A Critique of \'10 Year Plans to end Homelessness\'Presentation Transcript
ARE THEY REALLY WORKING? A Critique of ‘10 Year Plans to End Homelessness’ Felicity Reynolds Chief Executive Officer Mercy Foundation
Abstract - summary
My interest – Churchill Fellowship 2007
Past 5 years in USA – 10 year plans. Why?
Who and how?
Key components of plans
Lessons for Australia
Acknowledgement: Thank you to Philip Mangano, Executive Director of USICH for generously sharing some of his data and slides on the development and outcomes of 10 year plans.
Background – 10 Year Plans
Since 2002 – now 340 10 year plans, across all states.
Supported federally through the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH).
Why? A range of reasons, which include:
Existing models were not solving homelessness for some people.
Chronic Homelessness ‘seemed’ to be getting worse – but no good data on problem.
Costs (eg. NY study $41,000 per year).
I presented paper at previous National Homelessness Conference (Sydney, 2006) – estimate, based on HPIC data and Outreach case studies indicated it could be as much as $34,000 per year to remain chronically homeless in Sydney.
Studies from the USA include Culhane (NYC - $41,000 per year).
Counter intuitive – looks cheap to be homeless.
Now numerous studies in the USA ( next slide )
Seattle Asheville, NC Boston Reno Key West California Santa Barbara New York Waco Atlanta Broward County Dayton Richmond Gainesville Portland Minneapolis Jacksonville Chicago Denver Indianapolis Los Angeles Louisville Minnesota Quincy Salt Lake City San Diego Completed Studies Studies in Progress San Francisco Maricopa County SOURCE - USICH (P. MANGANO) COST STUDIES (65 to date) SE CT www.usich.gov Lee County Maine San Antonio North Carolina South Carolina
A few local cost studies from the USA
10-Year Planners analysed the service use of 37 homeless men and women over a period of 3 years and found that these individuals cost the city and county more than $800,000 each year (police and jail costs; hospitalisation costs etc). (Source: Looking Homeward: The Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness, Asheville and Buncombe County 2005, courtesy P.Mangano).
The Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program tracked 119 persons experiencing chronic homelessness for 5 years and discovered that they had more than 18,000 emergency room visits at an average cost of $1000 per visit. (Source: Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, courtesy P. Mangano).
Example: successful initiative in Seattle
A ‘Housing First’, supportive housing initiative in Seattle for 75 chronic inebriates – showed $2.5 million in saving after 12 months. Saving included reduced emergency mediacl visits, jail, sobering up and detox.
Annual operating costs: $1 million.
Significantly cheaper to provide housing and support – multiple studies have shown this.
In most places an average 85% successfully sustain housing over the longer term (this includes statistics from Housing First intitiave in Toronto, Canada).
10 Year Plans – Who?
340 cities and other communities now have 10 year plans. These include:
10 year plans – How?
Key components of successful plans:
Political will and leadership.
Plans based on business principles and results measured and reported.
Multi-agency and politically bi-partisan, with business community involvement.
Use of Federal, State, City funds plus private investment.
Use of initiatives that have been proved to be effective (evidence based) eg. more affordable housing; assertive treatment teams and support; street outreach linked to ‘Housing First’.
11 key elements of success
HUD notes 11 key elements to successfully reduce chronic homelessness. The first five of these are considered essential elements for success. They are:
Clear goal set
Community wide approach
Organisational structure and leadership specifically for reducing chronic street homelessness
Mainstream agency involvement
Private sector involvement
Local elected official commitment
Progress tracking mechanism
New approaches to services
Strategy to combat NIMBY (Not in my back yard)
NAEH – successful strategies include
Plan (envision and plan to end chronic homelessness)
Data (measure outcomes; be accountable for your services and actions)
Emergency prevention (close the front door)
Systems prevention (close the front door)
Outreach (open the back door)
Shorten homelessness (open the back door)
Rapid re-housing (open the back door)
Permanent housing (sustain)
Results oriented activities
Use of enumeration methodologies (counts) in order to measure success.
Increased research and use of evidence based interventions (eg. Evidence that the same outcomes are achieved for families who go straight to permanent housing, as opposed to transitional housing first).
Consumer focus – what do people want? (not, what is it we can we provide?)
Focus on most vulnerable and complex (chronically homeless).
But also ensure all other parts of system working (eg. Prevention; help for families etc).
HUD announced 12% reduction in chronic homelessness in November 2007.
This was based on one year (2005 -2006) and represents a little over 20,000 people nationwide.
Based on agreed count methodologies.
Some cities announced even larger % decreases. Depends on the progress of plan, increases in affordable housing and support services.
Not all components of all plans successful – stop doing those things if that happens.
UNITED STATES INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON HOMELESSNESS RESULTS IN REDUCING STREET AND CHRONIC HOMELESSNESS: DECREASES FROM LOCALLY REPORTED DATA San Francisco: 38% Philadelphia: 50% Miami: 50% Portland/ Multnomah County: 70% Nashua: 64% Raleigh/ Wake County, NC: 11% NYC: 25% Denver: 36% Dallas: 43% Quincy, MA: 55% Duluth/ St. Louis County: 15% Shreveport: 15% Madison, WI: 38% Asheville/ Buncombe County : 23% Nashville:* 21% Atlanta: 8% www.usich.gov Montgomery: 14% Seattle/ King County: 20% Contra Costa County: 35% Norfolk, VA: 40% Tacoma: 65% St. Louis: 34% Danbury, CT:10% Mobile/ Baldwin County: *26% * For the year 2006 – 2007. Fort Worth/ Tarrant County: 42% Gainesville/ Alachua County: 18% DC: 6.5% Monterey, CA: 11% Chicago: 9% Augusta, GA: 16% Portland: 49% Springfield, MA: 39% Tucson: 6%
Lessons for Australia
Planning to end chronic homelessness works.
Ending chronic homelessness is cost effective (as well morally responsible).
Not just the USA, lessons from the UK rough sleepers initiative also showed it was possible to reduce chronic homelessness. Canada also now doing 10 year plans and getting results (eg. Toronto).
Must have buy-in from all stakeholders at the local level: Federal; State; Local; NGOs; Business; People who are homeless, as well as other residents in the community.
A local champion really helps.
Lest I be accused of believing that all bright shiny new objects invented in America are always the answer to Australia’s problems, let me say that I don’t. I know that not all parts of all 10 year plans have been successful. But the concept is a solid one and the objective a worthy one. We can make the necessary adaptations to Australian conditions and for the particular composition of our chronic and non-chronic homeless populations. It is also very clear that there is much that we already do that is very good and we must not throw those things away.
For further information and/or a copy of my Churchill Fellowship report: