It is a generally acknowledged truth that kids can be difficult, particularly teenagers. Homeless kids are difficult, too—but I’m not talking about mood swings or rebellion. I’m talking about data. Counting homeless unaccompanied children (below age 18) and youth (ages 18 to 24) is one of the many challenging tasks that homeless advocates face.
Each January, communities across the country conduct Point-in-Time Counts. These counts give a national snapshot of homelessness on a single night, and are a valuable tool in monitoring trends in homelessness. Point-in-Time Counts are challenging, and they became even more so in 2013 when the federal government mandated that communities begin counting homeless unaccompanied children and youth.
Communities that have achieved significant reductions in veteran homelessness generally have something in common: the key stakeholders responsible for addressing the issue meet on a very regular basis.
You may have noticed in a lot of the Alliance materials around veteran homelessness we talk a lot about getting together on a weekly basis with your partners to address the issue. In turn, we have heard a lot of feedback about whether or not such frequent meetings are necessary. Our response is pretty simple: yes, they are. Regular, frequent meetings serve numerous purposes, including keeping everyone on task and allowing for regular assessments of the problem in your community.
It is possible to use rapid re-housing successfully in high cost, low vacancy markets. We’ve learned from the innovative rapid re-housing programs that creativity and flexibility are the key to making this work.
There are three Core Components of Rapid Re-Housing: housing identification, rent and move-in assistance (financial), and rapid re-housing case management and services. I’ve listed some tips that successful rapid re-housing programs in challenging rental markets have shared with us in conferences and webinars below. (I recommended reading through the core components first before reading this blog post, if they are new to you.)
The FY 2015 CoC Program Registration opened Tuesday, April 28, and will close on Monday, May 18. The Registration Notice from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) contains crucial information to help communities prepare for this year’s competition, including requirements of the registration process for Collaborative Applicants, HUD’s policy priorities, and directions to all project applicants to continue implementing effective interventions that reduce homelessness.
This brief on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is one in a series providing community leaders and rapid re-housing providers with information on how they can use different federal programs to fund rapid re-housing. Each brief contains information on the funding source, ways it can be used to support rapid re-housing, and examples of communities that have successfully done so.