Engaging with Key State Agencies, Health Care Partners and Planners & Ensuring Medicaid Data Does Not Become an Obstacle in Working to End Homelessness
On October 17, 2018, Janel Winter with the NJ Dept. of Community Affairs and Taiisa Kelly with Monarch Housing Associates presented a workshop on “Homelessness and Medicaid Use: The Impact of Housing and Services” at the National Human Services Data Consortium (NHSDC) fall conference.
Click here for the workshop presentation.
The workshop was attended by over 50 professionals working to end homelessness from across the country who were eager to learn about the New Jersey research and who engaged in an interactive Q & A period with the audience.
New Jersey experts presenting included:
- Taiisa Kelly is a Senior Associate at Monarch Housing. Taiisa leads the Ending Homelessness Team where she works with local governments, nonprofits and community stakeholders in NJ to develop coordinated strategies to end homelessness.
- Taiisa spoke about the importance of determining what housing and services activities have an impact in ending homelessness, using them in future planning to end homelessness, and how-to best structure the system.
- She also presented the data from the Rutgers University Center for State Health Policy/Institute for Health, Healthcare Policy and Aging Research on the impact of housing and services/supports.
- Janel Winter is the Director of the Division of Housing and Community Resources at the NJ Department of Community Affairs (DCA.)
- Janel has also worked for New Jersey’s Department of Human Services and CSH in New Jersey as Associate Director.
- Janel spoke about the state’s pilot programs that are proving to be cost saving while also ending homelessness.
Kate Kelly who works with Monarch Housing’s Public Policy Team moderated the panel discussion.
During their presentations and the Q & A session with the audience that followed, Taiisa and Janel touched on the key themes and messages of:
- The importance of engaging with key state agencies, health care partners, and planners and begin the conversation at the local and county levels,
- This work can be helpful with hospital cost savings,
- Data is very important in helping continuums of care (CoCs) and agencies in thinking about the homeless system and other systems and creating a variety of services
- The importance of not getting stuck in the data or waiting for more data; data should not become an obstacle in the work to end homelessness and program development can be addressed while waiting for final reports
- What New Jersey is seeing in the problem of homelessness is not that different than what other states are seeing or across New Jersey county by county
- It is o.k. to try something new; not everything works the way you expect it to the first time around