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3.5 Elaine deColigny


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3.5 Elaine deColigny

  1. 1. Prevention: Targeting the Imminently Homeless <br />National Conference on Ending Homelessness<br />July 14, 2011<br />Washington, D.C.<br />Elaine de Coligny, Executive Director<br />EveryOne Home, Alameda County, CA<br />1<br />
  2. 2. Alameda County’s Homelessness Prevention Study<br />The first strategy in our Plan to end homelessness is to prevent it<br />In 2008 EveryOne Home commissioned a study of our prevention efforts in Alameda County<br />The study was conducted by Katharine Gale Consulting, and here is what we found and what we did about it with HPRP funds<br />2<br />
  3. 3. The Typical Homeless Prevention Program<br />Targets households <br />with own lease for an apartment/house<br />who experience a “crisis” that leads to a rent arrears situation/an eviction notice<br />who demonstrate they can sustain the housing after the one-time or short-term assistance<br />Is restricted to one-time only (often once in a life time) in many cases<br />Before HPRP Alameda County’s programs worked this way.<br />3<br />
  4. 4. Historical assumptions about Homelessness Prevention<br />Households being evicted will become homeless if we don’t help them (so when we do help them we have successfully prevented homelessness.)<br />Households who can’t prove they can stabilize very quickly without assistance are “bad risks.”<br />4<br />
  5. 5. National research contradicts assumption #1<br />Evictions don’t necessarily lead to homelessness<br />Shinn et. al found that only 20% of families that received eviction notices went on to be homeless: 80% did not<br />Shinn also found that only 22% of families entering homeless shelters had ever had an eviction<br />44% of families entering shelter had never had their own apartment<br />5<br />
  6. 6. So, where do we find the people who will become homeless?<br />6<br />
  7. 7. Alameda County HMIS data (2008)<br />7<br />
  8. 8. Going Deeper: Interviews with families in shelter in Alameda County<br /><ul><li>Most reported having stayed with family or friends prior to recognizing a need to seek help
  9. 9. All had some past or current relationship to TANF but only two had been assisted by TANF program
  10. 10. Few knew of prevention assistance or the 211 hot line
  11. 11. None would have qualified for our one-time rental assistance because they could not show they had enough income to sustain housing</li></ul>8<br />
  12. 12. Implications of the Alameda County Study<br /><ul><li>Typical Homelessness Prevention Programs don’t prevention homelessness and don’t reach the people most likely to become homeless.
  13. 13. We concluded that our programs should target limited prevention & rehousing resources to those:
  14. 14. staying with friends and family
  15. 15. staying in hotels and motels using their own resources
  16. 16. Receiving TANF
  17. 17. exiting institutional care, especially substance abuse treatment programs
  18. 18. Losing housing subsidies</li></ul>9<br />
  19. 19. HPRP! A big opportunity to make our system better<br />We wanted to build a program that reached people at greater risk of homelessness so we were actually preventing it.<br />We wanted to test the assumption that Households who can’t prove they can stabilize very quickly without assistance are “bad risks.”<br />10<br />
  20. 20. Who we targeted for prevention assistance <br />People living doubled up with family and friends <br />People being evicted from subsidized housing<br />Households with incomes at 30% AMI or lower<br />11<br />
  21. 21. How program works<br />Initial potential eligibility and match with targeting determined at 211 then referred to a Housing Resource Center (HRC) nearby<br />At HRC the head of household is given a financial assessment that scores them based on current and past income, housing costs, debt, and barriers such as past housing and legal history <br />50-65 generally provided one time referrals<br />< 25 generally referred to longer-term programs or shelter<br />People who score in the mid range (25-50) and are eligible are recommended for HPRP or assistance<br />Assessment scores are included in the HMIS record<br />12<br />
  22. 22. Preliminary data from year 1<br />1,242 households enrolled in prevention services<br />73% have exited<br />78% of exiters have received financial assistance<br />The average score on the assessment = 39<br />13<br />
  23. 23. Preliminary data from year 1<br />Those served had both high scores (above 35) and low scores (35 and below)<br />About 1/3 were low scorers (i.e. higher risk, higher barrier).<br />Low scorers look different at intake, but not in terms of outcomes<br />14<br />
  24. 24. How do high scorers and low scorers differ?<br />15<br />
  25. 25. How do high scorers and low scorers differ?<br />16<br />
  26. 26. How their outcomes compare<br />17<br />
  27. 27. Year 1 data continued<br />One significant difference is that low scorers exit the program without having received financial assistance at a higher rate thank high scorers—33% versus 18%<br />May imply that low scorers have a harder time completing all documentation/verification requirements in HPRP<br />Need to check on housing stability of both groups a year after exit from program to see if outcomes remain similar<br />18<br />
  28. 28. Has Prevention Program Impacted 2011 Homeless Count?<br />2009 Homeless Count identified just over 3,000 hidden homeless<br />those living temporarily with family and friends, staying in hotels or about to be evicted within 7 days<br />Triple the number since 2003<br />2011 Homeless Count showed a 3.8% reduction in our literally homeless census<br />The hidden homeless of 2009 did not join the ranks of the literally homeless in 2011.<br />19<br />
  29. 29. Conclusions<br />Households who are “riskier” on paper may do just as well remaining housed as those we have historically assisted.<br />If we are going to use rental assistance to prevent homelessness we need to look beyond households that currently have rental agreements especially to serve those who are doubled up and exiting institutions<br />Use HMIS data to develop and evaluate your targeting strategies<br />20<br />
  30. 30. For more information<br />Visit<br /> download 2008 Prevention study, our HPRP program design, the assessment tool, and our Plan<br />21<br />