You probably have heard about Rapid Re-Housing. Most likely you kind of think you know what it is, but are not quite sure.
Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) has been receiving a lot of attention lately as a new intervention to move individuals and families quickly from literal homelessness situations into permanent housing with time limited support.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness has recently convened 100 RRH champions to formulate a common vision on how to advance the RRH intervention. You can also learn about the Rapid Re-Housing history on their Website. In addition, we strongly recommend you take three minutes and listen to testimony from around the country about what different communities were able to achieve by utilizing the Rapid Re-Housing intervention.
Our Nashville community assisted over 2,500 people experiencing literal homelessness with permanent housing since the inception of the How’s Nashville partnership.
As we are coming to an end of the 2016 by 2016 campaign this December, it looks like we may reach out goal of housing 1,421 people who experience chronic homelessness or are otherwise considered extremely vulnerable while experiencing literal homelessness.
Our partners who work on ending Veterans homelessness have assisted more than 400 Veterans who experienced literal homelessness since the launch of the 2016 by 2016 campaign in January 2015.
CSH, a national organization that helps communities advance housing solutions, has developed a new data tool that shows the levels of need for supportive housing nationwide. The tool allows you to go in and look at each state’s unit needs. In addition, you can filter the tool by population.
The tool is as good as the data that we provide at the state level. In other words, if we, at the local level in Nashville are not confident in our data output because we still need to create more buy-in to share data community-wide, then we have to think critically about tools like these and work to improve our community data.
This is another reason for us here in Nashville to understand what sharing data can mean, why we need renewed efforts to gather quality community data, and how having good data can directly impact how we assist people who are in need of housing. Having strong community data allows us to advocate better for the people we serve.
“Housing First is an approach to quickly and successfully connect individuals and families experiencing homelessness to permanent housing without preconditions and barriers to entry, such as sobriety, treatment or service participation requirements,” according to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Many Nashville direct service providers still shy away from Housing First because in our community we do not sufficiently explain what Housing First means. In comparison, California adopted a law last week that requires that all state-level funders and programs provide Housing First to anyone experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.
USICH recently distributed a Housing First check list that explains the core elements of a Housing First program and then explains the core elements of Housing First at the community level.
At the program level, a true Housing First program has low entry barriers, services are not tied to the right to housing, services offered are tenant-driven, etc.
Sam Tsemberis has built a program that serves as a national model for Housing First. His program called Pathways Housing First, He speaks about Housing First in this video clip.
Other Housing First programs may be known as permanent supportive housing or Rapid Re-housing, etc. Even emergency shelters can adopt a Housing First philosophy by focusing on offering services or linking people to services that assist them with permanent housing quickly.
At the community level, Housing First refers to creating a system that offers streamlined, user-friendly services with a housing-focus. In addition, community stakeholders from different sectors including policy makers, funders, and providers come together to develop common strategies for assisting people with housing.