2.4 Preventing Family Homelessness


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2.4 Preventing Family Homelessness

Speaker: Sara Zuiderveen

One of the keys to ending homelessness is to prevent it from happening in the first place. This workshop will examine the most effective strategies to prevent family homelessness, including using homelessness data to target interventions and partnering with providers serving high-risk families. Presenters will cover a wide array of services and solutions.

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2.4 Preventing Family Homelessness

  1. 1. Targeting Homelessness Prevention in High Risk Communities In New York City NAEH Conference, February 9, 2012 1
  2. 2. What is Homebase? Established in 2005, DHS’ community-based homelessness prevention program know as Homebase is firmly rooted in the communities with the highest shelter demand across the city. The program works to stabilize families in their own homes through  family and landlord mediation  rental assistance  Budgeting and financial counseling  entitlements advocacy  employment and training  legal advice and referral  short-term financial assistance DHS partners with 8 non-profit organizations to run 10 Homebase programs that will serve over 9,000 households in 2012 2
  3. 3. How do we target services? HomeBase Shelter Profile PROFILE OF ELIGIBLE FAMILY SHELTER ENTRANTS CD 203: Jan - Sep, 2006 Age of Head of Household Family Size (Number of Individuals) 213 200 240 180 Number of Families 200 160 131 140 160 120 120 100 40 80 80 37 60 40 40 20 0 0 Family Size Primary Tenant Reason for Secondary Tenant Reason for Homelessness Homelessness 5% 8% 2% 1% 13% 13% Lockout Domestic Violence 1% 33% 37% EvictionProvide services to families who DV 10% Crime situationhave similar characteristics to 51% Eviction 26% Unlivable Conditions Discordfamilies who enter shelter. Crime Situation Overcrowding Financial Strain Unlivable Conditions 3
  4. 4. How do we target services? L L L Outreach to families who are L most likely to end up in shelter. L L L L 4
  5. 5. How do we target services? Planning • Public awareness campaign with placements in high- demand communities • Developed screening and referral service through 311 • Calls transferred to Homebase doubled 5
  6. 6. How do we target services? 6
  7. 7. How do we target services? Match households served against shelter entrants to determine client impact. 7
  8. 8. How do we target services?Sample CD 303 8Foreclosure Filing Map
  9. 9. In 2011, nearly two-thirds of familyshelter entrantscome from thehighlightedcommunities
  10. 10. What makes these communities so high-risk?The Center for Urban Research CUNY GraduateCenter, directed by Dr. John Mollenkopf, established thatneighborhood homelessness correlates withdemographics, family dynamics and rental costs. It is notstrongly correlated with rising property values (neighborhoodgentrification).The communities identified by CUNY are the poorest in thecity, have the highest concentration of single headedhouseholds and have severe rent burden.
  11. 11. How do we enhance community targeting?Within these communities, we zoomed in on actualblocks and buildings with the largest cluster ofshelter entriesWe estimated the cost of sheltering families wholived in this hot spot, drawing on the concept of“million dollar blocks” from the criminal justicefield.Our new neighborhood targeting campaign willfocus on finding solutions.
  12. 12. How do we enhance community targeting?Mollenkopf’s data revealed six censustracts in the Bronx that had the highestconcentration of shelter entriesOver six years, over 600 families enteredshelter from a two square miles.Mollenkopf found that factors such aspoverty, family form, marginality, andneighborhood characteristics werecorrelated with shelter entry.Nearly 50% of households live belowpovertyNearly 50% receive public assistanceRepresents 5% of the population in theBronx and 11% of major crime
  13. 13. Million Dollar Block Campaign•Create real-time centraltracking center at DHS•Quickly deploy outreachworkers to hot spots•Launch grass-root preventioncampaign to raise publicawareness•Set targeting goals toeliminate million dollar blocksby 2013
  14. 14. How do we enhance consumer-level targeting Planning In 2008-2009, DHS commissioned a comprehensive set of studies to test the efficacy and effectiveness of two highly regarded homelessness prevention programs, Homebase and Housing Help. Among several others, the nation’s top researchers in the field examined the following question: What makes a household high risk for shelter entry and can Homebase target services to these high risk individuals? MaryBeth Shinn and Andrew Greer, Vanderbilt University 17