Our community uses The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) definition of homelessness.They define the term “homeless” as “a person sleeping in a place not meant for human habitation (e.g. living on the streets, for example) OR living in a homeless emergency shelter.”
HUD adopted the Federal definition which defines a chronically homeless person as “either (1) an unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling condition who has been continuously homeless for a year or more, OR (2) an unaccompanied individual with a disabling condition who has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.”
Permanent supportive housing is decent, safe, affordable, community-based housing that provides tenants with the rights of tenancy and links to voluntary and flexible supports and services for people with disabilities who are experiencing homelessness. Permanent supportive housing is a proven, effective means of reintegrating chronically homeless and other highly vulnerable homeless families and individuals with psychiatric disabilities or chronic health challenges into the community by addressing their basic needs for housing and providing ongoing support.
The housing choice voucher program, administered locally by the Public Housing Authority, is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments.
Rapid Re-Housing is a promising approach to end certain cases of homelessness. Rapid Re-Housing provides targeted financial assistance and short-term services to individuals and families in emergency shelters who need temporary assistance to secure and retain housing. Short-term financial assistance reduces the time families spend in shelter. Follow up assistance in accessing employment and mainstream services, money management, and maintaining housing helps families keep their housing.Rapid Re-Housing does not meet the needs of every person who experiences homelessness, but is an important option for many who have relatively low barriers to independent housing.
United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
provides financial and technical assistance through public and private
partnerships to create and preserve safe and decent affordable housing. MSHDA
is the state agency that funds some homeless programs in Washtenaw County.
Housing first is an approach that offers permanent, affordable housing as quickly as possible for individuals and families experiencing homelessness, and then provides the supportive services and connections to the community-based supports people need to keep their housing and avoid returning to homelessness. Housing provides a foundation from which a person or family can access the services and supports they need to achieve stability, begin the recovery process, and pursue personal goals. While Housing First can be used in both short- and long-term interventions, the approach is closely tied to permanent supportive housing and therefore discussed in this context here. The Housing First approach can be applied to rapid re-housing as well.
Description of picture in above header: image is a grayscale of someone's hands holding a set of keys pointing up.