June 6, 2022, The Community Advisory Council on Homelessness

The Community Advisory Council on Homelessness
Monday - June 6, 2022
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM


  1. Welcome/Introduction
  2. Announcements
  3. Presentation:

    1. Illinois Commission on Poverty Elimination Security by Dana Kelly, The Illinois Department of Human Services
  4. Home Illinois: Illinois Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness
  5. Implementing Work Groups:

    1. Functional Zero Projections
    2. Homeless Youth Subcommittee
    3. Public Housing Authority & Homelessness
  6. Advising the Illinois Task Force on Homelessness
  7. Public Comment
  8. Closing

Meeting Recording:

Community Advisory Council on Homelessness, June 6, 2022

Recording password: (This recording does not require a password)

Community Advisory Council on Homelessness Meeting Minutes

June 6, 2022 2:00pm-4:00pm

Virtual Meeting via WebEx Attendance:

Community Advisory Council on Homelessness Members Present:

  • Sandy Deters- Housing Coordinator with Embarras River Basin Agency (ERBA)
  • Otha Gaston - Lived Experience
  • Christine Haley- Chief, Illinois Office to Prevent & End Homelessness
  • Jennifer Hill - Alliance to End Homelessness in Suburban Cook County
  • Niya Kelly - Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
  • Brandie Knazze - Chicago Department of Family & Support Services
  • Marvin Lindsey -  Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois
  • Ron Lund - Project NOW
  • Tamela Milan Alexander - Collaboration on Child Homelessness, IL
  • Richard Monocchio - Housing Authority of Cook County
  • Brenda O'Connell - Lake County Government
  • Debbie Reznick - Polk Bros. Foundation
  • Veronica Reyes - The Resurrection Project
  • Susan Reyna-Guerrero - Covenant House Illinois
  • Carolyn Ross - All Chicago Making Homelessness History
  • Richard Rowe - CSH
  • Nicole Wilson - United Way

Partners/Guests Present:

  • Lynda Schueler -Housing Forward
  • Marc Raifman - Legal Aid Chicago
  • Megan Powell-Filler
  • Scott Austgen- DuPage
  • Shirley Alonzo- IDHS
  • Susan Day - Supportive Housing Providers Association
  • Todd Fuller - IDHS
  • Tina Rounds - Beds Plus
  • Veronica Torres Luna- IDHS Intern
  • Christine Hammond- IDHS
  • Dana Kelly- IDHS
  1. Welcome/Introductions

    • Debbie Reznick opened the meeting. State Plan has been completed; this is a huge accomplishment. Everyone at this meeting is part of getting this started and we want to thank everyone and acknowledge all your work and effort.
    • We are here because we understand the focus on interagency work and want to move forward with collaboration and coordination and ensure the strategic use of the influx of federal dollars
    • Debbie asked that during introductions everyone share an issue that you want us to focus on together or an idea to work together to improve collaboration.
    • Susan Reyna, Covenant House- addressing young people, youth homelessness, generational poverty, and what does functional zero look like for young people.
    • Carolyn Ross, President and CEO, All Chicago - finding the resources people need to get to a safe home. The System level to work collaboratively and not duplicate efforts. Not only in Chicago but statewide. Racial equity is an issue for all of us.
    • Jennifer Hill, she/her pronouns, the Alliance to End Homelessness in Suburban Cook County. The whole ideal of big goals we have set, how to work with urgency despite slowness of governmental processes. I feel a lot of urgency which has been crippled by the pandemic, but we have a great group that will act with urgency.
    • Otha Gaston- Focus on the community and people who have given up on the system, how can we reach them, develop trust in the system and get them back to the housing system
    • Brenda O'Connell, Community Development Administrator with Lake County, Unique opportunities of this moment with this new endeavor, the real opportunity is where systems interact with one another and where the gaps are when systems are interacting with each other. Break down the barriers the silos of government can create. Moment of onetime funding and how to make smart investments that have maximum impact.
    • Sandy Deters - ERBA in Southern Illinois- Many challenges that maybe aren't presented in the city and suburban areas. Getting programs and guidelines in place before they are announced and reporting mechanisms. Relax some of the guidelines on programs- not everything fits into one tunnel. Maybe education for landlords or advertising campaign.
    • Richard Monocchio, Executive Director of the Housing Authority Cook County. - We have the political will now at the state and county level and the city level in many places. It's a great opportunity to make something happen now. Be as intentional in ending homelessness for families and kids, like we were for veterans.
    • Richard Rowe - Hopeful that our role would be to allow for meaningful input, not reacting to things already in place without opportunity for input. Hopeful we get to the root causes and make some meaningful impact.
    • Nicole Wilson, Vice President of Community investment with the Heart of Illinois United Way in Peoria. - Embed us to be a clearinghouse for the state for new programs and put the reporting requirements into place. When a new program is going to be released in draft kick it to the Council to look at- we would look at what it would really look like on the street. Come together to release some best practice guidance for out state partners.
    • Brandie Knazze- great meeting - to see the priorities on the screen. I want to be a partner in this work and see us harness the data and understand and make decisions about it. Flexible housing pool is extremely challenging. Funding flexibility, flexible dollars so important when we think about the lessons we learned around congregate spaces and the spread of communicable diseases, not just COVID. Most funding does not support infrastructure. Create a new model and the possibility and opportunity over the next two years.
    • Ron Lund- focus on the policy changes when the state is more restrictive than what the feds require. It takes aspects of programs off the table that could be valuable.
    • Richard Monocchio - Pilot to successfully house 300 individuals leaving the criminal justice system for three years with comprehensive, supportive services - it is a novel way to focus on a particular population. Having housing and a job is 87 % effective to decrease recidivism.
  2. Announcements

    •  Did not address for lack of time.
  3. Presentation

    •  Illinois Commission on Poverty Elimination and Economic Security by Dana Kelly, Illinois Department of Human Services

      • Power Point Presentation
      • The goal, which is to focus on ending intergenerational transmission of poverty by addressing root causes of economic security, racial disparities, and other contributing social economic and cultural factors.
      • Commission goals:
      • Reduce deep poverty by 50% by 2025
      • Eliminate child poverty by 2031
      • Eliminate all poverty by 2036
      • Focusing on the first goal to cut the deep poverty by half, includes many in the homeless cohort.
      • Five Pillars of strategies
        1. The 1st pillar is to ensure Illinois is the best in the nation for raising families and that includes ensuring access to high quality, early childhood service.
        2. Strategic Pillar 2 is stabilizing homes and communities
        3. The 3rd pillar is the technical piece - how to expand access to the programs that we have in the state.
        4. The 4th pillar acknowledges that folks are living in deep poverty and are unable to work based on age or disability
        5. The 5th pillar supports trusted community-based providers to service the needs of those in deep poverty
      • Very much aligned in our work with the Homeless plan
      • Looking at what Chicago does with their cash assistance program
      • We submitted our plan to the Governor, and we are supposed to get a response around August 1, 2022. We hope it will include commitments in terms of budget.
    • Questions:
      • Q: Info around TANF- was there an ask to increase the TANF grant?
      • A: The intent is to reflect what advocates are asking for, it asks to consider how we can expand the dollars and relook how we are using our block grant.
      • Hopefully we can push this into something we can use in 2024
      • Q: How do 18-24 population fit into this
      • A: Two areas of focus - resources to help with mental health and trauma supports for youth and particularly youth encountering community violence. Addressing barriers to employment are going to be significant.
      • It may be good that some of our members attend Dana's meetings and vice versa so we have good coordination.
      • Comment: Good to see specialized supports for mental health and substance abuse.
      • Comment: Like to see something around the incarcerated and Higher education
  4. Home Illinois: Illinois Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness

    • Christine Haley: PowerPoint Presentation, quite a sense of urgency and thinking ahead to FY23/24.
    • Overview- This has been the fastest and consolidated project, we really worked together to get a plan in place. Met with all agencies as well as CoCs in the first months here. Held 16 listening sessions in the month of December. Two follow-up sessions with agencies and their staff to get feedback to prepare their agency to develop their plan and strategy.
    • Draft plan was released in March and had a community feedback session and had a public comment period on the plan.
    • We had over 400 people participate in this plan development from the community.
    • Was submitted June 1st to the Gov and general assembly.
    • 100 + activities. We have activities that are for expansion.
    • We wanted to get a baseline understanding that the state invested directly or passes through with federal dollars
    • Over 1/2 billion dollars that the state utilized to address homelessness. Does not include SNAP and those program benefits.
    • There are a number of activities throughout the plan that the community had a large impact on.
    • Community Input driving activities- commitment within IDHS monitor capital development pipeline for shelter development.
    • 15 M plan allocation (slide)-broad amounts but may change with implementation.
    • Reviewed the agency project slides
      • Questions:
      • Q: A study can take a while; how do you see this within 1 year of after this year? Can we use data that has already been created? Illinois had done some work around racial equity around housing.
      • A: The difference ids between reports vs. studies. the only study we are looking at is the guaranteed income pilot study which was recommended from the community feedback sessions. There are data matching processes we want to engage in. Once we set up the data matching the hardest part is complete and we can move forward in analysis. The work done by Housing Action is foundational and there is additional work we can look at around addressing black homelessness. Engaging state agencies to think about homelessness in a new way, to drive further engagement. Some work was done pre-pandemic for data, especially in addressing black homelessness. Roundtable from black leaders can help us think about this in an urgent and emerging way.
      • Q: The money for higher ed and community college. The original bill requires someone in the office to take on the role not a new person. SB190 the intent is to provide funding to support that implementation. Helping to support IDAG, implementation of the act and implementation of liaisons.
      • A: Yes, the intent is to provide funding to be able to support that implementation. If colleges need additional support, they would be able to apply for funding to support the addition of homeless liaison.
      • Comments:
      • Jennifer Hill: I see the process of how it grew out of the listening sessions. Most of us here know how these studies are going to come out- so what can we work on in the background. Medicaid waiver work …Its going to take operations and services to get going, funders at the state and city level need to know the dollar amounts. We need to set the wheels in motion it's the key to unlock the transformative money by knowing where those costs are going to be covered.
      • Susan Reyna- Give a shout out because there are great things in the plan - what should our marching orders be to carry out this plan, what role do we play to support this?
      • Sandy Deters: is there a priority of one program over another for funding, it is hard to imagine everything would be started at once?
      • A: We are working on developing the next piece of the implementation plan, most of the plan is going toward direct services and housing, this small portion (15 M) we hope has a large impact on resource allocation and lead to more spending. In the short time we had to develop the plan, we did not have enough time to get the functional zero projections. Our primary work right now is making sure the funding can get out the door. All 15 M went to homeless prevention line. We have to figure out how each agency gets their allocation.
      • Also, can we get some of the work groups started, and then we will continue to work over the next two years.
      • Brenda O'Connell - Having a system the is intentionally connected to housing sources while navigating the system. I'm excited about these ideas. I notice there are 3 different database system. Do they have the same ingredients, and can they be combined? Would there be an opportunity to work together? Might be helpful to investigate this. UniteUs can be a competitor to 2-1-1, so do we have to invest in both systems?
      • Tamela Milan-Alexander- appreciate focus on maternal mortality. Housing plays a big part in the stability of pregnant persons. How will those reports impact those families?
      • A: That is a question for IDPH, the task force can provide guidance. It was an activity that IDPH was working toward. Dr Tokars holds the seat on the task force - there are 6-7 people on IDPH who have been working on the plan.
  5. Advising the Illinois Task Force on Homelessness

    • This leads to a broader question of how the advisory Council wants to engage with the task force. Do we ask for written responses for these questions we have? We have to decide how we want to structure these activities. Before the next meeting how to prioritize. We can also invite people from these offices to come speak with us. I'm open for how you want to structure that feedback.
    • Debbie Reznick- Those of you interested in being engaged in some conversations before the next meeting to prioritize some of the work or make recommendations on prioritizing. We can also invite people from various office to come speak with us
  6. Public Comment

    • Mark Raifman Legal Aid Chicago - We want to play a supportive role and help trouble shoot, for example public health emergencies, public benefits. We have had a very underfunded social security system. We try to be the eyes on the ground and troubleshoot.
  7. Closing

    • How do we members get involved in these conversations that are going on. - We will come up with a formal response.
    • 3 committees
      1. Homeless youth subcommittee, 1/2 members have already been appointed by the gov
      2. Projections - discussions about the projections and figure out who would sit on a committee. These are workgroups convened, they are not subcommittees. Can only have a few people from the advisory
      3. Rich is a lead for the Public Housing committee
    • We have the hard job of creating something breathing and living from this executive order. Create something that is meaningful and important to people experiencing homelessness


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