Homelessness Prevention. SSVF: Homelessness Prevention Eligibility & Services 2

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<ul><li> Slide 1 </li> <li> Homelessness Prevention </li> <li> Slide 2 </li> <li> SSVF: Homelessness Prevention Eligibility &amp; Services 2 </li> <li> Slide 3 </li> <li> SSVF Eligibility SSVF Eligibility: A member of a Veteran family: Either (a) a Veteran; or (b) a member of a family in which the head of household, or the spouse of the head of household, is a Veteran. Very low-income: Household income does not exceed 50% of area median income. Occupying Permanent Housing 3 </li> <li> Slide 4 </li> <li> SSVF Eligibility: Homelessness Prevention Occupying Permanent Housing: must meet Category 1 definition: 4 Category of Occupying Permanent HousingTime Restriction Category 1: If a very low- income Veteran family is residing in permanent housing. A grantee may continue to provide supportive services to a participant within Category 1 so long as the participant continues to meet the definition of Category 1. </li> <li> Slide 5 </li> <li> SSVF Eligibility: Homelessness Prevention At risk of losing their housing and becoming literally homeless or remaining literally homeless but for SSVF assistance (strongly encouraged, but not required). VA encourages grantees serving participants in Category 1 to assess and document that the household would become literally homeless but for the SSVF assistance. In other words, a household would require emergency shelter or would otherwise become literally homeless in the absence of SSVF assistance. 5 </li> <li> Slide 6 </li> <li> SSVF Eligibility: Homelessness Prevention Persons currently in permanent housing and at-risk of losing their housing and becoming literally homeless but for SSVF assistance may include persons who are: Losing their housing in 14 days or less: An individual or family who will imminently lose their primary nighttime residence within 14 days of the date of application for assistance; AND No subsequent residence has been identified; AND Lacks the resources or support networks, e.g. family, friends, faith- based or other social networks, needed to obtain other permanent housing. Losing their housing in more than 14 Days: An individual or family who will imminently lose their primary nighttime residence in more than 14 days of the date of application for assistance.; AND No subsequent residence has been identified; AND Lacks the resources or support networks, e.g. family, friends, faith- based or other social networks, needed to obtain other permanent housing (strongly encouraged, but not required). 6 </li> <li> Slide 7 </li> <li> SSVF Eligiblity: Homelessness Prevention Additional risk factors or targeting criteria to identify households at greater risk of homelessness. A few examples: Eviction within two weeks from a private dwelling (including housing provided by family or friends); Residency in housing that has been condemned by housing officials and is no longer meant for human habitation; Sudden and significant loss of income; Mental health and/or substance abuse issues; Physical disabilities and other chronic health issues, including HIV/AIDS; Severe housing cost burden (greater than 50 percent of income for housing costs); Homeless in last 12 months; Young head of household (under 25 with children or pregnant); Extremely low income (less than 30 percent of area median income); High overcrowding (the number of persons in household exceeds health and/or safety standards for the housing unit size); Recent traumatic life event, such as death of a spouse or primary care provider, or recent health crisis that prevented the household from meeting its financial responsibilities; Significant amount of medical debt. 7 </li> <li> Slide 8 </li> <li> SSVF Services Grantees are required to provide the following supportive services: Outreach Services Case Management Services Assistance in Obtaining VA Benefits Assistance in Obtaining and Coordinating Other Public Benefits Available in the Grantees Area or Community 8 </li> <li> Slide 9 </li> <li> Homelessness Prevention: Overview 9 </li> <li> Slide 10 </li> <li> Why Prevention Assistance? Most households can successfully avoid homelessness with limited assistance. Preventing an episode of homelessness costs less than sheltering an episode of homelessness. Even more important, it helps diminish the trauma and dislocation caused by homelessness for the individual or family. 10 </li> <li> Slide 11 </li> <li> Why Prevention Assistance? The cost savings generated by an efficient prevention program can: Reduce the CoCs need for and reliance upon emergency solutions (i.e., shelter), allowing the community to reallocate resources towards other types of projects. Allow CoC providers more time and resources to address needs of persons with more severe housing barriers. 11 </li> <li> Slide 12 </li> <li> Principles of Prevention Assistance Crisis Resolution: Prevention resources are most effective when they are targeted directly to resolving a particular households specific crisis &amp; maintaining the housing. Targeting: Helping those at greatest risk for losing housing. Just Enough Assistance: Provide minimum financial assistance/services necessary for shortest time possible. Supportive Services: Financial assistance without services is often Not Enough. 12 </li> <li> Slide 13 </li> <li> Homelessness Prevention: Program Implementation Considerations 13 </li> <li> Slide 14 </li> <li> Targeting Will the program serve a geographic catchment area? Will the program target one or more specialized population(s)? How will urgency be used to prioritize services? Targeting criteria are in addition to SSVF eligibility criteria 14 </li> <li> Slide 15 </li> <li> Outreach Two parts to the provision of outreach services: Identifying very low-income Veteran families Focus on Veteran families at greatest risk and perhaps difficult to otherwise identify Orient and establish referral relationships with local partners Train partners on basic program eligibility and to assess for risk of housing loss Host local informational events and/or participate in Stand Down (or similar) events Screening to determine eligibility 15 </li> <li> Slide 16 </li> <li> Outreach A Plan to Find Clients Identify the places and organizations that come into contact with people experiencing a housing crisis. Identify where people who enter shelter stay immediately before entering shelter. List the methods the program will use to find clients. Design materials and test them with the target population. 16 </li> <li> Slide 17 </li> <li> Outreach Possible partners: Local VA facilities Grant &amp; Per Diem Programs CHALENG network Emergency shelters Existing supportive housing programs Local information and referral agencies (e.g., 2-1-1, senior assistance hotlines, etc.) Department of Defense (DoD) Resources (e.g., Transition Assistance Program) VA Medical Center Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) / Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Care Management Teams Community agencies serving low-income populations Welfare offices 17 </li> <li> Slide 18 </li> <li> Screening &amp; Assessment Select or design a screening tool that includes all criteria required for eligibility and prioritization. Select or design an assessment tool that includes different levels, so more intrusive information is requested only when necessary and useful. 18 </li> <li> Slide 19 </li> <li> Admissions Protocol Draw a decision tree or flow chart of the process for making a decision to accept a client or decline services. Decide who will make key decisions at each point. Determine what happens with persons denied services who may have other service needs. 19 </li> <li> Slide 20 </li> <li> Program Rules &amp; Expectations Identify and communicate critical rules of conduct. List the kinds of expectations that individuals will be required to meet for ongoing assistance. Define due process rights for clients whose services or financial assistance may be terminated. Determine how and when all clients are informed of program rules, expectations and client rights. 20 </li> <li> Slide 21 </li> <li> Housing Stability Plan Select or design a Housing Stability Plan for use by staff and clients. The Plan may be as simple as the one-time financial assistance that will be provided to the clients landlord. In the case of medium-term rental assistance, it may include steps the individual will take to transition off the subsidy. Plans should focus on goals and steps related to housing retention or relocation and not routinely include more personal or therapeutic goals. Identify how and when plans should be reviewed and updated. 21 </li> <li> Slide 22 </li> <li> Program Services What assistance and services limits have been established (within SSVF constraints)? How often will these be revisited? Has flexibility been baked in to the program? Successful programs typically are able to provide varying type/level/duration of assistance based on individual needs and program resources. Is a process in place for supervisory or management review if services or financial assistance exceed certain limits or to otherwise assure adherence to program assistance parameters and expectations? 22 </li> <li> Slide 23 </li> <li> Program Services What public benefits has the program established referral relationships with? Are MOUs needed? Health care services; Daily living services; Personal financial planning services; Transportation services; Income support services (e.g., disability benefits, social security, Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF), unemployment assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or formerly, food stamps), etc.); Fiduciary and representative payee services; Legal services; Child care services; and Housing counseling services. With exception of health care and daily living services, grantees may choose to provide such benefits though often much more cost-effective to partner Seek more formal arrangements with partners more critical to program success (e.g., local TANF office). 23 </li> <li> Slide 24 </li> <li> Program Services What other services will the program provide? Includes temporary financial assistance or other services proposed by grantee and approved by VA. Temporary financial assistance includes: Rental assistance; Utility-fee payment assistance; Deposits (security or utility); Moving costs; Purchase of emergency supplies for a participant; Transportation; and Child care Are adequate policies/procedures in place to administer assistance? 24 </li> <li> Slide 25 </li> <li> Program Services Assure focus on least costly interventions and those most needed by persons experiencing imminent housing loss: Landlord-tenant mediation Case management including budgeting, information/referral/advocacy, etc. Temporary financial assistance (in combination with above) 25 </li> <li> Slide 26 </li> <li> Rental Assistance Select the model(s) for rental assistance (within SSVF constraints). Determine how and when rental assistance amount or duration will be reassessed. 26 </li> <li> Slide 27 </li> <li> Program Staffing Generalists, specialists, or some combination of both? Reassign existing staff or hire new staff? Can the program develop agreements with specialists for staff training and case consultation? How will the program define cultural competency and how will it assure that staff are culturally competent? What are staff qualifications and duties? Who will provide supervision? What level of supervision is needed? 27 </li> <li> Slide 28 </li> <li> Landlords Assess screening barriers of target population and determine strictness of landlord screening. How will landlords be recruited? Determine process for using credible intermediaries (prevention staff) with tenants who have screening barriers. Can the program provide financial incentives? Can the program repair common damage problems? Can the program co-sign leases? What other incentives and/or direct assistance can be provided that will entice landlords to partner and house persons with tenant screening barriers? 28 </li> <li> Slide 29 </li> <li> Service Completion Define how staff and clients will know when services are completed. Develop criteria and processes, including a flow chart, for supervisory, peer and/or consultant review of case closing decisions. 29 </li> <li> Slide 30 </li> <li> Data Collection &amp; Utilization List data elements required by VA, other funder(s). List any additional data elements that are needed and will be utilized by the program to assess and improve effectiveness, efficiency, quality and access. Design forms and a flow chart for collecting the right information at the right time. 30 </li> <li> Slide 31 </li> <li> Common Challenges &amp; Solutions 31 </li> <li> Slide 32 </li> <li> Implementation Challenge #1: Targeting Targeting is extremely critical if a prevention program is to be both successful and cost effective. The challenge is to identify those at greatest risk i.e., those who will literally end up on the street or in emergency shelter but for the assistance. Remember - providing non-essential assistance to a program client will cost someone else in the community their housing. 32 </li> <li> Slide 33 </li> <li> Targeting Prevention Assistance 33 </li> <li> Slide 34 </li> <li> Targeting Households at Greatest Risk Examples: Sudden and significant loss of income High housing cost burden Recent traumatic life event, such as death of a spouse, or recent health crisis that prevented the household from meeting its financial responsibilities Homeless in last 12 months Young head of household (under 25 with children or pregnant) High overcrowding (the number of persons exceeds health and/or safety standards for the housing unit size) 34 </li> <li> Slide 35 </li> <li> Can the most at risk households achieve stability? The majority of households that experience an episode of homelessness do NOT return to homelessness. The majority of households that rely on public benefits as their main income source do NOT become homeless, even without a subsidy. "Return to Normal" is the goal of crisis intervention. Housing stability does not imply the household will never again experience a financial or personal crisis. 35 </li> <li> Slide 36 </li> <li> Implementation Challenge #2: Reaching the Target Population Facilitating Access to Assistance Centralized Intake vs. No Wrong Door Strategic Marketing Strategic Partnerships Dealing with Volume of Applicants Screening/triage required 36 </li> <li> Slide 37 </li> <li> Implementation Challenge #3: Providing Just Enough Assistance Goal of prevention assistance is to address the immediate crisis or situation and retain the housing. Not intended to resolve all of the household's ongoing barriers and financial needs. Keeps emphasis on short-term nature of assistance; can be used as a way to engage participants in establishing goals/plan. Allows community to stretch resources to serve more households. 37 </li> <li> Slide 38 </li> <li> Implementation Challenge #4: Stabilizing Households Supportive services are essential Household budgeting, credit repair, financial lite...</li></ul>


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