The Texarkana Homeless Coalition works to end homelessness in their community. The coalition is working towards heightened awareness and to develop a community-wide commitment to the needs and issues of those experiencing homelessness.
What factors are essential for effective cross-sector alignment?
- In 2010, the coalition committed itself to developing and implementing a five-year action plan to end homelessness in Texarkana through prevention, interim housing, and permanent housing or services as needed.
- The coalition is a member of HUD’s Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care program, requiring that their goals align with the Continuum of Care’s (CoC) goals and revolve around preventing and ending homelessness.
- The Texas Homeless Network serves as the lead support agency for the Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care (CoC).
- The Coalition has a board with committees that oversee planning activities on a local level.
- Based on their 2010 Action Plan, coalition members are nominated as implementers for specific strategies and have defined roles based on these objectives.
- Governance is harder because there are two states involved in the coalition (Texas and Arkansas); sometimes there are differences in laws or policies.
- As a member of the Texas CoC program and a HUD grant recipient, the coalition is required to use the CoC’s Homeless Management Information System.
- The Texas Homeless Network monitors and maintains database and provides technical assistance.
- There is no centralized collection of data for the coalition, but individual organizations track data and share it at the monthly meetings.
- The coalition also completes yearly Point-in-Time Counts and housing inventory updates.
Finance and Sustainability
- The coalition received its last CoC program grant in 2018 to support their transitional housing program. The city of Texarkana receives a yearly Community Development Block CV1 Grant.
- The coalition is not yet a 501(c)(3) so all participating organizations operate with their own funding (mostly public funds).
- The interstate aspect of the coalition makes funding challenging because public funds have many restrictions (e.g.,: can only be spent in TX).
- The coalition also hosts the Bridge City Annual Fundraiser and accepts financial donations to support various programs.
Integration of Health Equity
- Does not define or measure health equity as an explicit goal
- Focuses initiatives on equity
Community Trust and Accountability
- Strives to be transparent about progress and what is needed in their community
- Uses a framework from the Texarkana Homeless Network to develop policies, which are updated annually
Measures of Success
- Happen by agency
- Homeless consensus: change in the number of housing insecure people, demographics of people, and time spent homeless
- Whether individual organizations used all their funds