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By forming local partnerships, communities can better identify, engage, and respond to the needs of children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness.

homelessness leadership team logoThe City of Denton and United Way have come together in a public-private partnership to fund the Denton County Homeless Leadership Team (DCHLT). DCHLT fosters an effective and coordinated system of homelessness prevention and intervention, resulting in homelessness that is RARE, BRIEF, and NONRECURRING through:
  • Community awareness and connection
  • Data-driven, evidenced-based, fiscally responsible recommendations
  • Innovative solutions around affordable housing, access to primary and behavioral health care services, adequate incomes and coordinated services
  • Mobilizing, advocating, and empowering public-private community-wide collaboration
The Denton City Council is also lending its knowledge and influence in support of the DCHLT and its initiatives. Mayor Chris Watts serves as chair and City Council member Keely Briggs as a member of the DCHLT.

The DCHLT partnership has created:
A Housing Crisis Response System that transformed separate homeless services providers into a networked crisis response system working together to prevent homelessness and rapidly return people who experience homelessness to stable housing.

Steps that are leading to success:
  1. It started with a shared database - Data is now stored in a shared, centralized system through the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), so that all actions and referrals are tracked and can be seen by all agencies.
  2. Then a coordinated intake process was introduced - Every individual experiencing homelessness is assessed to identify their needs and is connected to the appropriate resources and housing intervention through a coordinated entry system for Denton County.
  3. This Resulted in a list so we know the names and unique needs of every person - called the Housing Priority List (HPL). Experience has shown us that a community cannot gather the necessary information to house its homeless neighbors solely by counting them anonymously once a year. 
  4. The list is the best tool to move someone from homeless to housed with ongoing case conferencing – There is a local team (approximately 15-20 case managers in a room) who meet every two weeks to review and actively work through the HPL to determine who is new to the list (inflow), who has moved off the list (outflow), who may have changed in priority, what housing units are available or coming available for housing placementin order to get individuals and families housed and stay housed.