Smart Path Fall/Winter 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to our quarterly newsletter. We create this resource for our partners to keep everyone informed on all things Coordinated Entry related. If you have a suggestion for a topic you'd like covered in a future newsletter, email Smart.Path@SantaCruzCounty.us. To access our previous newsletter editions, visit the resources page on our website smartpathscc.org.

HMIS Corner

Smart Path referrals are generated from people that are in the Community Queue (CQ). A participant gets on the CQ when an assessment is entered for them into HMIS and the button "Refer to Community Queue" button is clicked.

If a new assessment is needed for an existing participant, it's important to remember to first remove that person from the CQ. Otherwise, their original assessment will be tied to their placement on the CQ. This is problematic if participants get different scores when reassessed.

Follow these steps to ensure reassessed participants are accurately placed in the CQ:

1. Go to the participant's History tab and click on the edit button adjacent to the Referral: Community Queue line.

2. Scroll 1/2 down the page to the Remove from Queue section. Select Reassessed from the Reason for Removal drop-down field and select the appropriate assessment type (TAY, SA, or Family).

3. Enter new assessment and don't forget to click Refer to Community Queue.

"If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito." -Betty Reese

Creating a Community By Name List

A group of local leaders recently attended the latest Community Solutions Built for Zero conference in Denver and came back with some really great ideas for improving our Coordinated Entry System. First, in order to move towards ending homelessness, we need to systematically understand who is in need of housing in Santa Cruz County. The Smart Path team has been hosting CQ data cleanup meetings to review every assessed individual in our CQ, identifying and removing persons who are already housed, no longer in the county, deceased, or otherwise no longer needing assistance. A special Thank You to our partner agencies for helping us with this effort. We couldn't do it without you. When done, we will have a more accurate By-Name List to work with when targeting our efforts.

A "Smarter Workplan" has been developed to help guide us in a new direction of monitoring Smart Path's in and out-flow. New case conference groups are being developed and frequent communication will be disseminated about the CQ, referrals, and community-wide successes. Stay tuned for much more information on this!

Project Homeless Connect

The Smart Path team and our partner assessors recently hosted a table at the November Project Homeless Connect event held at the Watsonville Veterans Memorial Building. With the help of partners, we assessed and provided resources to 100+ participants. Additionally, 150 sleeping bags and 320 pairs of socks were gifted at the event. Thank you to those that took time from their busy schedules to help us help our community.

Shown in the photo on the left are Monica Lippi, Jackie West and Josie Montes, taking a quick break to smile. Housing Matters' Dedicated Intake and Assessment Specialist Brian Lands appears at the table doing a Smart Path assessment in front of our mountain of sleeping bags.

Provider Interview: Erika Cortes & Anissa Banuelos, Community Action Board - Youth Homeless Response Team (YHRT)

ML: How long have you been in your current role? Did you work with youth prior to your involvement with YHRT? If so, in what capacity? If not, what did you do before?

EC: I started working as the YHRT Coordinator in Feb. 2019. In my previous roles at the Educational Opportunity Program of San Jose State University and CASAs of Santa Cruz County, I worked with and around youth who have experienced a variety of life hardships. In these roles I discovered my passion for supporting youth in need.

AB: I have been in my current role (YHRT Case Manager) for a little over 4 months but have been with the agency for almost 2 years. Before, I didn’t work with youth directly, but I was working under the Youth Violence Prevention Task Force. However this was a collaborative initiative, and I never worked with youth directly.

ML: Please describe a typical day for you. Walk us through a day in the life of EC & AB:

EC: No two days in the life of Erika Cortes are the same (that’s one of the things that makes this job so interesting!). A guesstimated typical day would be coming into the office, greeting my team with a welcoming good morning and briefly check in about how we are all doing/what we have going on for the day. We try to start the day by checking emails, comparing schedules and possibly attend a partner or community meeting or two. When we think we are having a slow day at the office (meaning catching up with emails, data entry, case notes, contacting referrals/following up, etc.) we often have one or two youth pop in to check in and get items from our mini hygiene closet. On busy days the team and I meet with ~2-5 youth per day for case management and transport them if they need a ride that is relevant to their success.

AB: Walk in, check email, look at Calendar- this is to see if I have any meetings, or who I am going to see. Pull out file, see any notes or agendas that I need to review. Answer emails do some admin work. After seeing clients, work on case notes, data entry. Making sure HMIS is all up to date, check on referrals with all of our clients, update any outreach materials or events. Transport clients, if they need a ride.

ML: What is your favorite part of your job?

EC: My favorite parts of the job is that no two days are the same, experiencing different youth personalities and being able to connect with them in a meaningful way. Connecting and working alongside people who care about making the community a better place for all.

AB: Everyday is something different. Some days we are in the office, working on admin, the next we have participants coming in need of emergency shelter, because they have no idea where they are going to stay that night. We are able to provide different kinds of opportunities each day.

ML: Can you detail for us a recent challenge you’ve had on the job, or generally – what are your biggest challenges?

AB/EC: A recent challenge on the job is unable to serve all youth in Santa Cruz County, limited staff capacity, limited funding, Transportation- heavy impact on youth who have to attend other meetings, appointments, courts, work, etc; due to busy schedules sometimes we aren’t able to take our participants, and that is one of their biggest needs. AND the biggest challenge of all…finding actual affordable housing in the area.

ML: How about a recent success?

AB/EC: Within the last two weeks, we have worked with two youth who became stably housed. One youth graduated high school and one youth who never thought would make it to college, enrolled in Cabrillo College and will be part of the ACE program.

ML: Do you have anything else you’d like to share with the Smart Path community?

EC: First and foremost, thank you for all of your efforts in working with the system to make the housing process more efficient. Secondly, in my personal opinion there is still a lot more work to be done to make our system meet the needs of our community experiencing housing instability. Together, with time, commitment and advocacy we can make it happen! 😊

ML: Thank you for your time ladies. One last very important question - What's your spirit animal?

EC: Camelion (I tend to adjust to my environment as needed)

AB: Butterfly

If you know someone from our homeless provider community that you'd like to see highlighted in a future SP newsletter, please let us know by emailing Smart.Path@SantaCruzCounty.us

2019 Year-End Data


Single Adults: 1,095

Families: 313

Transition Age Youth (18-24): 89

Total: 1,497


Enrolled: 81

Denied: 225

Pending: 44

Total: 350

Move-in/Housed Data publication is planned for future newsletter editions!

Contact Us!

Referral Requests/SP Questions:

Monica Lippi, Sr. Analyst - 831.454.4108 Monica.Lippi@SantaCruzCounty.us

Other team members:

Jessica Scheiner, Sr. Analyst - 831.454.4088 Jessica.Scheiner@SantaCruzCounty.us

Leslie Goodfriend, Sr. Health Services Manager - 831.454.7543 Leslie.Goodfriend@SantaCruzCounty.us

Website: https://smartpathscc.org/

General Inquiries: Smart.Path@SantaCruzCounty.us


Created with images by Toby Wong - "Tent and supplies" • Christina @ wocintechchat.com - "untitled image" • Webaroo.com.au - "untitled image" • Pavan Trikutam - "vintage telephone on the wall."