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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

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

SafeHome Philadelphia

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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

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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

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Privately funded through blood, sweat & tears & some fun

(46 kindergarteners & businessmen in boxes)

which provides flexibility to build evidence

SafeHome Philadelphia

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Program Components


Voluntary Partnership:

Home Based Supports &

Community Links

Evaluation Process

SafeHome Philadelphia

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Telephone Screen

Housing or Partner Advocate:

Description of situation

Ballpark information income

SafeHome Philadelphia

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Site Visit

As soon as possible, Housing Advocate visits current housing to

confirm crisis and family’s immediate options

SafeHome Philadelphia

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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

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Staff Case review

Carefully review documentation to identify hidden bombs

Identify/resolve unaddressed or undocumented matters

SafeHome Philadelphia

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Voluntary Partnership Agreement

dreams & aspirations

non-binding action plan and

description of what SafeHome offers

SafeHome Philadelphia

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determine rent ceiling

“ school locations

“ neighborhood

CHOICE not placement

negotiate lease terms with landlord

lease reviewed & signed

tenant rights & responsibilities

SafeHome Philadelphia

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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

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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

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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

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Stability: rent payments & tenancy over time

Change in children’s

health and education

Change in adult’s well


SafeHome Philadelphia

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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

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SafeHome Philadelphia

the mission-achieving creation of the

Philadelphia Committee to END Homelessness

Phyllis Ryan Jackson

[email protected]


SafeHome Philadelphia