The first time I heard about the Alliance, I was poring over years’ worth of case notes as an intern at a homeless services agency in Boston, compiling and analyzing data to support the organization’s efforts to provide more permanent supportive housing. Today, I’m excited to continue working on these issues as the (new) New Media Intern at NAEH. I’ll be helping keep us all connected, informed and active through Facebook, Twitter, and this blog.
Along with introducing myself, I want to introduce Chuck Rifae, a Housing Broker at Embry Rucker Community Shelter in Reston, VA. He sent along this story, an example of how HPRP funds are being used to get people out of shelters and into their very own homes. His clients names have been changed to protect their privacy.
Sandra and Sally found themselves in the singles homeless shelter program at Embry Rucker Community Shelter for two different reasons. Sandra had a long history substance abuse and domestic violence. Sally came to the Embry Rucker Shelter from an abusive family and job loss.
Both women were able to find work and the mental help they needed at ERCS; however, they were unable to find independent living they could afford. Knowing their challenges, the caseworkers and the Housing Broker spoke to each client individually and asked if they would be interested in sharing a two bedroom apartment. Both agreed that having a roommate is much better then being homeless or living at a shelter. With the financial assistance of the new Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program(HPRP) funds with the first months rent, both clients were able to move into a two bedroom apartment in a nearby apartment complex.
Thanks in large part to the availability of the HPRP funds for the first months and security deposit, both clients were able to move into market rate housing.
The Alliance is collecting stories of rapid re-housing, homelessness diversion, and HPRP application through our Story Bank. Please feel free to submit a story about your program and your successes! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Alliance Staff.