3.2: On Point: Targeting your Prevention Efforts

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Presented by Cathy ten Broeke

3.2: On Point: Targeting your Prevention Efforts

In this workshop, speakers examine how to target prevention resources by identifying key risk factors, evaluating prevention outcomes, and improving program performance. Invited speakers will go over their own prevention programs, evaluate their successes and failures, and share strategies that have proven effective at efficiently targeting precious resources.

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3.2: On Point: Targeting your Prevention Efforts

  1. 1. Targeting Prevention Hennepin County, MN Cathy ten Broeke Director, Minneapolis/Hennepin County Office to End Homelessness
  2. 2. History of Prevention and Rapid –Exit in Hennepin Co. Population: 1,141,000 Largest City: Minneapolis: 385,000 In 1986 Hennepin County passed a “Right to Shelter Policy,” giving shelter to all eligible families.
  3. 3. History cont. <ul><li>In 1992 we had a family homelessness crisis. All shelter beds full, plus 100 overflow motel rooms for families </li></ul><ul><li>Projected having to turn away 150 families each night in the coming year </li></ul><ul><li>Hennepin County’s voluntary policy of sheltering all families was at stake. </li></ul>
  4. 4. History, Cont. <ul><li>With grant from state’s Housing Finance Agency (MN Housing) in 1993, a program was created that focused on cash and in-kind prevention assistance, not services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conducted focus groups with homeless families – designed program based on their input </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Delivered through geographically diverse agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on early intervention in financial assistance </li></ul>
  5. 5. History, Cont. <ul><li>Eligibility: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-preventable, verifiable financial crisis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No other resources available </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prevention assistance will preserve housing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Goals for new prevention program: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>10% reduction in admissions to Family shelter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10% reduction in length of stay </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. History, Cont. <ul><li>Results of Prevention </li></ul><ul><ul><li>96% of families did not enter shelter within 1 year following assistance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>43% reduction in family shelter admissions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Right to Shelter Policy maintained </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. 2010 Evaluation of Targeting <ul><li>After 17 years of providing prevention and rapid re-housing programs, we decided it was time to evaluate our success on another level. Were we providing prevention funding to families who would have become homeless? </li></ul>
  8. 8. 2010 Evaluation of Targeting <ul><li>Used HMIS data and barrier assessments to compare characteristics of families who received prevention to families who did not receive prevention and who ended up in shelter. </li></ul><ul><li>If targeting well, families should be very similar in characteristics </li></ul>
  9. 9. Findings <ul><li>In some categories these families were similar (felony histories, limited English proficiency) </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly, these families were quite different </li></ul>
  10. 10. Income <ul><li>Families receiving prevention: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>40% had incomes below $1000/mo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>45% were paying more than 65% of their income toward housing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Families in shelter: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>94% had incomes below $1000/mo (70% below $500/mo) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>94% were paying more than 65% of their income toward housing </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. History of Homelessness <ul><li>36% of families receiving prevention assistance had been homeless before </li></ul><ul><li>63% of families in shelter with no prevention assistance had been homeless before </li></ul>
  12. 12. Young Families <ul><li>Only 1% of families receiving prevention had a head of household under age 22 </li></ul><ul><li>Nearly 33% of shelter families had a head of household under 22 </li></ul>
  13. 13. Suburban vs. Urban Areas <ul><li>Urban providers were more likely to serve families with lower average monthly incomes ($831 compared to $1543 in suburban areas) </li></ul><ul><li>Both of these incomes, however, were significantly higher than the $377 average monthly income of families in shelter </li></ul>
  14. 14. Analysis and Impact <ul><li>Good probability that some of the households receiving prevention may never have become homeless </li></ul><ul><li>With limited resources we decided to adjust the way prevention assistance was targeted </li></ul><ul><li>Met with policy makers and providers to discuss </li></ul>
  15. 15. Analysis and Impact <ul><li>Based on these conversations, the evaluation, and literature review, Hennepin County changed its prevention screening tool </li></ul>
  16. 16. New Criteria <ul><li>INCOME : </li></ul><ul><li>Only families with incomes at or below 30% of Area Median Income will receive Prevention, AND </li></ul><ul><li>TRIGGER CRISIS : </li></ul><ul><li>An event has occurred which is expected to result in housing loss within 30 days or less, AND </li></ul><ul><li>NO RESOURCES OR VIABLE PLAN TO RESOLVE CRISIS : </li></ul><ul><li>“ But for this assistance” this family would become literally homeless—staying in a shelter, car, or place not meant for human habitation, AND </li></ul><ul><li>REASONABLE EXPECTATION FOR SUSTAINABLE RESOLUTION : At the initial assessment for assistance, there is a reasonable expectation that the crisis can be resolved and existing housing (or relocation to alternative housing) can be sustained by the family after services and assistance are ended, AND </li></ul><ul><li>SCORE OF AT LEAST 20 POINTS --or 15-19 points with over-ride SIGN-OFF. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Questions/Concerns <ul><li>Could these lower income, higher barrier families sustain housing after receiving prevention support? </li></ul><ul><li>Would we have to change our definition of “success?” </li></ul>
  18. 18. New Targeting 6-Month Evaluation <ul><li>Data gathered from households served between May 1, 2010-Dec 31, 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>436 households served </li></ul><ul><li>Only 32 (7.4%) returned to county shelter within 6 months (same success rate as before) </li></ul><ul><li>VERY early in evaluation, but if return rates stay the same, we could argue this is a more effective use of prevention dollars </li></ul><ul><li>Even if the rates of return increase we may still feel more confident we are preventing more homelessness </li></ul>

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