Addressing the Housing and Health Needs of HIV-Positive People Leaving Incarceration
The United States has five percent of the world’s population, but twenty-five percent of the world’s prison population — mostly made up of people who will eventually be released. Homecoming: Life After Incarceration is a multimedia project published earlier this year that showcases organizations and people leading the way in supporting the reentry population, and that incorporates the voices of people within this group.
In addition to other topics, Homecoming focuses on how to meet the specific housing and health challenges of people with HIV when they exit jails and prisons. TAC served as a key partner in developing this new resource through our cooperative agreement with the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of HIV Housing. Under the oversight of Marie Herb, TAC engaged filmmaker Josh Hayes to produce 10 topical videos, while subcontractor Jake Mihalak updated a companion toolkit to reflect emerging best practices, the changing realities of HIV/AIDS, and systemic shifts due to the COVID pandemic — with research and writing support from TAC Project Support Specialist Ari Rogers.
Learn more, download individual chapters and resources, and watch the ten topical videos on the HUD Exchange.
Supporting Nationwide System Transformation in Behavioral Health Crisis Services
Across the country, state and local governments are shifting their systems to meet the needs of people experiencing a behavioral health crisis by connecting them with mental health and addiction services — instead of relying on law enforcement and hospitals as the first line of response.
This year, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) made 50 Transformation Transfer Initiative (TTI) awards to support 988 and crisis services implementation/expansion in five specific areas: Workforce Development; Children & Adolescents; Serving Under-Resourced Minority Communities; Community Trauma; and Facilitating Timely Access to Community-Based Mental Health Services. Through the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), TAC — with leadership from Rebecca Boss and Dayana Simons and Rachel Post — provided training to support TTI grantees’ behavioral health crisis system transformation efforts.
TAC developed a series of live information exchange sessions facilitated by LaMont Green, Jordan Gulley, Rachel Post, Dayana Simons, and subcontractors Sheamekah Williams and Neil Campbell. In addition, TAC created 11 shorter, publicly posted “Knowledge Bite” training videos, accompanied by a downloadable summary of resources and strategies, on topics like coordinating crisis and upstream services; comparing adult and child models of mobile crisis response; and the role of racial trauma and internalized oppression in mental health. Knowledge Bite developers and presenters include Rebecca Boss, Laura Conrad, LaMont Green, Jordan Gulley, Sherry Lerch, Nastacia’ Moore, Lamar Polk, Rachel Post, Dayana Simons, & Sheamekah Williams, along with other partners.
Building Rural Affordable Housing Capacity
Through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Rural Capacity-Building (RCB) program, TAC and partners have developed resources for qualified agencies that provide housing in rural areas or are looking to expand into rural housing. TAC’s RCB work centers on emergency preparedness and disaster recovery, and on young adult housing. Our aim is to build foundational knowledge so communities can keep, improve, and create rural housing opportunities. Visit our Rural Capacity Building Resources page for webinar recordings and more.
The project is led by Melany Mondello. Under our Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Recovery Planning component, Nicole LiBaire and subcontractor Darlene Mathews can assist agencies in completing an organizational assessment and action plan to improve their disaster readiness, support efforts to create their affordable housing portfolio, and create a plan to recover units lost in disasters. Jenna Espinosa and Maseta Dorley can help agencies complete an organizational assessment and develop action plans to create rural housing for youth and young adults under our Young Adult Housing Assistance component. Kerlyne Désiré provides project support.
If you are interested in receiving rural affordable housing technical assistance from TAC, please reach out to Melany Mondello at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff in Action
TA & Training
Maseta Dorley is project co-lead on the $66M rural set-aside within HUD’s Continuum of Care Supplemental to Address Unsheltered & Rural Homelessness, and will coordinate TAC’s assistance to communities in Minnesota, Colorado, Vermont, Indiana, and Virginia; Ellen Fitzpatrick & Alison Korte provided support to New Hampshire Youth Action Board members as they delivered a training on diversity, equity, and inclusion to McKinney-Vento liaisons from across the state (and Alison met a friendly moose! See above); In September, Marie Herb attended a gathering of 20 recipients of Housing as an Intervention to Fight AIDS (HIFA) grants through the federal Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program, a group of grantees to which she has provided ongoing support and guidance; Eric Gammons, Nicole LiBaire, and Janice Miller conducted a full-day in-person training on Emergency Solutions Grant requirements for the Louisiana Housing Corporation; Matt Leslie and Janice Miller led a national webinar on Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) requirements for HOPWA; On behalf of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, Rachel Post & Jordan Gulley led a training on Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) for Mercy Care in Arizona; and Douglas Tetrault, Jim Yates, Phil Allen, Matt Leslie, & Kyia Watkins partnered with Abt Associates to train 600+ direct care staff from Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) grantee organizations on how to deliver a range of supportive services.
Rebecca Boss, Laura Conrad, & Lamar Polk, together with partners Colette Croze and Mady Chalk, published an issue brief on Transforming the Role of Opioid Treatment Programs; LaMont Green, Nastacia’ Moore, Lamar Polk, Rachel Post, Alicia Woodsby, & partners at the Human Services Research Institute are hosting monthly Systems Alignment Peer Learning Network sessions, open to all; Rebecca Boss & TAC affiliate John O’Brien contributed to the National Governors Association’s new publication State and Territory Approaches to Improving Care for Individuals Affected by Stimulant and Polysubstance Use; and together with Rebecca Boss, Laura was also a key informant for the Center for Health Care Strategies’ State Principles for Financing Substance Use Care, Treatment, & Support Services.
At the 2023 Indiana Housing Conference, Ellen Fitzpatrick and a member of the IN Balance of State Continuum of Care co-led a session called “Changes are Coming: What’s on the Horizon for the IN BOS CoC’s Coordinated Entry System” and LaMont Green presented on “The Next Chapter: Let’s Get Real About Developing Equitable Solutions to Address Homelessness”; Eric Gammons & Nicole LiBaire helped present several sessions related to disaster preparation & recovery at the October conference of the Florida Coalition to End Homelessness; at the National Council of State Housing Authorities, Ayana Gonzalez presented on “The Preservation of Special Needs Housing,” while Kevin Martone presented on “The Intersection of Health Care & Housing”; Kevin also addressed state legislators on “Driving Rural Roads to Mental Health Access” at Mental Health America’s regional policy meeting in Indianapolis in August; and in October, Rachel Post presented on “The Critical Need for an SUD System of Care” at the Oregon Housing Conference on Housing for People with Mental Illness & Addiction.
TAC — and TAC staff members — are growing! Over the summer we welcomed TAC’s new Contracts Manager, Ana Barrios; Senior Associates Megan Lee and Theresa Young on the Human Services team; Senior Associates Maseta Dorley, Spencer Duran, Chanita Jackson, and Janice Miller, Associate II Natalie Goodman, and Associate Kai Reynolds on the TAC housing team; Kerlyne Désiré and Michael Harmon-Fields as our new Project Support Specialists. We are also happy to congratulate Jordan Gulley, Ashley Mann-McLellan, Nastacia’ Moore, Nicole LiBaire, & Douglas Tetrault on advancing to become Senior Consultants, and to Phil Allen and Jenna Espinosa who have been promoted to Senior Associates. And finally, we are proud to recognize Jeff Nguyen, TAC’s Communications Designer, for his certification from the International Association of Accessibility Professionals as an Accessible Document Specialist after passing a technical exam in document creation, remediation, workflow, policy, and advocacy.