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27th January
2010
written by naehblog


The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing program is making good news throughout the U.S. We’re keeping track of the media coverage on this interactive map, and we’re also highlighting some of the common themes we’ve seen in the implementation of the program. (Hat tip to fellow intern Grace Stubee for her help with this post!)

Centralization
Many groups have used funding from HPRP to create a one-stop shop, or centralized point of access, for services to people experiencing homelessness. One example comes from Cowlitz County, WA, where the center is the office of Lower Columbia Community Action Program. Making services easily accessible is particularly important because many people seeking assistance through HPRP don’t know how to navigate the social services system, because they have never needed government assistance before.

Elsewhere, the one-stop shop isn’t a physical space, but folks can connect with numerous services through an HPRP hotline, which Allegheny County and the city of Pittsburgh worked together to start up.

Coordination
In Columbus, OH, it’s not just about having a central location, but also a common way of doing things: “For the community and for the homeless population, there will be one point of contact, with a common language, common process and a hot line,” said Dave Davis, director of programs and planning at the shelter board.

In Las Vegas, the federal money has encouraged more than 35 social service agencies to coordinate. The county designed a three-tier network of assistance, but as the program’s name – “No Wrong Door” – indicates, staff at any of the organizations in the network will attempt to connect clients with all the programs they are eligible for.

Essentially, the aim is to “prevent participants from having to run between agencies and potentially fall through the cracks,” said Eileen Leir, regional services director for Volunteers of America, Dakotas.

In Durango, CO, one single dad reaped the benefits of coordination and centralization by his city’s agencies. Through one case manager, he was able to access not only an apartment, but Medicaid and food stamps, programs he didn’t even know existed. He’s also enrolled his son in childcare, which will allow him to return to work as a mechanic.

His is a great example of how centralized, streamlined services move people from homelessness to self-sufficiency.

Speaking of media coverage, have you read Time.com’s feature on HPRP? Alliance President Nan Roman is featured: “People need the stability of a home.” she says.

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