Pressure Points Resource Series

April 14, 2022  |  Data and Graphics

The Pressure Points resource series is intended to highlight key, continuously evolving strategies and practices for ending homelessness, and provide guidance and clarity to help communities execute them more effectively.

Shared Housing

Shared Housing is a strategy that maximizes housing resources in a community to get people housed quickly and reduce system strain. Sharing housing is often used as a response to a lack of affordable housing, as it reduces the rent burden for all parties involved – tenants, landlords, and the homelessness system itself.

Additional Resources

Shared Housing infographic. Shared Housing increases affordable housing resources by maximizing each unit's living capacity. Multiple Households can occupy one unit -- affording them both individual and communal living spaces with shared responsibilities of rent and household upkeep. Example 1: Carter is a young adult in the LGTBQ community. They are working part-time, couldn’t afford a unit on their own, and preferred living in a communal setting. Carter met their current housemateswhile living unsheltered.  Example 2: Taysha is a single mother with a 7-year old daughter, Simone. Despite working a full-time job, Taysha couldn’t affordan apartment in her neighborhood in addition to childcare. Carter watches Simone for a small fee when Taysha is working. Example 3: Michael had been homeless for 35years after a car accident that lefthim paralyzed and led him to pain medication addiction. His housemates provide natural support, which aids him in his recovery and gives him assistance in completing daily tasks.

Progressive Engagement

Progressive Engagement is a strategy to maximize a community’s limited resources by tailoring assistance to each household’s unique strengths, needs, and changing circumstances, and scaling them up or down as needed over time.

Additional Resources

Progressive Engagement infographic. A progressive engagement approach incrementally increases the intensity and cost of options to resolve a household’s crisis. Progressive Engagement starts off with light touch assistance tailored to a household’s needs. If the intervention does not resolve the household’s crisis, additional assistance should be offered. More expensive interventions should be offered only if lighter touch options fail. Each household will require varying levels of intervention to achieve stability in permanent housing. Use creative problem-solving to identify the appropriately scaled intervention. 1) A light touch intervention, tailored to the household, should be initially offered in attempt to resolve the housing crisis at hand. Most housing crises can be resolved by one-time, light touch assistance. 2) Should initial lighter touch interventions fail to resolve the household’s housing crisis, an additional, slightly more intense intervention should be offered. 3) A slightly more intense intervention might be necessary to end the household’s housing crisis if lighter touch interventions fail. 4) More intense and expensive interventions might be necessary to resolve the housing crisis and should be offered after lighter touch options are exhausted.

Housing First

Housing First is a philosophy rooted in the understanding that the most effective way to end a person’s homelessness is to connect them with permanent housing as fast as possible, without unnecessary preconditions, while offering on-going support through connection to optional services. Truly becoming a Housing First provider, however, demands more than just agreement with that philosophy; it requires a broad shift in strategy, philosophy, operations, and practices.

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Housing First provides a direct pathway into permanent housing, allowing households to achieve stability and a foundation to support sustainability goals. Housing First removes barriers to permanent housing, such as first obtaining sobriety, employment, program participation, or citizenship. With Housing First, services are voluntary and not forced: household choice and agency in the housing process is essential to success. Both natural and community supports aid in successful, long-term permanent housing outcomes and reduce returns to homelessness. With Housing First, households have a greater foundation, allowing them to move forward and better able to achieve housing stability. Requiring households to meet certain goals first (such as sobriety, employment, or program participation) creates barriers to permanent housing and lengthens their time spent homeless.