In September, the National Alliance to End Homelessness convened nearly 100 rapid re-housing champions from around the country to develop a common vision about how we can advance rapid re-housing and discuss emerging knowledge, research and practice on the model.
What we heard resoundingly is that rapid re-housing continues to be a primary solution for ending homelessness. The intervention effectively gets households into permanent housing and keeps them there.
Ramping up rapid re-housing across the country would mean we could serve more people, thus reducing the overall number of people experiencing homelessness. And while we know rapid re-housing is increasing in places around the country, there is a need to scale up the intervention in a coordinated manner and at the systems level in order to address homelessness on a broader scale.
What did we learn at the Summit?
- We need more rapid re-housing. Rapid re-housing should be the primary intervention within the homeless service system for most people experiencing homelessness. Communities need to scale up the intervention in a strategic way to more effectively serve the most people.
- We need to better understand its impact. We need more information about the impact of rapid re-housing on a community’s system, including how progressive engagement works across a system and the effectiveness of various program models (e.g., duration of assistance, variation in program design).
- We need to improve practice. Rapid re-housing programs should align with best practices, as described in the Rapid Re-Housing Performance Benchmarks and Program Standards. Programs should reflect Housing First principles.
- We need to build stronger partnerships. To end homelessness, we need to develop strong partnerships with mainstream systems and other nontraditional partners that can help ensure that people experiencing homelessness have the community supports they need to succeed.
- We need more resources. We need to advocate for more federal, state and local dollars for rapid re-housing so that communities are able to effectively serve those in need. We also need to leverage the resources of our partners (e.g., Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, etc.).
The Summit was the first step, a kick-off of sorts, to the larger initiative of creating momentum and sharing new data and resources that we think will help communities either transition to rapid re-housing, or improve their existing practice. To that end, we are launching Rapid Re-Housing Works, a campaign that will run through January and focus on the fundamentals of rapid re-housing as well as fresh thinking around adoption and implementation. Each week we will release dozens of exciting new tools, resources and thought pieces for you to use in your practice and your community.
Stay tuned over the next few months as we take you through some of the presentations and discussion that occurred at the summit and let you know how you can get involved. Sign up for our Rapid Re-Housing newsletter, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and visit our website weekly for updates.
To start the discussion, let us know what you think are the most important things we need to do to ramp up rapid re-housing. TAKE OUR SURVEY.