Tools to End Homelessness Among Families: Best Practice. Community Care Grant Program
In response to increasing shelter requests by families, the District of Columbia developed a cost-effective, humane, and innovative response to help those at imminent risk of homelessness: providing substantial resources at the front-end of the homeless services continuum to help families rapidly obtain permanent housing without ever entering a homeless shelter program.
The program is a collaborative effort of the Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness and federally funded Family Support Centers. The staff of seven community-based Family Support Centers helps families to access housing and offers transitional, intensive case management services to ensure they stabilize in that housing. The Community Partnership provides funds to support the transitional case management and flexible, time-limited resources to help defray the cost of housing.
The program provides the services and support families require while diverting many from shelter stays. The Community Care Grant program costs an average of $7,000 per family served and provides up to a year's support. In contrast, the average stay of six months in a family shelter costs $11,439. (NAEH)
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