It is a transforming time for our agency and the services we provide. After many years without the tools to really help families end homelessness, we are finally seeing the resources needed to end homelessness. (The Road Home in Salt Lake City -operating the largest homeless shelter in Utah as well as an extensive transitional and permanent housing program.)
The Road Home has recently partnered with the State of Utah, Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County to utilize federal stimulus dollars to rapidly re-house families.
With the flexibility allowed by the funds, our Rapid Re-Housing program is designed to give families a jump start. Funding allows payments for utility debts, deposits and rental assistance as well as a strong case management component. We have seen that once in housing, families rarely need to return to emergency shelter ever again.
The Road Home recently assisted a young single mother who had been living in the family winter shelter facility. She was able to move out with the assistance of the Rapid Rehousing Program. She and her three children found a nice apartment in West Valley City. Soon after moving, the mother found a job at a grocery store. Recently, she was promoted to be a manager there and has increased her income enough to afford her rent. She no longer needs our assistance.
We have also used these funds in conjunction with other programs. Another single mom staying in our women’s shelter was approved to re-unite with her children but needed a home to bring them to. We were able to access a single family home, beautifully renovated by the Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds, for this family. We worked with the mom through the application process for a Shelter Plus Care voucher with our local Housing Authority. And we used Rapid Re-housing funds to assist her with an old housing debt so that she would qualify for the voucher. In addition, we partnered with LDS Church’s thrift store to help this family acquire beds and basic furniture as well as a two week supply of food.
“Our team has been working side by side with our families to move out of homelessness and into housing,” said Matthew Minkevitch, Executive Director for The Road Home. “During the first six months of the project (Oct 1, 2009-Mar 31, 2010), the Rapid Rehousing team assisted 232 households as they moved out of homelessness and into housing in the community.”
To learn more about programs and services provided by The Road Home, visit www.theroadhome.org.