Linked below, please find the Maine Homeless Policy Committee materials from today’s meeting, including the agenda, the April minutes (approved in today’s meeting), and an updated version of the Federal and State Legislation Update.
The next meeting is on Friday, June 7th at 3pm. As a reminder meetings are regularly held the Friday before the Statewide Homeless Council meets at 3pm via conference call.
Below is a message from Greg Payne from the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition (MAHC) with information regarding a sign-on letter (NDD Maine Sign on Letter – FY18 Budget) to Maine’s delegation underscoring the importance of non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs, and asking that these programs be adequately funded for FY18 by continuing the bipartisan practice of providing relief from sequestration budget cuts, with parity for defense and NDD programs. This would mean that any sequestration relief for defense programs is equally applied to NDD programs – including HUD programs such as Section 8, McKinney Homeless Assistance Grants, HOME, CDBG, and other programs that are vital for people experiencing homelessness. I was hoping that this could be forwarded to the three Regional Homeless Councils, the Maine CoC, and ESAC so that participating agencies have the opportunity to sign-on to the letter, the deadline for which is Wednesday, November 1st. Without Congressional efforts, sequestration would cause HUD to lose somewhere between 10-15B in the FY18 budget, which would mean significant cuts to programs over FY17.To sign on, people can just email Greg with permission to add their organization’s name (). Thank you.
MAHC members and friends:
As we have discussed for many months now, the FY18 federal budget is a seminal issue that will have profound effects on the work we do and the people we serve. In particular, Congress’ upcoming decision on how to handle “sequestration” budget caps will likely determine whether the federal programs which provide key funding for affordable housing development, preservation, rental assistance, public housing, homeless services, weatherization, heating assistance, community development block grants and other key programs will see devastating cuts. It will also determine whether other important non-defense discretionary programs, such as those which ensure that we have clean air and water, nutritional supports for seniors, and public health protections, will see similar harmful reductions.
The Maine Affordable Housing Coalition is partnering with other statewide and regional organizations across Maine in an effort to make sure that our Congressional delegation continues to support sequestration relief with parity – that is, relief that is shared equally between defense and non-defense discretionary programs. This principle has helped to ensure that program cuts over the past six years were not even more harmful than they’ve been. How this is addressed in the FY18 budget (currently in a continuing resolution until December 8th) will be a very important moment for our work and our nation’s overall domestic health.
We ask that you please take a moment to read the attached, brief letter to our Congressional delegation and consider signing your company or organization on, by sending me a quick email with your organization’s name and city or town. The deadline for sign-on is 5pm on Wednesday, November 1st. We hope you will also share this email widely with your own colleagues and partners.
This sign-on letter will be delivered to our delegation in November, in an effort to help them understand the widespread, cross-sector support that exists in our state for these critical non-defense discretionary programs.
Thank you for your help, and please let me know if you have any questions!
Please see the message below from Cullen Ryan regarding revisions to Maine’s Plan to End and Prevent Homelessness:
Attached is the latest version of Maine’s Plan to End and Prevent Homelessness for final circulation to the RIHC, RIIHC, RIIIHC, MCoC, and ESAC. This is the revised version draft, which is close to being finalized. Input and feedback is still being sought and incorporated through Friday afternoon 6/9. Proposed amendments will have been reviewed in all three Regional Homeless Councils by then, and briefly discussed at the MCoC and ESAC. It was circulated and posted on the Maine Homeless Planning website three weeks ago. Feedback received since then has been incorporated into this version.
In general, the amended version largely streamlines and simplifies the earlier version by combining all of the populations under the same four goals, shortens the document’s length by some six pages, makes the objectives present tense vision statements and the strategies future tense action statements, improves the population visual charts to make the flow of activity more apparent and so each could stand on its own as a picture of what we need to do, incorporates color schemes for different populations, and updates language (such as Substance Use Disorder instead of Substance Abuse). Aside from this, the content is left pretty much intact.
Any comments can be emailed directly to me for incorporation (Email: ). The hope is that the SHC will adopt the amended version of the Plan at its meeting on 6/13. Thank you. Cullen
The first action alert is regarding public hearings for DHHS’ Section 1115 Waiver Proposal, on 5/17 in Portland (9am Cross Insurance Arena), and 5/18 in Augusta (9am Augusta Civic Center). The Department’s proposal is likely to affect access to health care for people experiencing homelessness. Please see the action alert below for more information.
The second action alert is your input regarding a revised version of Maine’s Plan to End and Prevent Homelessnessdue by 6/13. A committee of the Statewide Homeless Council has been working on revisions to the Plan for the past six months and now it is time to hear from everyone who wants to weigh in from the Regional Homeless Councils or Maine’s Continuum of Care.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has released its Section 1115 Waiver Proposal, which it plans to submit to CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services). There are aspects of the Department’s proposal that may affect people experiencing homelessness (click here for the Department’s complete proposal). Public hearings regarding this proposal are scheduled for Wednesday, 5/17 in Portland, and Thursday, 5/18 in Augusta; written comments can be submitted through 5/25 (see below for more information on the public hearings and submitting written comments).
I encourage you to attend one or both meetings to help educate DHHS about the effect of the proposed policy on the populations in need of services, particularly people who have been homeless a long time (LTS) or meet the chronic homeless definition. In these types of forums, posing questions can be a good way to have DHHS focus on our expression of the issues presented by the proposed strategy. I believe DHHS is required to answer any and all questions posed at these hearings. Let’s hope a good showing with many well thought out questions or concerns will aid DHHS in developing an improved policy that will be most helpful to the population. In your testimony – whether in person at the public hearing, or in your written comments – it is often a good strategy to include concrete, real life experiences that clearly illustrate the effect this waiver would have on the populations you serve. This waiver opens up service options for people. You can talk about what services do to help people gain and retain stability in the community.
Attached is the White Paper, presented to DHHS from the Statewide Homeless Council (SHC), on the best practice of using the 1115 Waiver for chronically homeless populations. This, and an addendum about cost implications (cost savings by doing so) were presented to DHHS in 2013 and 2014 respectively. It appears that this request to CMS to develop these protocols is DHHS’ only response since those white papers.
Here are some of 1115 waiver proposals, summarized by Maine Equal Justice Partners (MEJP), that may affect people experiencing homelessness:
Some people would be limited to just 3 months of MaineCare coverage every 36 months;
Some Mainers, even those with income below the poverty level, would be required to pay monthly MaineCare premiums or face financial penalties and loss of health coverage; and
Parents, children, and pregnant women could lose MaineCare coverage if they have even modest assets;
There would be an elimination of retroactive Medicaid eligibility;
MaineCare recipients would be charged $20 for the use of the Hospital Emergency Department if they aren’t admitted for in-patient care–even if a doctor advised them to go to the ER.
MaineCare recipients could be charged for missed appointments.
This would create elimination of hospital presumptive eligibility determinations.
Maine’s Plan to End and Prevent Homelessness includes four overarching goals, with Goal 3 being “Ensure that medical, mental health, and substance use disorder needs are met to allow long-term stability and success.” It appears DHHS’ proposal may impede Maine’s ability to achieve the goals set forth and agreed upon in the Plan. Please participate in the public hearings and/or submit written comments and make your voice heard on this issue.
PUBLIC HEARINGS ON MAINECARE
Hearing 1: Portland Public Hearing
Date: May 17, 2017 Time: 9:00AM
Location: Cross Insurance Arena 45 Spring Street Portland, Maine 04101
A subcommittee of the Statewide Homeless Council (SHC) has been working on updating Maine’s Plan to End and Prevent Homelessness over the course of the past six months. The Statewide Homeless Council has added its input. The summary of the plan has been added, and all of the language has been updated to be vision-oriented for objectives, and future-oriented for strategies. Other revisions include updating the Plan to reflect current initiatives, resource needs, and changes in population demographics. In addition to content revisions, the Plan has been reformatted to hopefully improve the look and flow of the document and the visual components. The visual diagrams are now designed to stand on their own to describe what needs to happen for each population. Now it is time for everyone who is part of Regional Homeless Councils to review this and add their input. The most recent draft of the Plan is attached; please review the document and forward any feedback prior to the next SHC meeting on 6/13.
This is your plan, designed to be a living, working document inclusive of everyone’s thoughts and recommendations across the state. These strategies, and actions taken are given regular consideration at the Statewide and Regional Homeless Councils, as well as the Continuum of Care as we work to end homelessness. You can forward thoughts, edits, suggestions, recommendations, etc., to . We are trying to have this completed by July, but need your contributions by June 13 to finalize this by July. Thank you for your input! Cullen.
Maine CoC Members (and all others subscribed to the Maine Homeless Planning site): Please see the message below:
Hi – Please forward to the RHC’s, SHC, CoC’s, ESAC, and directly to colleagues. The deadline for this sign on letter has been extended through noon this Wednesday, July 13th. Only seven organizations from Maine have signed on so far (Bangor Area Homeless Shelter, Community Concepts, Inc., Shalom House, Inc., The Opportunity Alliance, Milestone Foundation, The Portland Housing Authority, and Community Housing of Maine). We should have every organization that serves homeless population on this letter to indicate to our Delegation, particularly to Senator Collins, the importance of McKinney funding (Homeless Assistance Grants, which fund our CoC projects and Shelter Plus Care). Please click the link and add your organization’s name to the list – it takes about 10 seconds. Thank you! Cullen
The $2.487 billion in the House T-HUD bill this year that the letter requests be in the final FY 2017 spending bill for McKinney would be the biggest one-year increase to the program in 20 years and would provide housing for approximately 40,000 more people than this year.
USICH is currently on track to “sunset,” or discontinue, in 2017, and the House T-HUD bill would also cut its funding for FY 2017. The letter explains the critical work USICH does to further national and local efforts to end homelessness, and urges appropriators to extend its sunset date to 2020 and protect it from funding cuts.
We need to get the message about the importance of McKinney funding and the work USICH does to end homelessness to Chair Diaz-Balart and his colleagues as soon as possible, so please sign on today and spread the word! You can also reference this webpage for more information.”
Below is the most current listing of vacancies at CHOM. Please forward this on to members in your organization who would find it useful. If you have any questions about the data in the report, please do not hesitate to call Sarah Gaba at 207-879-0347.
THIS LISTING IS FOR SERVICE PROVIDER REFERENCE ONLY. PLEASE DO NOT PROVIDE TO INDIVIDUAL CLIENTS.