instituting a community wide housing first approach in norfolk
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Instituting A Community-Wide Housing First Approach in Norfolk. Presentation by Katie Kitchin Office to End Homelessness Norfolk, VA. Presentation Overview. Background on our system and its history Why/How we decided to make a change What our system looks like now Outcomes to date

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instituting a community wide housing first approach in norfolk

Instituting A Community-Wide Housing First Approach in Norfolk

Presentation by Katie Kitchin

Office to End Homelessness

Norfolk, VA

presentation overview
Presentation Overview
  • Background on our system and its history
  • Why/How we decided to make a change
  • What our system looks like now
  • Outcomes to date
  • Projections forward
  • Lessons learned
the short story on norfolk
The Short Story on Norfolk
  • Norfolk serves as the urban core for Southeastern Virginia (population of Norfolk = 240,000, population of region = 1.2 million)
  • Norfolk has high poverty (18%), but improving (down from 20%) as downtown redevelopment and economy thrives (less than 4% unemployment, AMI up).
  • Homeless population = 540 (down from 665 last year)
  • Regional homeless number is 1500.
the norfolk system pre rapid exit
The Norfolk System Pre-Rapid Exit
  • Strong family homeless service providers; but fragmented service delivery.
  • Families experience intensive/effective services in shelter/transitional housing environment but little support after exit when stressors return.
  • Families connected to services as a result of abuse/neglect.
why we decided to make a change
Why We Decided to Make a Change…
  • Situation for families was difficult: had to call many agencies over and over seeking help.
  • Dozens of families were turned away daily; hotel utilization was expensive and ineffective.
  • Length of stay in shelter was two months or more.
  • City adopted a ten year plan to end homelessness which included central intake and rapid exit.
how we started the process
How We Started the Process
  • 2004, DHS begins to adopt Director’s mission – HART is created.
  • 25 families expected, 1,000 come in the first month.
  • Site visit to Hennepin County in 2005 included Family Shelter ExDir, and City staff.
  • DHS/City leadership strongly supportive of Home-Based services, family preservation, etc.
  • Providers given role to develop program elements.
  • January 2007, Central Intake launched.
what we look like now
What We Look Like Now
  • One call will result in shelter intake, eviction pre-vention, family pres. services.
  • Average 800 families/month
  • Average 26 shelter placements;hotel utilization down to 0.
  • Communications have greatlyimproved.
  • All families who exit shelter are guaranteed access to first month’s rent/deposit assistance.
  • Housing Broker Team (2 FTEs) with case management to begin in early August.
using shelter stay as a screening tool
Using Shelter Stay As A Screening Tool
  • All families must agree to accept a shelter placement (should one be available) in order to receive financial assistance.
  • 45% of families refused.
challenges we are facing
Challenges We Are Facing
  • Of 88 families tracked, 27 were already receiving services, only 7 more became engaged with services (SA,MH, and family pres.)
  • Only those court-mandated participate regularly.
  • Families still struggling to maintain housing.
other results projecting forward
Other Results/Projecting Forward
  • Family Homelessness held constant or decreasing slightly; dramatic difference in neighboring cities.
  • Evictions drop dramatically (3000 in 2005 to 1300 in 2006).
  • Pressure growing on housing-based case management.
  • HUD funding for services presents a major issue.
  • Public Housing/Section 8 subsidies in high demand (NRHA serves est. 16,000 people, 36,000 people are below poverty) waiting lists closed for several years.
  • Evolving role of homeless service providers, securing connections with Child Welfare, MH/SA services a must!
  • Prediction $4 million in additional expenditures through child welfare system – State may look to restrict funds.
lessons learned
Lessons Learned
  • Leadership from funders is essential.
  • Take the time to listen/understand the viewpoints of stakeholders.
  • Slow progress is okay!
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