- Homeless Housing Production and Funding Coordination
The Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness has a goal of creating 9,500 units of housing. Their efforts in the early years focused on housing for chronically homeless individuals and as of December 31, 2012 they have funded 2,224 of the plan’s total goal of 2,500 for that population (89%).
To date, 5,130 units of homeless housing have been brought online or are in the pipeline – more than the entire goal of most other ten year plans in the nation.
Measure 10YP Target Total Operational plus Pipeline thru 2013 Percent Towards Goal Chronically Homeless Single Adults 2,500 2,224 89% Non-Chronic Single Adults 4,800 1,104 23% Homeless Families 1,900 1,551 82% Youth & Young Adults 300 251 84% TOTAL Number of units added to the system 9,500 5,130 48%
- Reduce Barriers and increase Number of Existing Units Added to Homeless System
They cannot build their way out of homelessness. Use of existing housing expands their toolkit and housing inventory, allowing them to rapidly re-house people and prevent homelessness.
Recent Progress - removing barriers:
- The Landlord Liaison Project has established a national reputation as an innovative program, providing incentives and assurances to landlords to help them rent to formerly homeless individuals. in 2012, they celebrated the 1,000th placement in private market housing. They had hoped to engage 75 landlords – they already have 165 in the program.
- Coordinated Entry via Client Care Coordination for High Need Chronically Homeless Adult Individuals
- Their region has funded a number of programs for chronically homeless single adults. In 2010 they implemented Client Care Coordination, which used a consolidated data base of high utililzers and highly vulnerable persons to identify the right candidates for newly opened units for chronically homeless single adults. Housing providers participating include Catholic Housing Services, Compass Center, DESC, LIHI, Sound Mental Health, NAVOS, Valley Cities and YMCA. In evaluation after evaluation, they are documenting reductions in sobering services, incarcerations, emergency rooms use and psychiatric hospital use.
- Family Homelessness Initiative
The Family Homelessness Initiative (FHI) is a countywide endeavor to prevent and end homelessness among families with children. The Initiative is led by the King County Department of Community and Human Services Department, guided by the Committee to End Homelessness, and supported by Building Changes and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Providers, community leaders and funders of the local homeless system have informed the initiative from the earliest planning phases in 2009Recent Progress:
- Coordinated Assessment and Entry for Families
- Transformation towards a Rapid Rehousing Model
In their current system families often end up in the program that simply has the first open bed. They need to make sure that families are assigned to the appropriate program through a uniform assessment process so that they can accurately compare the effectiveness of programs. In April 2012, they launched the Family Housing Connection - coordinated entry into housing and supportive services for families with children. Now it is possible for families to make one call to one agency and tell their story just one time to be enrolled into their homeless housing services.
The Initiative is now focused on retooling programs that provide crisis response services to homeless families (emergency shelters and transitional housing). The goal of the conversion process is to establish a system with shorter homeless episodes and more prevention, diversion and rapid re-housing services. Twenty-eight agencies (representing over 100 programs) are participating in the conversion process.
- Prevent and End Youth and Young Adult Homelessness
As a result of the Ten Year Plan Mid Plan Review several local philanthropies and investors, along with public funders and youth and young adults providers, came together define the elements of a youth and young adult homeless ‘system’ focused on prevention, intervention and best practices. In April of 2012 the Task Force completed its final report. The report centers on three priority recommendations and action steps:
- Coordinated engagement of youth and young adults to connect them to the right resource as soon as possible – before they become enmeshed in street culture or exploitation.
- Prevention programs that preserve family connections and engage runaway youth/young adults in healthy supportive relationships with family- or mentor-relationships.
- Data coordination that enables funders and providers to work together to address client needs, evaluate programs, and assess community progress toward shared goals.
These action steps are only an initial phase to strengthen the YYA system in recognition that 1) these three elements have been absent from the local framework of YYA services, 2) they still have much to learn about the true needs of the YYA population, and 3) these proposed elements will generate the data they need to help reframe the existing system. The Task Force is implementing multi-phase approach to restructuring the YYA homeless system, much like the development of the Families Initiative.
- Transform the Single Adult Shelter system to become a pathway to housing
Also following the Mid Plan Review in 2011, a Single Adult Shelter Task Force was convened to explore how to transform the single adult shelter system towards one that provides not just a mat on a floor, but one that emphasizes placement in permanent housing.
Over the course of the work, the effort led to a short-term goal: to add new shelter beds this winter, and in December 2012, CEH, King County and United Way of King County announced that 135 new beds were added this winter – with 50 beds in Seattle, 25 in South King County, and the balance in East King County.
By year’s end, the Task Force released its report with recommendations, exploring three primary components:
- Role of Shelter – Articulate the role of shelter under the Ten Year Plan.
- Data – Use of data to inform policy and investments in order to transform their shelter system.
- Resource Needs – Recommendations for resources/investments needed to support this transformation.
The body of work has now transitioned to become an accepted Investment Priority of the Committee to End Homelessness.
- Full Development and Implementation of Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)
As they have recognized so often, they need accurate and timely information on the results of their effort so that they can be aware of developing trends and can highlight and replicate best practices to help people get in, and stay in, permanent housing. Safe Harbors is their community’s HMIS system to help them collect and analyze this data, used to measure the extent of homelessness in their community. Data collected is used to create statements of need to funders at the local, state and federal level through a variety of reports created from the information collected by their partner programs
- Local public and private funders have aligned contract reporting requirements with Safe Harbors data elements to assure consistency and quality data reporting. Data quality has Agencies are regularly
- Safe Harbors is reporting on a quarterly basis progress to the CEH Governing Board on the recently developed Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) data elements, established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in late 2011. The HEARTH dashboard now includes a full year of data, and will serve as their baseline for future performance. Data elements include:
- Length of time homeless (average number of days in emergency shelter (ES) and/or transitional housing (TH)).
- Return to homelessness (households that exit to permanent housing and later return to homeless services.)
- First time homeless (households entering ES or TH not recording as being served in the past 15 month period.)
- Development of a Five Year Plan to End Veterans Homelessness
Both the federal government and the state government have been working on Five Year Plans to End Veterans Homelessness. In 2011 the Committee to End Homelessness developed a local Five Year Plan, to End Homelessness among Veterans in King County, aligned with the state and federal planning efforts. This Five Year Plan was adopted as a Funders Group investment priority, with leadership by King County Department of Community and Human Services.