Each year, approximately 45,000 rapid re-housing placements are available to assist homeless families into rental housing and to connect them with services. For families with higher needs, approximately 7,500 units of permanent supportive housing are also available each year. These are vital resources but are no match for the 150,000 families who become homeless each year.
Without appropriate permanent housing resources, homeless service systems can’t do their jobs: shelter beds fill up, families become trapped in longer cycles of homelessness, and the homeless system becomes ill-equipped to serve newly-homeless families.
To ensure homelessness for families is a short, one-time crisis, we need more permanent housing resources. We can achieve this by increasing federal investment in housing solutions, such as the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants Program and the Housing Choice Voucher Program. States can also direct resources, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), to help families reconnect to permanent housing.
Further, we can extend our existing resources by helping families get quickly back on their feet so that they no longer need housing assistance. Those resources can then be used to help other families.