2014 NAEH National Conference on Ending Homelessness

NAEH 2014 National Conference on Ending Homelessness…

took place July 29th-31st in Washington DC. And it was a great one! The feedback and comments about the workshop sessions as well as the speakers (First Lady Michelle Obama!) was very positive.

As an HMIS vendor, but also an interested champion in our field, MAAC staff attends the NAEH conference as both an exhibitor (see our awesome info table below) and as registered conference attendees.

naeh 2014 vendor tableSome of our highlights…

– First Lady Michelle Obama was the featured speaker on the last day of the conference. Read her remarks here. It was exciting. And required tons of security clearance and planning. Wow. But it was a great experience for the conference attendees!

– I attended HUD’s workshop on System Performance Measures. It was an introduction to understanding system-level performance measurement throughout entire CoCs. This is very important to us. This data will come from (and be calculated in) HMIS*. Even more so, it will be critical for CoC leaders and all of the HMIS participating agencies to understand how entering  their data affects what these reports tell us about the effectiveness of our programs, community-wide. I see lots of training in our futures! And that’s a good thing :)

* HUD was very clear in stating that the guidance they are giving on this not yet be programmed in or pulled from HMIS until they release the programming specifications later this Fall. Reporting on these performance measures won’t be required until later next year.

– Wednesday’s lunch Keynote speakers were NJ Senator Cory Booker and HUD Secretary Julian Castro. They were super! The Senator was very motivational and a great speaker.

– I also attended a Q&A Session with HUD on Thursday morning which was pretty informative from all perspectives of homeless programming. MAAC’s fearless leader, John, attended several other sessions throughout the conference that he felt very worthwhile including one with Iain De Jong (orgcode.com) that was packed and so standing-room-only that you could barely get through the door.

– Of course it would be very “un-MAAC” of me to leave out something about food! I had the pleasure of enjoying dinner one evening with John and our KS Balance of State friend/colleague, James. I have to give James props for this restaurant choice and would highly recommend it if you’re ever in DC (there are 3 locations) – Busboys and Poets. It was fantastic… not a chain; excellent, locally sourced food; and a really chill atmosphere.

As a participant and exhibitor, I’d say this year’s NAEH conference was a success and look forward to MAAC’s future attendance opportunities.