5.1 Retooling Transitional Housing II: Implementing Changes to Your Program


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5.1 Retooling Transitional Housing II: Implementing Changes to Your Program

Speaker: Heather Lyons

If you are planning to make significant changes to your transitional housing program, this workshop will help you identify the steps you can consider and provide examples and tools for taking those steps. Providers who have retooled their transitional housing will share their experiences about making the shift, and cover topics such as staffing, contracts, and working with board members.

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  • Scattered internal time dealing with leases – that goes to someone else so you save some money there, if you are operating a leasing program.(transition from master leasing to individual leases)More time to work with families, figure out what’s really going on once stabilized – instead of worrying about time limits right away. Strategic priority in 10 YP. Doing well now and added 5 more units in one competition and planning to add 10 in this competition.
  • One facility based project decided to focus on Child Welfare involved families. Another embraced the Housing First/Harm Reduction approach in several of their projects and were able to serve families that they hadn’t previously been able to serve due to programmatic restrictions.
  • Either from internal or external forces
  • 5.1 Retooling Transitional Housing II: Implementing Changes to Your Program

    2. 2. Source of Motivation• Why are you attending this session?
    3. 3. Source of Motivation• Project Level• Community/Continuum Level• National Level
    4. 4. Project Level Perspective
    5. 5. Project Level – Kalamazoo, MI• Housing Resources, Inc. • First in Michigan (2007) • 35 units scattered site for families • Internal HMIS data review on found that there more than 1/3 individuals and families in organization’s TH inventory were disabled • Made commitment with resources (staff time and money) • 18 months transition
    6. 6. Project Level – Batesville, IN• Community Mental Health Center • 20 units of TH in apartment building • Lower than desired housing retention outcomes • No housing in community to transition to • New permanent supportive housing project in the pipeline • Budget shortfalls
    7. 7. Continuum Level – Portland, ORScattered Site (475 Facility Based (82 families) families)Exit Reasons Exit Reasons• 73% completed program • 68% completed program• 7% non-compliance • 19% non-compliancePlacement/Retention Placement/Retention• 89% moved to PH • 86% moved to PHCost Cost• $5,052 per family • $9,482 per familyFacility based is 189% more expensive than scattered site.
    8. 8. Continuum Level – Portland, OR• Projects not interested in conversion• Used data to encourage change – focusing on program results• Based on analysis, agencies were asked to consider a harder to serve population based on program support and capacity (conversion to PSH); others were persuaded to improve their outcomes based on data (better transitional housing/interim housing)• Following year, programs showed significant changes in population change (effective targeting) and improved outcomes (higher placement rates and retention) – particularly for families
    9. 9. Considerations for your project
    10. 10. Project Level – First Steps• Inform yourself about research and best practices• Do an internal analysis of your program’s stated goals, outcomes and long-term impact on the people you serve• Would the people you’re serving be well served in a different model?• Ask residents what they like and don’t like. Talk to former residents as well.• Ask staff and board what would be needed to make shift• Visit and learn from other models to help you envision what your project might look like
    11. 11. Project Level – Questions to Ask• What is our goal? • Better outcomes? Targeting? Change under external pressure? All of the above…• Who do we serve?• Which model is most suited?• What is our internal capacity to change?• Who else do I need to talk to, to make the change?• What are the financial impacts and how do we secure the appropriate resources?
    12. 12. Key Categories• Organizational Commitment• Mission Orientation• Outcomes• Population• Financials• Structure
    13. 13. Key CategoriesOrganizational Commitment• Commitment from line staff to Board and across multiple functions• Staff capacity to implement change• Internal resources• Communication• Everyone understands any new legal responsibilities
    14. 14. Key CategoriesMission Orientation• A close second to organizational commitment• Historical approach to homelessness in organization• Determining self-sufficiency• Review application and program rules • Do they screen people out? • Are they unnecessarily prohibitive?
    15. 15. Key CategoriesOutcomes• Is there an effective transition to PH or not?• What is average length of stay? A long length of stay and small percentage of PH placements could indicate a need for conversion to PSH OR A need to reevaluate the program design for more rapid and stable placements• Dependent on Population
    16. 16. Key CategoriesPopulation• Special needs or not? If not special needs, are you ready to house and serve a PSH eligible population? OR Can you decrease overall length of stay and increase housing placement and retention? OR Is transition in place an option?
    17. 17. Key CategoriesFinancials• Are matching funds prohibitive to change? What steps need to be taken with funders?• Are resources adequate for change?• If converting to PSH – consider the following: • Change in operating costs based on legal and eviction costs • Reduction in turnover rates in units, resulting in reduced unit preparation costs • Changes in rent paid by tenants and rent collection rates • Opportunities to secure rental subsidies • Increased or shifted costs due to creating or reorganizing a housing administration function • Increased costs tied to building security or replacement reserve needed • Changes in staffing patterns • Allocation of costs between services and operating budgets • Adequate service dollars and support for special needs populations
    18. 18. Key CategoriesStructure• If considering PSH, is there capacity to create independent units? • For families with children• Community space• Service space• Unit kitchens and baths or shared• Consider change an opportunity for updating structure
    19. 19. Details on converting to PSH• Create a document/proposal that includes: • Reason for change • Difference between current and future participants (if applicable) • Proposed outcomes • Analysis of resources to project • Rehab Plan (if applicable) • Timeline – Transition Plan (if applicable)• Grant or covenant amendments• Zoning and Neighborhood• Local CoC• HUD
    20. 20. Converting a HUD-SHP Grant• Requires a grant amendment with HUD • Outline request in a letter • Find your original HUD grant application • Submit supporting documentation and support letters from Continuum of Care • Continue conversation/advocacy with HUD to ensure amendment is completed• There are new opportunities under HEARTH
    21. 21. Questions? ???
    22. 22. Thank you! HEATHER LYONS CSHHeather.lyons@csh.org