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Funding Innovations for Housing Youth Roxana Torrico, MSW Child Welfare League of America National Alliance to End Homelessness 2006 Conference Ending Homelessness: Plan, Act, Succeed “A house is a home, when it shelters the body and comforts the soul.” -Phillip Moffitt (1986)

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funding innovations for housing youth

Funding Innovations for Housing Youth

Roxana Torrico, MSW

Child Welfare League of America

National Alliance to End Homelessness

2006 Conference

Ending Homelessness: Plan, Act, Succeed

“A house is a home, when it shelters the body and comforts the soul.”

-Phillip Moffitt (1986)

former foster youth are becoming homeless
Former Foster Youth are Becoming Homeless
  • As many as three in ten homeless adults were formerly children in foster care;
  • Between 10–36% of former foster care youth are experiencing homelessness.
  • Homeless parents who spent time in foster care as children are 2xs as likely to have their own children placed in foster care.
what are young people aging out of foster care facing
What are young people aging out of foster care facing??
  • Limited life skills upon discharge from Child Welfare system
  • Child welfare agencies with limited housing expertise and resources necessary to assist youth
  • Limited support networks
  • Harsh economic realities
  • Expensive housing costs!!!!
most expensive places for youth to live
Most Expensive Places for Youth to Live

Hourly wage necessary to afford a one-bedroom apartment:

District of Columbia $20.77

Hawaii $18.57

California $18.11

Massachusetts $18.32

Hours that a youth would have to work at minimum wage to afford a one bedroom:

District of Columbia 126

Hawaii 119

California 107

Massachusetts 109

Out of Reach 2005, NLIHC

what is the solution to prevent youth homelessness
What is the Solution to Prevent Youth Homelessness??

Solid Collaboration with Public Housing

Authorities, Child Welfare Agencies,

community based agencies, housing

officials, business leaders, developers,

advocates and YOUTH!

what can be done at state level to address housing issues
What Can Be Done at State Level to Address Housing Issues?
  • Housing Must Be a Significant Component of Youth State’s Independent Living Curricula
  • Create an Solid, Effective Discharge Plan – start the housing discussion early!!!
  • Utilize Chafee funds!
  • Provide Youth with Opportunities to Practice Living on their Own
  • Ensure that Your Child Welfare System Builds a Continuum of Housing Resources
  • Build Statewide Partnerships to Create a Range of Affordable Housing Opportunities – create cross-system dialogue in your community!
  • Tap into New and Unusual Streams of Funding
what is chafee
Congress created the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, with increased supports and services for youth aging out of foster care including HOUSING! What is Chafee?
chafee housing
Chafee = Housing
  • States have the option of providing room & boardservices to youth (aged 18-21) exiting care.
what is the family unification program fup
What is the Family Unification Program (FUP)?
  • A housing program for youth and families in the child welfare system.
  • It is a collaboration between housing authorities and child welfare agencies.
  • As of 2000, FUP was extended to provide time limited section 8 vouchers to youth ages 18-21 who have aged out of the foster care system at age 16 or older.
  • Child welfare agencies will provide 18 months of aftercare services for youth when they enter housing.
what are the benefits of fup
What are the Benefits of FUP?
  • For Public Housing Authorities (PHAs):

Increased ability to serve clientele

  • For Child Welfare Agencies (CWAs):

Expanded access to housing solutions for young people aging out of foster care

  • For Youth:

Safe, stable and affordable housing prior to exiting the foster care system

  • For the community:

Cost-effective and beneficial tosociety

establishing a fup in your community
Establishing a FUP in your community
  • Begin to ASK questions regarding the housing needs for young people in your community; consult with your local CWA
  • Map out current housing resources
  • Document the need for FUP in your community
  • Approach your partner (PHA, CWA) to exchange ideas, observations, potential partners, sources of funding and plans.
establishing a fup in your community cont
Establishing a FUP in your community cont..
  • If there are no FUP vouchers available in your community
    • Dedicate a reasonable # of Section 8 vouchers to this program – set a local preference for “youth aging out”
highlights from a 2004 cwla survey of il coordinators
Highlights from a 2004 CWLA Survey of IL Coordinators
  • According to an survey 38 IL Coordinators:
    • 42% (16) of states are currently using FUP or priority section 8 vouchers
    • 60% (23) of states reported partnerships and collaborations with their public housing authorities. These partnerships included prioritizing section 8 waiting lists, public housing slots and supportive housing programs.
build the partnership
Build the Partnership!!
  • Gain an understanding of the mission and limitations of your partner agency
  • Lay out and agree upon the responsibilities of each partner agency
  • Specify the type and duration of services to the young people upon lease-up
  • Write a detailed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – Included in your packet!
elements of an effective partnership
Elements of an Effective Partnership
  • Liaisons are appointed
  • Reliable Communication – learn each others language
  • Hold Regular Meetings
  • Cross-Training
  • Staff Support
  • Additional Partners are invited
  • Additional Funding is sought
  • Feedback is solicited from program participants
building a partnership in your community
Building a Partnership in Your Community
  • Understand mission & limitations of the partner agencies
  • Create youth housing continuum
  • Write a detailed Memorandum of Understanding
benefits of partnerships collaborations
Benefits of Partnerships & Collaborations

Cross System Dialogue

More Effective Communication

Improved Services for Young People

Decreased Homelessness for Emancipated Youth

slide20

Using Your Voice to Change Minds...Change lives!

Advocating for youth exiting the child welfare system is an integral part of preventing homelessness!

contact information
Contact Information

Roxana Torrico, MSW

Director, Housing & Homelessness

Child Welfare League of America

Washington, DC

rtorrico@cwla.org

202-639-4908