Solutions to Family Homelessness

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Jamey Burden, MSW, Director of Housing Programs, …

Jamey Burden, MSW, Director of Housing Programs,
Community of Hope, Inc.

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  • 1. Solutions to Family Homelessness and the Role of Assessment February 25, 2014 HOME Conference
  • 2. AGENDA I. Introduction and Overview: the Process of Finding Solutions II. Context and Some Guiding Ideas III. Experiences With Rapid Re-Housing and Permanent Supportive Housing IV. Adding Assessment and Better Coordination to the Mix: Family Housing Solutions (FHS) V. Preliminary FHS Data, Lessons Learned So Far, and Client Feedback VI. Questions and Discussion
  • 3. Context  What tools do we have to address family homelessness? Shelter Transitional housing Permanent supportive housing (PSH) Rapid re-housing (RRH) Diversion/prevention Mainstream services (TANF, job training, health, mental health, substance abuse services, etc.) Section 8 and other rental subsidy programs Affordable housing
  • 4. Context  Less than 1 in 10 families living in poverty becomes homeless  Most families who do become homeless exit shelter and never return  Those who do stay in shelter do worse the longer they stay homeless, including: Higher incidence of substance abuse Higher incidence of mental health problems Higher incidences of domestic violence and child- protective services involvement Lower school performance for children
  • 5. Old Model Shelter eligibility/ Assessment – Central Intake Emergency Shelter Long-term Shelter Transitional Permanent Housing?
  • 6. Family Assessment • Homelessness prevention, diversion, mediation • Connection to mainstream services Temporary Housing • Emergency shelter • Transitional housing •Connection to mainstream services Permanent Housing Emerging Model • Permanent supportive housing •Rapid Re-Housing • Long-term affordable housing
  • 7. Old Model (Graphic from Dennis Culhane) Employment assistance Mental health/ substance abuse services Family support services Housing placement Health services Shelter
  • 8. Emerging Model Employment assistance Mental health/ substance abuse services Family support services Housing Stabilization Health services Shelter
  • 9. Rapid Re-Housing Components:  Assessing barriers to housing stability  Housing search  Supportive services (getting settled into housing, understanding lease, connection to mainstream resources, employment services)  Financial assistance (move-in costs, first-month’s rent, security deposit, and rental subsidy)
  • 10. Rapid Re-Housing Characteristics of families served:  Very low income  First time or second time homeless  Some barriers to housing stability, such as poor rental histories, evictions, criminal and credit problem histories  May have disabilities, but not so severe as to preclude employment  Some recent work history
  • 11. Rapid Re-Housing 2013 Results • 95% (52 of 55) of families that exited the program had not returned to DC shelter as of 12/31/13 • Average length of case management for exiters: 8.75 months • 42% (23 of 55) of families who exited the program increased their income before exiting • Average family size: 3.4 • Average total cost per month: $2,100
  • 12. Permanent Supportive Housing Components:  Intensive case management (including case planning, and coordination of services, connection to mental health services, medical care, and substance abuse recovery services)  Employment and education services, as well as advocacy to maximize public benefits  Health and wellness services  Children’s services, including school advocacy, mentoring, and developmental and social assessment  Workshops and training opportunities  Financial assistance (ongoing rental subsidy)
  • 13. Permanent Supportive Housing Characteristics of families served:  Very low income  Long histories of homelessness, multiple episodes of homelessness  Multiple barriers to housing stability, including little or no work history, significant documented disabilities (health, mental health, substance abuse), and greater levels of other trauma (e.g., domestic violence, PTSD)
  • 14. Permanent Supportive Housing 2013 Results • 96% (136 of 142) of families and single adults remained stably housed in program or exited to another positive permanent housing destination • 32% (46 of 142) of families and single adults served increased income • Average family size: 3.6 • Average total cost per month: $2,550
  • 15. Overview of FHS Project $1 million 1-year grant from Freddie Mac Foundation, supports:  Services to support 100 rapid re-housing slots, and 50 permanent supportive housing slots  Staffing – assessment specialists, case managers, housing specialists, and employment specialists  Technical assistance, training, and ongoing evaluation delivered by OrgCode Consulting, Inc. DC Department of Human Services providing 100 temporary housing subsidies for rapid re- housing, and 50 permanent subsidies for permanent supportive housing
  • 16. Goals & Philosophy of Grant Permanently ending homelessness for 150 families in the homelessness assistance system System change: piloting a uniform assessment and prioritization system, initially assessing at least 500 families  “Right assistance, at the right time, for the right family”  Progressive engagement  Coordination among private and public partners
  • 17. Why The SPDAT? • Comprehensive – Evaluates 20 components that contribute to housing stability • Quantitative and objective – Scored 0-4 in each component based on level of acuity – Tallied scores fall within 3 ranges: one-time assistance, rapid rehousing, and intensive supports • Research based – Developed by academics, researchers, and practitioners – Used by over 10,000 individuals in 100 communities – Individual SPDAT has gone through 3 revisions • Proven – Evaluation has shown that clients referred to programs through the SPDAT assessment and case management have higher housing stability in the long term than clients that do not use the SPDAT because they were matched with appropriate level of services
  • 18. Think of the F-SPDAT in 5 Domains Wellness Risks Socialization & Daily Functions Housing History Family Unit
  • 19. Wellness Mental Health and Wellness & Cognitive Functioning Abuse/Trauma Substance Use Physical Health & Wellness Medication
  • 20. Risks Harm Interaction with Emergency Services Managing Tenancy High Risk & Exploitive Situations Legal
  • 21. Socialization & Daily Functions Meaningful Daily Activities Administration & Money Management Social Relations & Networks Self-care & Daily Living Skills
  • 22. Family Unit Needs of Children Child/Family Court Size of Family Stability/Resiliency Parental Engagement
  • 23. SPDAT Example • Abuse/Trauma (second component of the first domain, Wellness): 0 Parent does not report a past or present experience of abuse and/or trauma. 1 Parent has a history of abuse and/or traumatic events, but reports no serious consequences on present functioning and/or parental ability, or indicates resolution of past abuse through therapeutic means. 2 Parent has a history of abuse and/or traumatic events that are impacting present functioning and/or parental ability. Parent is currently engaged in therapeutic attempts at recovery, but does not consider self recovered. 3 Parent has a history of abuse and/or traumatic events that are severely impacting present functioning and/or parental ability. Parent has not attempted therapeutic recovery. 4 Parent is currently experiencing abuse or a traumatic event that is causing the current period of homelessness. No attempt at therapeutic recovery has been made.
  • 24. SPDAT Scoring Range Scoring Range Intervention 0-26 One-time Assistance 27-53 Rapid Re-Housing 54-80 Permanent Supportive Housing
  • 25. F-SPDAT Process Pre-Screening (1 day) •The Assessment Specialist meets with shelter Case manager to conduct pre-screen and begin collecting documents. Pre-screen helps determine who to fully assess first in terms of priority. Full Assessment ( 1-2 Weeks) •The Assessment Specialist interviews clients at shelter, interviews shelter Case Managers and collects all supporting documents. •Assessment Specialist scores the SPDAT based on all the information gathered. Offer (7 days after scoring) •The Assessment Specialist meets with the client and the shelter Case Manager to discuss the findings and present the offer. • The assistance offered is based on the SPDAT scores, possible service options include (Permanent Supportive Housing, Rapid Re-Housing and One-time assistance)
  • 26. Preliminary FHS Data  698 pre-screened  524 assessed 80 (15%) scoring for one-time assistance 404 (77%) scoring for rapid re-housing 40 (8%) scoring for permanent supportive housing  130 housed  So far, no families have become homeless again
  • 27. Preliminary FHS Data DOMAIN Avg. PSH Score Avg. RRH Score Avg. OTA Score Out of a Possible Wellness 3.29 2.00 0.46 5 Risks 2.35 0.97 0.03 4 Socialization & Daily functioning 3.53 2.65 1.33 4 History of Housing 1.0 0.93 0.76 1 Family Unit 3.82 1.95 1.08 5 TOTAL 14.00 8.50 3.90 19
  • 28. Evaluation Components Basic demographic information; size of households; source and amount of income; history of housing and homelessness; physical health, mental health, addictions; involvement with emergency services; military service; history of incarceration; employment and education Multiple self-reported quality-of-life indicators Perceptions of staff; interviews with clients How families do in their housing
  • 29. Lessons Learned So Far  All the processes and timing within FHS are influenced by the functioning of the current system (e.g., LRSP, STI)  Families moving out of shelter much slower than anticipated  Some families reluctant to accept RRH, though most offers made by FHS staff have been accepted  Hard to find affordable housing units – and lots of competition for those units  Coordination and communication among partners needs to be explicit and consistent  More training across providers needed for RRH and PSH to ensure consistency of program outcomes
  • 30. Clients’ Self-Reports • Biggest improvements: physical health, mental health, and connection with kids • Least improvements: stress level (27% reported greater stress now than when they were homeless), quality of food, and quantity of food • 86% reported having somewhat or a lot of choice in where they lived • Respondents had an average of $454 per month in income and $540 in food stamps; the majority reported under the table income (average $320), and 53% reported support from family members
  • 31. Clients’ Self-Reports • ER decreased 67%, ambulance calls decreased 60% • Rating of support received: 9.47 (out of 10) • Respondents were optimistic, but not confident, about their future and likelihood of homelessness again • Readiness to move on scored at 5.5 out of 10, the importance of moving on a 9 out of 10, and their confidence at 5.3 out of 10 • 75% said the type and frequency of supports were just right, 67% percent said the duration of supports was too short, and half said the intensity was too low while the other said it was just right
  • 32. Questions and Discussion • Possible expansion opportunities (single adults? Other populations?) • System change opportunities (changes to prevention, shelter, and assessment system) • Role of private funders • Next steps
  • 33. Contact Information Jamey Burden Director of Housing, Programs & Policy Community of Hope, Inc. Phone: 202.407.7766 E-mail: jburden@cohdc.org www.communityofhopedc.org Community of Hope is the winner of the 2012 Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management.