OVERVIEW
The Planning Council serves as a regional resource by helping communities throughout Hampton Roads, and beyond, implement effective strategies for those issues that cut across jurisdictional boundaries. We administer a variety of local, state, and federal programs bringing the highest quality of care to individuals experiencing homelessness, to military families with a special needs child, and supporting in-home and daycare centers including serving nutritious food to children in their care. Additionally, we advocate for initiatives that benefit the region.

HOW WE HELP
Since its inception, The Planning Council has been recognized as a community convener around human services issues.  From children’s issues to homelessness, The Planning Council has identified areas of regional concern and brought together the decision makers and resources to address these challenges. With expertise in community needs assessments, research, and evaluation, data analysis, and implementation of new strategic plans, our team partners with local governments and businesses, non-profit agencies, and the faith-based community to address the most vulnerable populations’ needs.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
The Planning Council has a long-established reputation for effective organizing and outreach strengthening communities and neighborhoods. The Planning Council establishes and maintains successful community collaborations. Similarly, the team from The Planning Council has conducted numerous focus groups throughout the region for a variety of organizations and initiatives.

WHO WE WORK WITH
The Planning Council subcontracts with Child Care Aware of America to recruit and monitor qualified care providers for special needs child/ren (Exceptional Family Member, EFM Program) of eligible military families. As one of the largest serving agencies in the nation, due to the strong military presence in the Hampton Roads area, The Planning Council monitors over 200 care providers and serves over 400 military families which equates to about 700 children.

The Planning Council maintains a contractual relationship with the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) monitoring over 1,200 daycare sites (in-home and centers) in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia. These eligible sites must meet USDA restrictions and requirements when serving nutritious food to children. With more than 12,000 children enrolled and half a million meals served per month, The Planning Council works with these daycare directors in ensuring the program requirements are met and that relevant and mandatory training is provided to maintain qualifications within CACFP.

The Planning Council coordinates the homeless programs funded by HUD and the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development in South Hampton Roads and on the Virginia Peninsula. A Continuum of Care (CoC) is a regional or local planning body that coordinates the funding for housing and services for families and individuals experiencing homelessness. Coordinating the activities, measuring system performance, and submitting collaborative applications on behalf of the CoCs ensures approximately $12 million to support this vulnerable population. Support activities provided by The Planning Council also include:

  • Evaluating system performance
  • Identifying gaps in services
  • Facilitating regional planning and prioritization
  • Facilitating committees and work groups
  • Developing reports to local, state, and federal agencies
  • Hosting websites for consumers and stakeholders

Additionally, The Planning Council is the Lead Agency for the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) which includes over 70 agencies and 350 individual users. Policymakers and planners at the federal, state and local levels use aggregate HMIS data to obtain better information about the extent and nature of homelessness over time. Data on homeless persons is collected and maintained at the local level. HMIS helps local communities understand how many people are homeless in shelter programs and on the street; how many are chronically or episodically homeless; the characteristics and service needs of those served; which households are returning to services, and which programs are most effective at reducing and ending homelessness

COLLABORATIONS/INNOVATIONS
The Planning Council (TPC) has facilitated the development of strategic plans with the leadership of a diverse number of non-profits and local government entities. The Planning Council has been the launch pad for many reputable and thriving nonprofits and social services agencies that got their start as a brainchild of The Planning Council or the outcome of a collaborative committee meeting.

The Planning Council (TPC) has collaborated closely with several hospitals throughout its history.

  • In 2021, TPC conducted a community health assessment for Chesapeake Regional Healthcare.
  • Sentara Health contracts with TPC to manage its H.O.P.E. Fund, an internal financial assistance program for hospital employees experiencing crises.
  • For several years, Bon Secours and The Planning Council have collaborated around health and homelessness with the goal of improving access to medical and dental care for the area’s homeless population.

NEEDS ASSESSMENTS & OUTCOMES
For a period of 18 years, The Planning Council was funded to develop and publish the Investment in Priorities report on community social visions and indicators. This report is an environmental scan of the region, looking at the performance of Hampton Roads in comparison to the state. The report stimulated community conversations between stakeholders, providers, and citizens to set priorities and measure progress. By monitoring key human service indicators – Jobs, Education, Neighborhoods, Wellness, Inclusion, Safety Net Programs, and At-Risk Populations – and demonstrating trends in the region in these areas, The Planning Council, together with regional partners, has been able to identify critical community issues and develop a coordinated approach to solving the region’s most pressing human service problems.  While different parts of the information are now gathered by a myriad of other agencies, the data analysis and local, regional, state, and national comparisons are not quite captured in the same way that they were in the last of the series compiled by The Planning Council.

The Planning Council regularly conducts all types of Needs Assessments and Gap Analyses in communities. Utilizing the Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) tool in partnership with area hospitals, health departments, and local organizations, the MAPP assessment builds on all community collaboration to evaluate the entire public health system and prioritize issues while identifying resources to address them. Some successful outcomes from previous MAPP assessments conducted by The Planning Council include:

  • The establishment of in-patient beds within Chesapeake Regional for behavioral health patients.
  • National Accreditation of the Thomas Jefferson Health District by the Public Health Accreditation Board.
  • The establishment of a federally-qualified community health center in the South Norfolk section of Chesapeake to expand access to affordable health care.
  • The co-location of the health department and H.E.L.P. Free Clinic services within the Department of Social Services in Hampton to increase access to affordable care.
  • The establishment of the first Nurse-Family Partnership in 2012 in Western Tidewater (including Suffolk) to respond to the need for extended health home models.
  • Expanded obesity prevention and nutrition programs in Western Tidewater to address the high rates of diabetes and other chronic diseases.

Over the past 80 years, The Planning Council has provided planning assistance under contract to several federal agencies such as:

  • Administration on Children
  • Family and Youth Services
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Bureau of Primary Health Care
  • Department of Transportation
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture

The Commonwealth of Virginia has contracted with The Planning Council to develop programs for:

  • Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services
  • Virginia Department for the Aging
  • Virginia Department of Health
  • The Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation
  • Virginia Department of Social Services
  • Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services
  • Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development
  • Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy

The Planning Council also executes contracts with city governments, school administrations, and public authorities, in addition to private foundations.