Monthly Archives: April 2013

Registry Week: Volunteers Needed

How’s Nashville is all about involving the community. The campaign is driven by community collaboration, and we need your help.

We are recruiting volunteers for Registry Week. In particular, we still need about 100 volunteers to help survey people in the early mornings of May 29-31.

Please sign up here, and help us spread the word. You can click the following link for a volunteer flyer to print and distribute at your place of worship, work and among your friends and family: HowsNashville_volunteer_flyer.

All volunteers are required to participate in a training session on Tuesday, May 28, from 5:30-7 pm.

Surveying will take place Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 3:30-5:30pm (May 29-31) in and around Downtown Nashville. We will have all information for you during volunteer training.

We also are looking for people helping with data entry. All times are listed on our sign up form.

Training for all volunteers (on May 28) and the survey headquarters will be set up at the Randee Rogers Training Center, 1419 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville, TN 37208.

For more information, please call Judith Tackett with the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission at 615-880-2360 or email her at Judith.Tackett@nashville.gov.

About Registry Week:

The Registry Week’s purpose is to create a local Vulnerability Index. While Nashville has completed its first Vulnerability Index in fall of 2008, the community decided that it was time to update it and conduct a new Registry Week at the launch of our renewed effort to end chronic homelessness in our city.

How’s Nashville aligns itself with the national 100,000 Homes Campaign that aims to permanently house 100,000 chronically homeless and vulnerable individuals and families by July 2014. Nashville is off to a good start, but we need your support and your help to succeed. Please sign up to volunteer for Registry Week.

Volunteer flyer

Promising Strategies Series: Vulnerability Assessment Tool (VAT)

Our Promising Strategies Series blog entries are intended to offer a brief overview on specific approaches to end homelessness. We will post links to external sites where you can find more in-depth information.

Representatives from DESC out of Seattle, Wash., were in Nashville from April 24-26 to train a group of service providers on the Vulnerability Assessment Tool (VAT) that will further help determine who in our community is most vulnerable and in dire need of housing.

DESC developed the VAT about 10 years ago and applied it at its main shelter to determine who needs a bed for the night most urgently. The tool allows programs to give priority to people who are extremely vulnerable if left to fend for themselves.

The VAT rates a person’s level of functioning and health and includes other specific characteristics to determine individual safety. More specifically, the VAT examines 10 different areas to measure vulnerability:

  1. Survival Skills;
  2. Basic Needs;
  3. Indicated Mortality Risks;
  4. Medical Risks;
  5. Organization/Orientation;
  6. Mental Health;
  7. Substance Use;
  8. Communication;
  9. Social Behaviors; and
  10. Homelessness.

Click the following link for an introduction to the Vulnerability Assessment Tool.

DESC has a close working relationship with the University of Washington and a research evaluation conducted on the VAT in 2010 concluded that the tool holds “strong properties of both reliability and validity.”

We are honored that DESC representatives travelled to Nashville to train a select group of outreach workers and service providers in utilizing the VAT properly.

How’s Nashville plans to use the VAT in conjunction with the Vulnerability Index (VI). The VAT goes into more details while the VI mostly relies on self-reporting. Utilizing the VAT will give us an extra layer to help determine who among our neighbors living in the streets and shelters are most vulnerable. We plan to prioritize housing, starting with the most vulnerable and chronically homeless individuals in our community.

About DESC: The Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) is a nonprofit organization based in Seattle that works to end the homelessness of vulnerable people, particularly those living with serious mental or addictive illnesses.  Follow the link to read DESC’s full mission statement.

Promising Strategies Series: Critical Time Intervention

 

Our Promising Strategies Series blog entries are intended to offer a brief overview on specific approaches to end homelessness. We will post links to external sites where you can find more in-depth information.

Critical Time Intervention (CTI) is a time-limited case management model that focuses on assisting a person transitioning from a shelter, hospital, prison, or other institution into a permanent living situation. The program is structured in three phases each lasting about three months.

The following table is copied from an online paper describing CTI: (http://www.criticaltime.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/cti-handout4.pdf)

Phase Transition Try-Out Transfer of Care
 Timing  Months 1-3 Months 4-7 Months 8-9
 Purpose Provide Specialized support &   implement transition plan Facilitate and test client’s   problem-solving skill Terminate CTI services with support   network safely in place
 Activities
  •   CTI   worker makes home visits
  •   Accompanies   clients to community providers
  •   Meets   with caregivers when necessary
  •   Gives   support and advice to client an d caregivers
  • Mediates conflicts between client and caregivers
  •   CTI   worker observes operation of support network
  •   Helps to   modify network as necessary
  •   CTI   worker reaffirms roles of support network members
  •   Develops   and begins to set in motion plan for long-term goals (e.g. employment,   education, family reunification)
  •   Holds   party/meetings to symbolize transfer of care

CTI was developed in the early 1990s by Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute to assist transition people with mental illness from institutional settings to community living.

The model works in two ways:

  1. CTI offers individualized support to ease the transition from an institution to permanent housing; and
  2. It helps develop and strengthen individual’s long-term relationships with support networks such as family, friends, and community service.

The goal is to prepare people to access support services without the intensive care of a case manager.

For a more thorough overview of CTI, visit the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness’ Solutions Database. (http://www.usich.gov/usich_resources/solutions/explore/critical_time_intervention_cti/)

Additional resources can be found at the following links:

Critical Time Intervention (http://www.criticaltime.org/)

SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/ViewIntervention.aspx?id=125)

Critical Time Intervention Training and Evaluation from the Center for Social Innovation (http://www.center4si.com/projects/projects.cfm?project=f0fa1046-ba1d-485d-ab3f-24e018e3e694)

Volunteers needed for Registry Week

How’s Nashville is looking for dedicated volunteers to help survey individuals experiencing homelessness in our city during Registry Week, which is scheduled for May 28-June 4.

The surveying takes place in the early morning hours from 3:30-5:30, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

We are also in need for help with data entry during those three days and offer two shifts from 8-11am and from 11am-2pm.

Volunteers are requested to participate in a volunteer training on Tuesday, May 28, from 5:30-7pm. We also invite you to a community brief-back at 10:30am on June 4 in the Downtown Library.

Please sign up to volunteer online.

Registry Week is an effort to help our campaign identify the most medically vulnerable individuals who experience homelessness in our city. Once people have been surveyed, our volunteers will help enter the data into the Vulnerability Index. The Vulnerability Index allows providers to determine housing priority based on people’s medical fragility. Our goal is to prevent further deaths in the streets of Nashville. That’s why the How’s Nashville campaign partners determined to use this tool and start by focusing on housing the most vulnerable individuals and individuals who fit the description of chronically homeless.

The information of the Vulnerability Index will be used according to strong confidentiality standards. Other cities including Nashville that have aligned itself with the national 100,000 Homes Campaign have created a team of local service providers who meet weekly to help house people in need quickly.

How’s Nashville follows the Housing First principles, which moves individuals or families from the streets directly into permanent housing and links them with needed services. Bringing together a core team of service providers helps determine what type of services need to be provided to keep people housed longterm.

If you want to be a part of How’s Nashville and help us end chronic homelessness in our city, please volunteer for Registry Week.