Ending Family Homelessness in Rural America
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Ending Family Homelessness in Rural America Presented at: National Conference on Ending Family Homelessness February 8, 2008 - Seattle, Washington Sponsored by the National Alliance to End Homelessness Jonda Clemings, MSEd, LSW Coalition On Homelessness and Housing in Ohio www.cohhio.org.

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Ending Family Homelessness in Rural America

Presented at: National Conference on Ending Family Homelessness

February 8, 2008 - Seattle, Washington

Sponsored by the National Alliance to End Homelessness

Jonda Clemings, MSEd, LSW

Coalition On Homelessness and Housing in Ohio

www.cohhio.org


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Characteristics of Rural America

  • Large geographic area

  • Less than 100,000 people

  • More than 100 miles from urban area

  • Higher poverty rates

  • Less educational attainment

  • More agricultural and extractive industries


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Challenges Faced By Rural Providers

  • Lack of public transportation

  • Single agencies providing multiple services

  • Personnel wear several “hats”

  • Sense of isolation

  • Fewer resources - funding

  • Difficult for staff to attend trainings & meetings


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Rural Homelessness

Per the National Coalition for the Homeless - “Rural homelessness is numerically less and often proportionately more than urban homeless.”


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Rural vs. Urban

  • The picture of rural homelessness is not the same as urban homelessness.

  • Lack of qualitative & quantitative knowledge about the needs of rural homeless and the causes of their homelessness has prevented providers & policy makers from adequately addressing the problem.


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Problems with Current Systems

  • Housing is not seen as the primary intervention

  • Some programs incentivize shelter entry versus prevention

  • High cost interventions are not always targeted to the most vulnerable families


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Families

Involvement in Foster Care and Child Welfare

Incidence of families separating or dissolving

Children

 Poor health

Developmental delays

Mental health

Behavioral problems

Academic achievement

Costs of Homelessness - Family & Children


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Ohio Rural Homelessness Initiatives

COHHIO

  • Technical Assistance

  • Capacity Building

  • Rural Advisory Council

  • Rural Convenings


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Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP)

Direct Housing

Emergency Shelter

** Family Homelessness Prevention Pilot Project

Foreclosure Prevention

Home Repair

Homelessness Prevention

Housing Development Assistance Program

Permanent Supportive Housing

Supportive Services

Transitional Housing

Ohio Housing Trust Fund


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Ohio Balance of State HMIS

December 28, 2007

66% HMIS Coverage

  • Shelters - 42

    • 471 households

    • 964 HH members

    • 469 Adults

    • 495 children

  • Transitional Housing - 37

    • 355 households

    • 822 HH members

    • 357 Adults

    • 465 children


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Accessing Mainstream Resources

Ohio Benefit Bank

  • Knox County has trained OBB counselors to help low-income households access Medicaid, Food Stamps, Child Care Subsidy/Tax Credit, Home Energy Assistance Program, Tax Assistance, and Earned Income Tax Credits.


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Regional Collaboration

4 County Collaboration

  • Continuum of Care

  • Referrals to services within the alliance

  • Information shared on available resources & new programs

  • Case reviews


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Project TOTALPrevention & Housing Assistance

Targeting High Risk Families

  • Greene County provides outreach and follow-up support for homeless and those at-risk for homelessness.

  • Services include: case management, systems advocacy, crisis intervention, landlord-tenant mediation, peer support, life skill development, and linkages to community resources.


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“Positive Balance”Financial Literacy

Prevention Approach

  • Licking County utilizes an AmeriCorps Grant to provide financial literacy at 12 local agencies/organizations.

  • Budgeting counseling


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Housing First

Rapid Re-Entry

  • Delaware County utilizes supportive services and time-limited subsidy by relying on early identification and resolution of a family’s “housing barriers” and assist them to return to permanent housing.


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Shelter Plus Care

Targeting Services

  • Portage County utilizes the Shelter Plus Care Program to provide a rental subsidy to homeless families with a severe mental disability.

  • Mental Health agency provides Supportive Services.


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Jonda Clemings, MSEd, LSWRural Housing Program CoordinatorCoalition On Homelessness and Housing In Ohio175 S. Third St. - Suite 250Columbus, Ohio 43215P [email protected]


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