HUD wants has some lofty goals of ending homelessness, some communities are taking this task very seriously. HUD is issuing statements about guidance of what they expect to see. In permanent supportive housing (PSH), HUD wants us to prioritize chronically homeless persons. Will we? Many communities are having luck reducing homelessness, ours increased by 10% in the last year.
First of all, this info comes from here.
Our 701 permanent supportive housing units are run by the non-profits listed on page 33 of this document.
The definition of chronically homeless is as follows:
(1) An individual who:
(i) Is homeless and lives in a place not meant for human habitation, a safe haven, or in an emergency shelter; and
(ii) Has been homeless and living or residing in a place not meant for human habitation, a safe haven, or in an emergency shelter continuously for at least one year or on at least four separate occasions in the last 3 years; and
(iii) Can be diagnosed with one or more of the following conditions: substance use disorder, serious mental illness, developmental disability (as defined in section 102 of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 15002)), post-traumatic stress disorder, cognitive impairments resulting from brain injury, or chronic physical illness or disability;
(2) An individual who has been residing in an institutional care facility, including a jail, substance abuse or mental health treatment facility, hospital, or other similar facility, for fewer than 90 days and met all of the criteria in paragraph (1) of this definition, before entering that facility; or
(3) A family with an adult head of household (or if there is no adult in the family, a minor head of household) who
meets all of the criteria in paragraph (1) of this definition, including a family whose composition has fluctuated while the head of household has been homeless.
Wait! First, alphabet soup!
- PSH is Permanently Supportive Housing – we call it Supportive Permanent Housing here in our reports for some reason.
- CoC is our Continuum of Care – which is the Homeless Services Consortium that meets the first Tuesday of the month at United Way. Anyone who wants to end homelessness is welcome to join and attend.
PSH is designed to provide housing and services for people who are homeless and disabled – in other words, it should be used to house those that, without this type of assistance, would continue to live on the streets. Unfortunately, we know that this limited and intensive resource is not always being prioritized for the population that has been on the streets the longest. Only about 40 percent of CoC-funded PSH serving single-person households is currently dedicated (i.e., serving this population is a requirement of the grant agreement with HUD) to persons experiencing chronic homelessness. The remaining 60 percent are serving homeless persons with disabilities, but are not necessarily serving or prioritizing persons experiencing chronic homelessness.
In order to make the progress we want and need to make towards ending chronic homelessness, we need to make a change in the way we operate our PSH. In particular, HUD is asking CoCs and PSH providers to prioritize chronically homeless persons and persons that are the most vulnerable in all PSH units as they become available, for both individuals and families.
Starting with the FY2013 CoC Program Competition, HUD will begin looking to CoCs and recipients of CoC Program PSH funds to move away from a “first come, first served” approach to filling program vacancies. Instead, available PSH units should first be offered to persons who are chronically homeless and who meet the other criteria required by the program. For example, if you have a PSH project that currently targets individuals with mental illness and a unit becomes vacant through turnover, you should first offer the unit to a chronically homeless person with a mental illness. If no persons within the CoC meet the definition of chronically homeless, the unit can then be made available to other eligible persons, ideally those that are most likely to become chronically homeless if they do not receive PSH.
And this should make the Mayor happy: (Page 23)
Individuals and families who resided in transitional or supportive permanent housing tend to have spent more time in the greater Madison area than those served in emergency shelters. Of those who answered the question, 74% reported living in Dane County for over two years.
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