March 8th Event Underscores Need for Collaboration
Gino Lewis, Annemarie Uebbing and Charles Ansert
On March 8, 2012, the Southern NJ Regional Continuums of Care hosted the HEARTH Act: The New Normal Collaborations between Housing Authorities & Continuums of Care, at the Camden County Boathouse in Pennsauken, NJ. Annemarie Uebbing, the director of HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development was the keynote speaker. More than 100 leaders from four Continuums of Care as well as from Public Housing Authorities attended the event.
Ms. Uebbing provided an overview of the HEARTH Act and the need for greater collaborations between CoC’s and Housing Authorities. Click here for her full presentation.
She quoted Ann Oliva, the director of HUD’s Special Needs Assistance programs (SNAPS) office who said in her March 5th email:
Conduct an analysis to determine which partnerships within your community work well and which need more attention and focus. For example, can the relationship between the Continuum of Care and the Department of Education’s Homeless Liaisons or the local Public Housing Authority be strengthened? Is their expertise being fully utilized to meet the needs of homeless and at-?risk individuals and families?
During the discussion several suggestions were made on how CoC’s and housing authorities can find common ground and work together to end homelessness.
This was the second event hosted by the Southern NJ Regional Continuums of Care. Last October a full day conference was held to discuss the impact of HEARTH. Based on both discussions, Gloucester County’s CoC circulated a letter that stated:
Gloucester County has been reviewing the implications of this act, specifically as it relates to Governance, System Evaluation, CoC Coordination and Collaboration and finally funding. HUD is offering incentives to consider merging with another CoC.
Gloucester County is interested in exploring the possibility of a merge and would like to know if you are interested as well. Please let me know by April 11, 2012 if your CoC would consider a merger.