Keeping families and children housed emergency prevention
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Keeping Families and Children Housed: Emergency Prevention. Rental Counseling to Prevent Homelessness A Community Based Prevention Program A Program of Tabor Community Services 308 East King Street PO Box 1676 Lancaster, PA 17608-1676 Kay Moshier McDivitt, Director of Housing Counseling

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Keeping Families and Children Housed: Emergency Prevention

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Keeping families and children housed emergency prevention

Keeping Families and Children Housed: Emergency Prevention

Rental Counseling to Prevent Homelessness

A Community Based Prevention Program

A Program of Tabor Community Services

308 East King Street

PO Box 1676

Lancaster, PA 17608-1676

Kay Moshier McDivitt, Director of Housing Counseling

(717) 397-5182 extension 120

[email protected]


Tabor community services

Tabor Community Services

  • Our Mission: To rebuild communities by helping families find housing and financial solutions

  • HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency since 1971

  • A Member of the National Federation of Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies since 1988


Services and programs

Services and Programs

  • Homelessness and Rental Counseling Division

    • Rental Counseling to Prevent Homelessness

    • Shelter to Independent Living (Housing First)

    • Supportive Housing Programs

  • Financial and Homeownership Counseling Division

    • Consumer Credit Counseling Services

    • First Time Homebuyer and Default Mortgage Counseling

    • Matched Savings Account (IDA) Programs

    • Family Self Sufficiency and Homeownership Voucher Choice Programs (Contracted through Housing Authorities.


Rental counseling to prevent homelessness a prevention model

Rental Counseling to Prevent Homelessness: A prevention model

The mission of the Rental Counseling to

Prevent Homelessness Program is assist

families facing eviction and/or homelessness

to retain or find alternative housing through

housing and budget counseling


Rcph basics

RCPH Basics

  • Program model in place since 1980 with some modifications

  • Current staffing: 1.5 FTE direct service staff

  • Annual Budget: $106,638

  • Average Households Served/year: 120

  • Average Length of involvement in services: 3-6 months

  • Average cost per household: $889


Key design elements

Key Design Elements

  • Community Based Model

  • Outreach/Identification

  • Landlord Involvement/Buy In

  • Collaborations with the Faith Based Community and Service Providers

  • Case Management coupled with Budgeting Education

  • Follow-up


Who do we serve

Who do we serve?

  • 70% of households earned less than 30% of median income

  • 51% single parent/female headed households; 27% two parent headed households

  • 80% lived in rural “poverty pockets” in the community


Community based

Community Based

  • Satellite Offices in Targeted Low Income Areas in the County

    • Identified low income pocket areas experiencing higher incidences of rural homelessness

  • Supportive Service Contracts with affordable housing communities for on site services

    • Marketed program services as an alternative to traditional on-site supportive services

      • stabilizes the community with less turnover,

      • longer term leases results in healthier communities

      • cost effective (avoids costs of filing for evictions)


Outreach identification

Outreach/Identification

  • Develop outreach strategies to identify those most at risk

  • Identify who in the community can assist with the outreach

    • Landlords/Property Managers

    • School Social Workers

    • Housing Authorities

    • Food/Clothing Banks

    • Churches


Landlord buy in

Landlord Buy In

  • View landlords as a partner/not as the “bad guy”

  • Identified landlords as key to identification and early intervention

  • Developed tools for landlords to identify and refer families

  • In lieu of filing for eviction, refer to program for intervention

  • Win/win for landlord and tenant

    • Cost effective, less turnover


Collaborations with the faith based community and service providers

Collaborations with the Faith Based Community and Service Providers

  • Bring sources that provide housing dollars together for more effectiveness

  • Partner with churches to provide housing dollars into a single fund for those participating in program

  • Partner with service providers who provide rental assistance

    • Community Action Program: HAP $$

    • Welfare office: TANF Emergency Grant $$

    • Salvation Army

    • Council of Churches


Case management coupled with budgeting education

Case Management coupled with Budgeting Education

  • Case Plan identifies all issues contributing to pending eviction

  • First Step is often mediation/advocacy between landlord/tenant: Open communication

  • Next step is identification of need community resources to resolve issues

  • Budget counseling and money management education key element


Successful interventions

Successful Interventions

  • One-on-one counseling/develop a trusting relationship

  • Budget & money management education

  • Landlord/tenant mediation and advocacy

  • Forbearance agreements

  • Locating alternative affordable housing

  • Increasing or sustaining income,

  • Educating the tenants on their rights and responsibilities


Follow up

Follow-up

  • Once eviction or homelessness is prevented, 3-6 months follow-up case management assists with budgeting and referrals to other services needed for ongoing self sufficiency


Rcph results

RCPH: Results

  • 95% avoided entering the homeless system

    • 67% retained their current housing

    • 28% rented alternative housing

  • 89% successfully completed landlord/tenant education

  • 88% developed and maintained a balanced budget

  • 52% were involved in landlord mediation

  • 65% increased their income


Getting started with limited resources

Getting Started with Limited Resources

  • Determine who your target population will be

  • Focus your services in a concentrated effort

  • Engage landlords as a key player in a successful program

  • Develop good outreach and identification tools to ensure services match needs

  • Partnerships are essential; pooling resources with other providers can make more impact


Final thoughts lessons learned

Final Thoughts/Lessons Learned

  • Early identification helped stretch our resources

  • We need to continue to evaluate and refine our target population; first come first serve is not effective use of resources

  • Build on successes, especially in developing faith based and landlord partnerships.


Keeping families and children housed emergency prevention

  • Kay Moshier McDivitt

  • Director of Housing Counseling

  • Tabor Community Services, Inc.

  • 308 East King Street, PO Box 1676

  • Lancaster, PA 17608-1676

  • [email protected]

  • 717-397-5182, ext 120


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