 2015) to summarize national and local research on the effectiveness of permanent supportive housing and to document permanent supportive housing programs in Virginia.  Permanent supportive housing will be a key resource in ending chronic homelessness in the Commonwealth.  See the goals and objectives section to find out how the Virginia Housing Alliance is focused on expanding Virginia’s permanent supportive housing stock and helping supportive housing providers build their capacity to deliver the crucial supportive services that our most highly vulnerable neighbors need.  Contact VHA to find out how your community can develop its permanent supportive housing stock.


Rapid Rehousing

A newer housing intervention built on housing first principles, Rapid Rehousing has become a mainstream model for helping homeless singles and families get into housing as quickly as possible.   Moving costs, limited rental assistance and case management attention help to address the issues that caused peoples’ homelessness and provide the best opportunity for them to sustain their housing going forward.   Here’s a quick one-pager on the fundamentals of rapid rehousing.


Improve your CoC and VHSP Applications

Federal and state funding for homeless services is becoming more and more competitive each year.  Federal HEARTH Act rules require communities to show through data that they have implemented homeless services systems that fit the unique needs of the local population experiencing homelessness.  In order to receive funding, all programs have to align with CoC, state, and federal priorities, and take advantage of all available mainstream resources to provide housing options for all people experiencing homelessness no matter the level of vulnerability or barriers to housing.  VHA can help your community during grant competitions to ensure that you are putting forward your strongest application and maximizing eligible funding.


Statewide Performance Measures

The federal and state government is requiring significant new levels of measuring outcomes of  homeless prevention and assistance programs. VCEH, in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, sought input from CoCs to design a set of statewide performance measures.  The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has published a uniform list of homeless service system performance measurements – found here.  VHA is working with the Governor’s Coordinating Council on Homelessness to rework its performance measures to better align with the federal measures and will request that local CoCs adopt these statewide measures.  For assistance in adopting these measures across your Continuum, contact Hunter Snellings, Director of Programs, at 804-332-0560.


 AmeriCorps VISTA   

VHA brought the Corporation for National and Community Service’s (CNCS) AmeriCorps VISTA program to the Commonwealth of Virginia to focus on preventing and ending homelessness at the local and state level. Virginia CoCs/LPGs and service providers can apply to host a member for a year through VHA.


VHA AmeriCorps VISTA Members provide critical capacity building support through:

  • Promoting permanent housing focused solutions to end homelessness
  • Improving data quality and use in decision-making
  • Building strategic partnerships that advance efforts to end homelessness
  • Engaging in special initiatives to end veteran and chronic homelessness


Click here to learn more about the project and how your CoC/LPG or agency can host a VCEH VISTA Member.