Rapid Re-Housing & Housing First for Families

 

In response to increasing requests for assistance in interpreting and implementing “housing first” strategies for families with children within the Rapid Re-Housing framework, we are offering consulting and training on the following diverse – but inherently related – topics:

 

 


      CONSULTING

Preventing Family Homelessness: Early Identification of, & Timely & Appropriate Responses to, Indicators of “Housing Distress.”
Crisis Intervention & Emergency Shelter (Crisis Housing includes Emergency Shelter, no matter what you call it!)
Screening & Assessment for Housing & Services Needs. Be careful here, because there is no such thing as “housing readiness!” (Everybody is “ready” for housing.)
Screening & Assessment Tools: History Does Not Determine Potential for Success. People often meet the goals expected of them by others, so dream high!
Developing a Housing & Services Plan: “What Would YOU Want?”  Being Poor & Without Housing Is Not a Disease!
What Does “As Quickly As Possible” Mean in the Housing First Approach? Goals to move families with children within 30 days are not only unrealistic in most communities, but could also be detrimental to a family’s success. Childcare, schools, & other issues must take priority.  (Reality-Based Program Development 101)
Accessing Affordable Housing & Working with Private Market Landlords
Engaging At-Risk Families in Case Management Services
Stabilizing Families with Moderate to High Intensity Services Needs
Rapid Re-Housing & Workforce Development: The “Team Approach”
 Rapid Re-Housing & Family Reunification
Rapid  Re-Housing & Addiction Treatment & Recovery
What To Do When a Family Simply Cannot Pay the Rent

 

Please contact us if you would like to schedule a conference call to discuss any of the issues above and ways that we might provide assistance or training to staff. These topics can be presented in an interactive dialogue format – as “stand alone” training, addressed altogether in one longer session, or with 2-3 topics combined. Consulting fees are based upon scope of work for program development, training or technical assistance.

 


Because housing stability provides the vital platform for child and family well-being, access to permanent housing is the primary goal of the “housing first” approach to ending family homelessness.


Unlike “housing first” for the chronically homeless – individualized and time-limited services are provided before, during, and after the homeless family has been assisted in relocating to rental housing with a lease of their own.There is no such thing as “housing readiness.”  Homeless families regain stable living patterns (or gain them for the first time) from a stable housing base.


Children in Housing First/Rapid Re-Housing:

Organizations are increasingly concerned about when or even if  some homeless families should receive rapid re-housing services. While this concern may have some validity, it goes completely against the premise of “housing first.” However, there is no room for debate in the “housing first” approach when children are at risk. These situations mandate and require “common sense.”  A child must never remain in an endangering situation without ongoing and vigilant monitoring and support. If a child(ren) is with a parent or caregiver who is unable to care for the child(ren) safely at the time or long-term, it is vital to consider an alternate plan. In other words, each situation must be evaluated carefully and appropriate “crisis intervention” provided – when a situation may require further evaluation and appropriate interventions.


Rapid Re-Housing Barriers for Homeless Families:

While most practitioners now agree that many families who become homeless for the first time are able to move quickly back into permanent housing at rents they can afford, the majority of homeless families are low-income, single-heads-of-household, with poor education or employment histories for whom “rapid re-housing programs” are often delayed. Although it makes some sense to first have access to Section 8 Housing Choice vouchers  – or know that one will be available when the Rapid Re-housing rent subsidy ends, some assessment tools in use today fail to recognize the vital role that “stable housing” plays. Permanent housing provides the platform for child and family well-being. From this stable housing base, parents are often able to engage in training and employment programs that will enable them to increase their incomes within a targeted period of time.  Homeless families should never be denied access to permanent housing because there is no access to subsidized rental units or Section 8 Housing Choice vouchers.


History & Rationale for Housing First for Families – NAEH.ORG>>