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3.10 Amy Sawyer
 

3.10 Amy Sawyer

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  • Introduce ourselves
  • Rent Assistance is available to people based on need – research shows that rent assistance IS the best way to prevent homelessness (find the report Martha always quotes). There are a variety of programs that offer different types of housing, from one-time crisis payments to monthly rent payments that can last for up to 18months through programs like HPRP or the HOME TBRA program we’re here to talk with you about today.
  • Brief summary.
  • Chronic homelessness def now includes families. This slide gets into more about what people do day to day to make the program really work, and why it is important.
  • Amy does this slide.
  • Brian this slide. Describe Homeward Bound in general (non-profit, active board w/people who have experienced homelessness as some of the reps, mission to end the cycle of chronic homelessness, etc.) Then how HB implements HOME TBRA. Technical stuff for people who may want to get into the whole TBRA gig but aren’t sure how.
  • Now going a little deeper. Describing why these TBRA funds will serve fewer people, but have significant impact.
  • Amy or Brian can do this slide. Talks about merits of TBRA- many people suggest that it is not a good investment, better to build buildings with the HOME funds.

3.10 Amy Sawyer 3.10 Amy Sawyer Presentation Transcript

    • Housing Resource Partnerships
    • Ending Homelessness in
    • Asheville, North Carolina
  • A little about me:
  • Types of Housing Assistance Available in Asheville:
    • Crisis Payments
    • Arrears
    • Utility/Security Deposits
    • Monthly Utility Payments
    • One-Time Rent Payments
    • Monthly Rent Payments, 1-4 months
    • Monthly Rent Payments up to 24 months
    • Ongoing Housing Subsidy
    • ..intensity, amount & duration depend on client need
  • How things got rolling:
    • Homeless Initiative Advisory
    • Committee brainstormed ways to fill gaps in
    • housing & services for the chronically
    • homeless.
    • Members on the Committee:
    • Housing Authority
    • Local Agencies supporting people experiencing homelessness (services & financial assistance)
    • People experiencing homelessness
    • City Council member
    • County Appointed staff member
  • Housing First in Action
    • Chronic Homeless = one year or more OR 4 or more episodes in 3 with a disabling condition
    • Extremely vulnerable population
    • High needs with very limited resources
    • Housing is key intervention
    • Targeted for programs that meet individual needs.
  • The initial conversation:
    • Housing First concept was new
    • Resources were fragmented
    • Housing Authority already had many projects/programs
    • Outcome:
    • A few lead agencies decided to document outcomes of their work with people experiencing chronic homelessness.
  • One step at a time..
    • Data showed over 90% retention rate.
    • Housing Authority’s partnered with a Shelter Plus Care & redevelopment of a building for formerly homeless tenants engaged leadership
    • City’s CDBG and HOME funds directed towards a chronic homeless project.
  • City of Asheville
    • Prioritized goals through Consolidated Plan
    • Consortium Board reviewed & recommended funding.
    • Asheville City Council approved funding request by community agency annually.
    • City monitored, evaluated, and reported on program outcomes and activities to the Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee.
  • Homeless Coalition
    • Worked to develop trust-worthy partnerships among providers.
    • Advocated with clients in areas of background checks with entities like the Housing Authority
    • Held “Landlord Luncheons” to teach existing landlords about tenant/landlord rights and the benefits of Housing First Programs.
  • Housing Authority
    • Participated in dialogue with the Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee
    • Offered a preference if case management could be guaranteed after a person received housing subsidy
    • Participated in housing first trainings, worked with VASH and other housing programs.
  • Agency’s Role: Implementation
    • Develop a transparent program
    • Target funds to case management & rent
    • Outreach to eligible tenants
    • Ensure eligibility of tenants
    • Evaluate for affordable & quality housing
    • Housing Stabilization Case Management services support the person to carry out their sustainability plan
    • Follow-up to monitor tenant success
  • Community Partners
    • Monthly meetings review progress of the project,
    • invite new members as needed, and work directly
    • with potential tenants:
    • Members:
    • Homeless Advisory Committee
    • Homeless Coalition
    • Housing Authority
    • City Staff (Police, Sanitation, Parks & Rec)
    • County Staff (DSS, Jail Diversion)
    • VA (Jail Outreach, VASH)
  • Goal: Directly impact the number of people experiencing chronic homelessness. 1. Monthly group meetings identify the most vulnerable people and each partner affirms their role in helping with housing and supports. 2. Outreach workers work with people who are chronically homeless and ask them if they would like to participate in the program. 3. Individuals develop a housing plan and apply to the Housing Authority with the support of Housing Stabilization Case Managers, develop a housing plan and and apply to the Housing Authority. 4. If the person is denied , they are have case is reviewed and if they can show that they are actively working with a program, the priority is applied.
  • But…does it work?
    • YES!!
    • 55 people who HAD experienced chronic homelessness are now in public housing or receiving housing choice voucher support through this program.
    • (+90% retention rate)
  • This works great because…
    • Allows client-choice in housing selection
    • Helps maintain affordable rental housing in the community
    • Provides incentive to landlords to overlook credit/criminal backgrounds
    • Serves as “bridge” while tenants obtain SSI/SSDI, employment, or other mainstream support
    • Paired w/other assistance is immediate until client accesses public housing/housing choice vouchers
    • Clients can seek support through support services without losing their rent assistance .
  •  
    • “ Until you get it, you don’t get it. Three years ago, I just couldn’t see it working. Now I can’t imagine this project *not* existing”
    • -Asheville Housing Authority staff member
  • Contact:
    • Asheville Housing Authority
    • David Nash, Deputy Director
    • [email_address]
    • www.haca.org
    • Homeward Bound
    • Brian Alexander, Executive Director
    • [email_address] 828.256.1895
    • www.hbofa.org
    • 10 Year Plan Implementation
    • Amy Sawyer, Coordinator (City of Asheville)
    • [email_address] - 828.259.5723
    • www.ashevillenc.gov /homeless