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SafeHome Philadelphia. National Conference on Ending Family Homelessness Seattle, Washington, February 7, 2008 Emergency Assistance: Preventing Homelessness SafeHome Philadelphia created by the Philadelphia Committee to END Homelessness. SafeHome Philadelphia.

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National Conference on Ending Family HomelessnessSeattle, Washington, February 7, 2008Emergency Assistance: Preventing HomelessnessSafeHome Philadelphiacreated by thePhiladelphia Committee to END Homelessness

SafeHome Philadelphia

safehome philadelphia

SafeHome Philadelphia applies the“Housing First” model to prevent homelessness.

SafeHome Philadelphia


SafeHome Philadelphia

is a work-in-progress created to build evidence of the efficacy of “Housing First” for all Philadelphians in housing crises -- to convert public investment from temporary to permanent housing.

SafeHome Philadelphia


Core Value is that Housing is A Human Right

1) Families only in this first phase because they have safety net

2) Housing Crisis w/ Homelessness as a Likely Outcome

3) Ability to pay forward rent

SafeHome Philadelphia


Privately funded through blood, sweat & tears & some fun

(46 kindergarteners & businessmen in boxes)

which provides flexibility to build evidence

SafeHome Philadelphia

program components
Program Components


Voluntary Partnership:

Home Based Supports &

Community Links

Evaluation Process

SafeHome Philadelphia

telephone screen
Telephone Screen

Housing or Partner Advocate:

Description of situation

Ballpark information income

SafeHome Philadelphia

site visit
Site Visit

As soon as possible, Housing Advocate visits current housing to

confirm crisis and family’s immediate options

SafeHome Philadelphia

family interviews with advocates
Family Interviews with Advocates

Explore strengths-based partnership to obtain

housing and increase resources to build stability

Assemble needed documentation

Determine next steps

SafeHome Philadelphia

staff case review
Staff Case review

Carefully review documentation to identify hidden bombs

Identify/resolve unaddressed or undocumented matters

SafeHome Philadelphia

voluntary partnership agreement
Voluntary Partnership Agreement

dreams & aspirations

non-binding action plan and

description of what SafeHome offers

SafeHome Philadelphia


determine rent ceiling

“ school locations

“ neighborhood

CHOICE not placement

negotiate lease terms with landlord

lease reviewed & signed

tenant rights & responsibilities

SafeHome Philadelphia

voluntary home based support
Voluntary Home-Based Support

making a house a home: furnishings help

social visits : take out for meal or takeout

relaxation techniques training

differentiate advocates from past “institutional” experiences

provide transportation to get groceries

build trust: encourage initiative

SafeHome Philadelphia


Sticking to core belief: Housing is a Human Right

Honest, we are not the cops

How many phone numbers can you have before your brain blows up?

The realities of their lives: work, children, loves vs. our good intentions

Stop trying to herd cats

SafeHome Philadelphia


City of Philadelphia spends $35,000 a year for a family in shelter

SafeHome Philadelphia makes a one time investment of $4,000 to house a family

(one half is direct housing assistance; the other half is staff support)

SafeHome Philadelphia


Stability: rent payments & tenancy over time

Change in children’s

health and education

Change in adult’s well


SafeHome Philadelphia

summary 61 families
Summary: 61 Families

40% have previous shelter experience

75-80% have employment income

4+ is average family size

50% have graduated high school

95% are native Philadelphians

Average rent: $598

Average income: $1616

Housing crises were unsafe conditions, overcrowding, violence, “illegal” resident in subsidized housing: only 2 of 61 families had eviction notices

In second cohort, 91% are stable; in first cohort, no one became homeless, but incarceration and relapse and one eviction occurred: 79% remain housed

All families but those on some form of cash assistance have increased income

All families had the choice of at least 2 new homes – over 160 decent, affordable,,safe private housing was found

SafeHome Philadelphia

SafeHome Philadelphia

the mission-achieving creation of the

Philadelphia Committee to END Homelessness

Phyllis Ryan Jackson


SafeHome Philadelphia