2010 - Morgantown City Council and Monongalia County Commission jointly appoint a Task Force on Homelessness to develop a community-wide plan to address homelessness.
Interns from WVU Masters Program in Public Administration survey all services being provided throughout Monongalia County to address homelessness; identify gaps and unmet needs.
2011 - Task Force begins meeting:
Studies data on area homelessness, unmet needs and gaps in services
Studies plans from other communities
Studies proven practices as identified by the National Alliance to End Homelessness and other research bodies
2012 - Task Force creates Summit of all Executive Directors of agencies addressing homelessness to promote inter-agency cooperation. Summit has met regularly since then.
After 2 years of study, Task Force develops a plan, including 10 Action Steps.
2013 - Task Force submits Community-Wide Plan to Reduce Homelessness to City Council and County Commission.
Community meetings are held to introduce plan to the public. Work groups are formed from volunteers to begin work on the identified Action Steps.
Because our community has a cooperative plan, a grant of $100,000 is received from HUD to provide rental assistance so that homeless persons can be moved into their own apartments.
2014 - Coordinating Council on Homelessness (CCOH) is formed to continue work of the Task Force and implement the Community-Wide Plan. Members are recruited from agencies, government, businesses, faith communities, clients, and general public. The Rev. John Sonnenday is hired as Executive Director.
Number of homeless persons begins to decline, from 120 in January 2013 to 83 in January 2015.
All homeless persons are interviewed, identified by name in a central data-base, and evaluated as to severity of need so that the most vulnerable can be served first.
Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) of case workers from 20 different agencies is created to provide
coordinated service to clients. MDT meets every week.
CCOH receives grant from United Way to operate Cold Shelters to insure everyone has a place to be inside during severe weather.
HUD grant for rental assistance is renewed for another year.
Morgantown is selected to participate in Zero: 2016, a nationwide program to end veteran homelessness by December 31, 2015 and chronic homelessness by December 31, 2016.
2015 - January is designated “Homelessness Month” by City Council and County Commission to focus public attention on homelessness.
Executive Director is recognized by the Dominion Post as one of our community’s “Ambassadors for Progress.”
CCOH receives Social Justice award from League of Women Voters for its work on homelessness.
With the support of Main Street Morgantown and the City Council, CCOH initiates creation of a new Downtown Task Force to develop ways in which we can enhance the quality of life downtown for everyone.
Executive Director receives “Four Way Test” award from Morgantown Rotary Club for work to reduce homelessness.
First “Meet Your Neighbor” day is held to encourage all members of the community to see the downtown as a place to enjoy entertainment and socializing. Over 400 people attend on a Sunday afternoon.
Connecting Link and Bartlett House receive a combined $200,000 from HUD for re-housing and prevention of homelessness.
This fiscal year, since July 1, 2015, we have housed 146 people. And we no longer speak of reducing homelessness. Our goal is to end homelessness, and we are well on our way to doing so.