Homeless Services Planning Committee (HSPC) – A monthly meeting that serves as a venue for providers, housing developers, and other stakeholders to share information, discuss current issues and prepare for the annual NOFA submission. Meetings are open to the public, and take place on the 2nd Thursday of every month in Cambridge. (See our calendar for more information.)
Emergency Solutions Working Group – Meets quarterly to focus on crisis intervention, prevention, rapid rehousing, shelter, drop-ins and outreach project topics, as well as annual street census planning.
HMIS Working Group – Meets quarterly to focus on oversight and operation of the Homeless Management Information System.
CoC Board — Meets quarterly to oversee the work of the CoC and its subcommittees listed above.
Cambridge is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to create a five year Consolidated Plan for the use of its CDBG, HOME and ESG grants. The Cambridge CoC coordinates with the City’s Community Development Department to report on the CDBG and ESG portions of the plan.
Charrette on Homelessness
In September of 2015, the Cambridge CoC partnered with the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) to facilitate a community planning process on homelessness. The event took place over three days, and followed a model that maximized a facilitated, time-limited, focused community engagement. Please visit our Storify for a snapshot of the conversations or our summary of charrette week. The results will inform the citywide planning process to address homelessness in Cambridge.
The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act was enacted by Congress in 2009 and represents several important changes to the legislation and administration of homeless assistance programs. The provisions of the HEARTH Act inform how CoCs must approach and improve working to end homelessness in their communities, with the most notable emphasis on:
- Improving the crisis response system to prevent episodes of homelessness and rapidly house persons who have recently become homeless
- Shifting from a focus on individual programs’ performance to an entire community’s performance
- Increasing the attention on outcomes to inform programmatic decisions
Federal Strategic Plan to End Homelessness
In 2010, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) released the first comprehensive federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. The elements and goals put forth in the plan are closely tied to the HEARTH Act. It is focused on four primary goals:
- Finish the job of ending chronic homelessness
- Prevent and end homelessness among Veterans
- Prevent and end homelessness for families, youth, and children
- Set a path to ending all types of homelessness