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HSC Glossary

Affordable Housing: Housing for which the occupant(s) is/are paying no more than 30 percent of their income for gross housing costs, including utilities. (US Department of Housing and Urban Development)

AHAR = Annual Homeless Assessment Report: A HUD report to the U.S. Congress that provides nationwide estimates of homelessness, including information about the demographics of people experiencing homelessness, service use patterns and the capacity to house homeless persons. (US Department of Housing and Urban Development)

Chronic Homelessness: A homeless individual with a disability who lives either in a place not meant for human habitation, a safe haven, or in an emergency shelter continuously for at least 12 months, or on at least four separate occasions in the last 3 years, where the combined occasions total a length of time of at least 12 months. Each period separating the occasions must include at least 7 nights of living in a situation other than a place not meant for human habitation, in an emergency shelter, or in a safe haven.  (US Department of Housing and Urban Development)

CoC = Continuum of Care: A HUD-mandated program designed to promote community wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness; provide funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, and state and local governments to quickly rehouse homeless individuals and families while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused to homeless individuals, families and communities by homelessness; promote access to and effect utilization of mainstream programs by homeless individuals and families; and optimize self-sufficiency among individuals and families experiencing homelessness. (US Department of Housing and Urban Development) The Homeless Services Consortium (HSC) is Dane County's CoC.

CE = Coordinated Entry: A process designed to quickly identify, assess, refer and connect people in crisis to housing and assistance, no matter where they show up to ask for help. It can pave the way for more efficient homeless assistance systems by: helping people move through the system faster to housing, reducing new entries into homelessness by consistently offering prevention and diversion resources upfront, and improving data collection and quality and providing accurate information on what kind of assistance consumers need. (National Alliance to End Homelessness)

Dating Violence: Violence committed by a person:

  1. Who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and

  2. Where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:

  • The length of the relationship;

  • The type of relationship; and

  • The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. (U.S. Department of Justice)


DV = Domestic Violence: includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction. The term spouse or intimate partner of the victim includes a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim, as determined by the length of the relationship, they type of the relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. (U.S. Department of Justice)


Diversion: A strategy that prevents homelessness for people seeking shelter by helping them identify immediate alternate housing arrangements and, if necessary, connecting them with services and financial assistance to help them return to permanent housing. (National Alliance to End Homelessness)

Doubled-up: sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason (Department of Education)

EHH = Emergency Solutions Grant, Housing Assistance Program, Homeless Prevention Program: These programs are collectively referred to as the EHH Program.  ESG is Federally administered by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD awards ESG funding to the State of Wisconsin Department of Administration Division of Energy, Housing and Community Resources (DEHCR) to distribute to eligible applicants. HAP and HPP are State of Wisconsin funding sources. (State of Wisconsin, Dept. of Administration)

ES = Emergency Shelter, EFS = Emergency Family Shelter: A facility that plays a critical role in ending homelessness. It provides a safe, short term, nighttime residence for homeless persons, and help them find safe affordable housing outside the shelter.  Emergency shelters do not require occupants to sign leases or occupancy agreements. Effective shelters embrace a Housing First approach, offer immediate and low-barrier access to anyone facing a housing crisis, and measure shelter performance in order to improve results. (National Alliance to End Homelessness)

ESG = Emergency Solutions Grant: Federally administered by HUD.  Funds may be used for five program components: street outreach, emergency shelter, homelessness prevention, rapid re-housing assistance and HMIS; as well as administrative activities. (US Department of Housing and Urban Development)

FEMA = Federal Emergency Management Agency: FEMA provides funds to the Emergency Food and Shelter Program to support social service agencies to supplement food, shelter, rent mortgage and utility assistance programs for people with non-disaster related emergencies.

Functional Zero: A community has ended veteran homelessness when the number of veterans experiencing homelessness falls below the average monthly housing placement rate. A community has ended chronic homelessness when the number of people experiencing chronic homelessness falls to 3 or fewer, or else .1% of the most recent point-in-time count (whichever is greater). (Community Solutions)

GIW = Grant Inventory Worksheet: The GIW is used to record all grants that are eligible for renewal funding within a CoC's geographic area for the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Competition. (Dane County GIW for FY 2018 CoC Competition)

Harm Reduction: A set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use. Harm Reduction is also a movement for social justice built on a belief in, and respect for, the rights of people who use drugs. (Harm Reduction Coalition)

HSC = Homeless Services Consortium: Dane County's Continuum of Care (CoC). The HSC is a partnership of agencies, funders, advocates and formerly homeless persons committed to preventing and ending homelessness.

HMIS = Homeless Management Information System: HMIS is a local information technology system used to collect client-level data and data on the provision of housing and services to homeless individuals and families and persons at risk of homelessness. Each Continuum of Care is responsible for selecting an HMIS software solution that complies with HUD's data collection, management and reporting standards. Institute for Community Alliances is the HMIS lead for the Dane County CoC. (US Department of Housing and Urban Development)

Housing First: An approach to quickly and successfully connect individuals and families experiencing homelessness to permanent housing without preconditions and barriers to entry, such as sobriety, treatment or service participation requirements. Supportive services are offered to maximize housing stability and prevent returns to homelessness as opposed to addressing predetermined treatment goals prior to permanent housing entry. (Department of Housing and Urban Development)

Housing Locator: A person who identifies and recruits landlords and encourages them to rent to homeless households served by programs (National Alliance to End Homelessness)

Housing Navigator: A person who works alongside households who are looking for housing.  The navigator assists with development of a housing stability plan, assists in completion of housing search and applications, addresses barriers to housing placement, assists in appeal process for denials, helps in understanding of leases and helps to secure move-in costs.

HIC = Housing Inventory Count: The HIC is a point-in-time inventory of projects within the CoC that provide beds and units dedicated to serving persons who are homeless. It is intended to provide HUD and CoCs with information about the shelter and housing capacity of homeless crisis response systems. (US Department of Housing and Urban Development)

Housing Stability: the extent to which a household's access to safe and permanent housing is secure.

HUD = Department of Housing and Urban Development: HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination, and transform the way HUD does business.


ICA = Institute for Community Alliances: HMIS Lead for Madison/Dane County CoC

LSA = Longitudinal Systems Analysis: An annual report, produced from HMIS and submitted to HUD, providing critical information about how people experiencing homelessness use the system of care. (US Department of Housing and Urban Development)

McKinney-Vento Act: A federal law that ensures immediate enrollment and educational stability for children and youth experiencing homelessness (Department of Education)

NOFA = Notice of Funding Availability: Each year HUD releases a NOFA that establishes the funding criteria for the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program. (US Department of Housing and Urban Development)

PIT = Point-In-Time Count: A point-in-time count is an unduplicated count on a single night of the people in a community who are experiencing homelessness that includes both sheltered and unsheltered populations (National Alliance to End Homelessness)

PSH = Permanent Supportive Housing: Permanent housing with indefinite leasing or rental assistance paired with supportive services to assist homeless persons with a disability or families with an adult or child member with a disability to achieve housing stability. (US Department of Housing and Urban Development)

Racial Justice: The systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable outcomes for all. (Race Forward)

RRH = Rapid Rehousing: An informed by a Housing First approach that is a critical part of a community's effective homelessness crisis response system. Rapid re-housing rapidly connects families and individuals experiencing homelessness to permanent housing through housing location services, rental assistance, and access to support services. (US Department of Housing and Urban Development)


Sexual Assault: any nonconsensual sexual contact proscribed by Federal, Tribal, or State law, including when the victim lacks capacity to consent. (U.S. Department of Justice)


SPDAT = Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool: An evidence-informed approach to assessing a household’s acuity. The tool, across multiple components, prioritizes who to serve next and why, while concurrently identifying the areas in the household’s life where support is most likely necessary in order to avoid housing instability. (OrgCode Consulting Inc.)


Stalking: engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:

  1. Fear for the person's individual safety or the safety of others; or

  2. Suffer substantial emotional distress. (U.S. Department of Justice)


SO = Street Outreach: Street outreach workers engage with people experiencing unsheltered homelessness in order to connect them with emergency shelter, housing or other critical services. Street outreach services are provided in non-facility-based settings for people experiencing unsheltered homelessness who are not accessing emergency shelter, housing or an appropriate health facility. (Dane County Written Standards)

TAY = Transition Age Youth: Young people between the ages of 18-24.

TH = Transitional Housing: Housing designed to provide homeless individuals and families with the interim stability and support to successfully move to and maintain permanent housing (US Department of Housing and Urban Development)

Trauma Informed Care: An organizational structure and treatment framework that involves understanding, recognizing, and responding to the effects of all types of trauma. Trauma Informed Care also emphasizes physical, psychological and emotional safety for both consumers and providers, and helps survivors rebuild a sense of control and empowerment. (The Trauma Informed Care Project)

Unaccompanied Youth: A youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. (United States Interagency Council on Homelessness)

VA = Veteran’s Administration: The VA’s mission is to provide veterans the world-class benefits and services they have earned – and to do so by adhering to the highest standards of compassion, commitment, excellence, professionalism, integrity, accountability, and stewardship.


VAWA = Violence Against Women Act: Creates and supports comprehensive, cost-effective responses to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. Programs are administered by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services. (National Network to End Domestic Violence)


VI-SPDAT = Vulnerability Index-Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool: A pre-screening tool that helps identify who should be recommend for types of housing and support interventions, moving the discussion from simply who is eligible for a service intervention to who is eligible and in greatest need of that intervention.  This tool helps prioritize people for interventions. (OrgCode Consulting Inc.)

VI-F-SPDAT = VI-SPDAT for families

TAY-VI-SPDAT= VI-SPDAT for transition age youth

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