The Alliance has released the five key strategies for advancing rapid re-housing. Those strategies are: Build the Evidence, Adopt Standards of Excellence and Practice, Make Rapid Re-Housing Part of Your System, Expand the Role of Partners and Acquire New Resources. This blog discusses the third strategy, Make Rapid Re-Housing Part of Your System.
In September, people from across the country participated in our Rapid Re-Housing Summit to explore successes and assess the next steps to advance the model further. One of the key topics participants explored was developing partnerships. The big takeaway? We have a lot of work to do!
We heard from participants that providers, funders and systems are looking for more guidance. They want to know (and we are working to answer):
- Who are the most important potential rapid re-housing partners and how do their funding streams work?
- What matters to potential partners and how do we sell them on what rapid re-housing can provide that could help them meet their mission?
- What are examples of existing partnerships between rapid re-housing providers and other systems (e.g. TANF, public housing agencies, workforce development agencies, and child development programs) and how where they crafted?
For state and local partners, the call to action is more direct: start making connections.
- Get to know the leaders of other systems and educate them about homelessness in the geographic area or among the target population they serve.
- Tell them about rapid re-housing and its success serving low-income households like the clients they serve.
- Ask them how their services may benefit people experiencing homelessness and how to make those services more accessible to people receive rapid re-housing.
Learn from Others
Communities have had success building partnerships across service systems. Take a look at these communities and learn from their work!
- Massachusetts is ensuring that all families experiencing homelessness are immediately connected to child care so that parents can focus on housing and employment search.
- In Washington, rapid re-housing programs are coordinating rapid re-housing with employment services so that people are quickly connected to both housing and employment.
- Indiana is expanding rapid re-housing with money from the state TANF agency to help pay for short-term rental assistance to eligible families.
- New Jersey is exploring paying for housing search assistance with Medicaid funding.
- Multiple jurisdictions are dedicating homelessness prevention resources to help households that experience a housing crisis after receiving rapid re-housing assistance.
- Cuyahoga County, Ohio leaders are working with public housing agencies to make permanent rent subsidies available to the most vulnerable households who are unable to stabilize their housing after receiving rapid re-housing assistance.
Developing partnerships across service systems is challenging. We have to learn a new language, and a new system, all while meeting the heady obligations of running successful programs serving people in crisis. But the benefits – increased resources and support for people experiencing homelessness – are too great not to do the work. And, as I said before, there is a lot of work to do! So, enjoy the holidays and lets start afresh in January!