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Smart Path to Housing and Health Summer 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to our quarterly newsletter. We create this 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 see our previous newsletter edition, visit: Spring 2019.

Trainings

Since the Human Services Department took leadership of Smart Path in Oct. 2018, we have trained about 100 new assessors. We also held a refresher training for seasoned assessors to answer questions, problem solve, share information on policy changes and tips for conducting assessments. Additionally, we contracted with LA Family Housing to provide a specialized training on diversion and housing location and navigation.

We are dedicated to continue offering trainings to our partners and are committed to provide new assessor trainings at least quarterly. We're also exploring the possibility of providing webinar &/or Train the Trainer options to be available between in-person trainings. The next new in-person assessor training is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 13, 2019, 9:00am-1:00pm. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more information to come!

Acknowledgement Corner

The Smart Path team would like to thank all those that helped at the June Project Homeless Connect event. 61 assessments were completed that day, and many backpacks and sleeping bags were provided to the community. We couldn't have been so successful without your time and energy and we hope you join us in the fall at the next Project Homeless Connect.

We'd also like to give a special shout out to Habiba Rotter. Thank you for filling in during Monica's maternity leave. You were exceptionally helpful! For all those that don't already know, Monica is back to work and ready to support partners with their Smart Path needs. Give her a holler!

Smart Path Data

FY 2018-2019 (7/1/2018-6/30/2019)

New Smart Path Assessments: 1,110

Housing Program Referrals: 276

Referrals resulting in persons moving into transitional housing: 47

Referrals resulting in persons entering permanent housing: 51

Current number of people on the Community Queue that are eligible for referral: 819

"Poverty is the worst form of violence." - Mahatma Gandhi

Contacting Roaming Assessors

Did you know we have five "roaming" assessors whose job is to meet clients in the field to conduct Smart Path assessments? If you know of someone who can't get to a dedicated Access Point to complete an assessment, please connect them with one of the following roaming assessors:

North County: Alejandro Grijalva 831.325.2904

South County: Monique Sanchez 831.763.2147

Families: Isaiah Vega 831.204.0255

Veterans: Evan Morrison 408.341.9040

Youth (18-24): Christina Salibi 831.465.4182

Focus Strategies

The County Administrative Office has contracted with Focus Strategies, a leading organization in homeless systems support and design, to assist community leadership and key stakeholders evaluate, align, and improve the countywide response to our local homeless crisis. Their phased technical assistance project will ultimately result in a design for a coordinated system-wide response to homelessness and an action plan to implement. Their final action plan is expected to be delivered by April 2020, however interim recommendations will be provided. Recommendations applicable to Smart Path will be shared at the Housing Work Group, Coordinated Entry Steering Committee meetings, and future newsletters.

Sharing Successes

The FIT CHAMP program recently had a great experience with a family that was referred to them through Smart Path in April 2019. The family - a dad, pregnant mom, and two year old son, lived in their car at the time of their referral. Although they got clean when the mom found out she was pregnant, the parents had burnt out all family and friend support due to prior issues with substance abuse.

The family had a daily routine. While the dad worked in the day, the mom took their son to 7/11 to use their microwave to heat up breakfast. She then took him to safe places during the day, such as the park and library. When the dad returned from work in the evenings, they all went to Starbucks so the little boy could access WiFi and play on his tablet.

The parents were very motivated to provide stability for their son and soon to be born baby girl and FIT CHAMP successfully housed them within two months of receiving their referral. When the grandma learned of all the help the family was receiving, she felt obligated to help also and bought them a couch for their new living room. Seeing the parents had cleaned up and were receiving assistance to improve their lives helped to rekindle family relationships and support.

Thanks CHAMP FIT for sharing this success story. Because our world is often dark and sad, it's important to highlight positive outcomes to the hard work you all do. If you have a success story of one of your referrals, please share with us for future newsletter publication by emailing Smart.Path@SantaCruzCounty.us.

Remember Your Resources

All Smart Path participants should be provided resources, regardless of how they score on their assessment. Below are two excellent county-wide resource directories that we encourage you to share with all homeless persons you come in contact with:

Santa Cruz Free Guide

Stepping up Santa Cruz

Save the Date!

8/15 - A Conversation to End Homlessness in Santa Cruz, Downtown Library, 6-8pm (1st Session)

1st & 3rd Tuesdays - Housing Workgroup Meeting, St. John's Episcopal Church (Aptos)

8/23 - Wings Annual Summer BBQ, Harvey West Park at Friendship Picnic area, 4:30-5:30 (invite your clients!)

8/28 - Homeless Action Partnership (HAP) Meeting

9/13 - New Assessor Training (Location TBD)

9/26 - A Conversation to End Homlessness in Santa Cruz, Downtown Library, 6-8pm (2nd Session)

10/3 - Coordinated Entry Steering Committee Meeting

Contact Us!

Referral Requests/SP Questions: Monica Lippi, Sr. Analyst, Human Services Dept. 831.454.4108 Monica.Lippi@SantaCruzCounty.us

Other Smart Path 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: smartpathscc.org

Hotline: (831) 454-4122

General Inquiries: Smart.Path@SantaCruzCounty.us

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monica lippi
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