Housing First and Rapid Rehousing Model: Housing Solution For Homeless Youth

Housing First approach with a Rapid Re-housing model from Dayton, OH - Homefull PH Project. Their PH approach with a mix of my own take on the homeless youth initiative discussion.

3 major components:

1. Housing Identification
2. Rental/Moving Assistance
3. Supportive Services

Investment revenue should be flexible. Last time I checked, getting youth from childhood to adulthood requires a flexibility of resources. Revenue sources should come from ESG, CDBG, HOME, SHIP, SAIL, FUP/FSS, etc.

Partnerships with local, city, county, state and federal levels. This creates various housing options for our youth when stabilizing their housing choices.

All transitional housing projects in the city of Dayton have been completely reallocated or eliminated towards rapid rehousing projects. This is being emphasized greatly at HUD as many TH projects lost investments during this last competition. 

Zero income, unemployed, not enrolled in school with trauma-related life barriers can be rewarding to a homeless youth project. In Dayton, only 1% had income from employment. Over 50% reported DV incidents. 63% reported mental illness. 30% reported crime, alcohol or drug addiction. 

100% positive exits and 0% recidivism for families. 87% positive exits and 12% recidivism among single adults including those considered most vulnerable. 

That's pretty good.

Eliminating the public benefit dependency mindset. Shelters must no longer be a dependent resource to fall back on during stints of homelessness. 

At intake, instead of our CoCs (Continuum of Care) inquiring about what a youth qualifies for in public benefits, projects must be prepared with immediate job opportunities with participating employers.

With housing, 75% of a youth's life problems go away with full-time employment and/or full or half-time educational/vocational pursuits. 

Housing choice approaches must be youth-centered. And instill the empowerment of making adult choices. 

No more dictating. This is where we are allowing you to live. This is who we are allowing you to live with. This is who we are not allowing you to live with. 

Lay out the choices. Pros and cons of each. And be there as a support and adult connection during periods of instability. 

Outcomes must be centered around reducing the time our youth spend homeless. This is becoming a high priority for investment dollars to CoCs.  

Landlords do not want to rent to homeless youth for the same reasons the homeless youth do not want to participate in many of our community projects. 

Too much red tape. Too much of a burden. Many of our homeless youth community projects become more of a burden than they do an asset to our landlords. And vice-versa.  

Partnerships with landlords that are mutually beneficial are key to securing and increasing housing inventory. Formal agreements should address a CoC's commitment to addressing noise, timely rent payments, unit damages, occupancy rules, complaints and communication disputes. 

CoCs can commit to investing in landscaping costs and other unit rehabilitative needs such as painting, a/c unit repairs, pest control and 24/7 emergency contact for their youth instead of utilizing a property manager during non-office hours. 

All of these costs can and should be absorbed in the CoCs application for investment funds for a homeless youth project. 

More to come.