Rapid Rehousing Reduced Family Homelessness in Mercer County by 70%
In November, Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes was honored by the National Alliance to End Homelessness (The Alliance) for his leadership in Mercer County’s successful efforts to reduce family homelessness.
Mr. Hughes received the award at the national organization’s Annual Awards Ceremony on Nov. 17 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The ceremony, “When a Child Has a Home,” highlighted successes in ending child and family homelessness.
This year’s event was attended by corporate executives, representatives of Congress and the Administration, and many other committed stakeholders.
Organizers said that by recognizing the progress being made across the country, the event seeks to heighten the national conversation on the importance of ending homelessness for children and their families.
“I’m honored to be receiving this award on behalf of everyone who has worked so hard to reduce the number of homeless people in Mercer County,” Mr. Hughes said. “I believe Mercer County can serve as a model for other communities that are looking for proven ways to help some of our most vulnerable neighbors achieve better lives. We could not have achieved this success without our dedicated partners, and I share this award with our colleagues from the City of Trenton, Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness, Mercer County Board of Social Services and Catholic Charities.”
By using an approach called Rapid Rehousing, an intervention designed to help individuals and families quickly exit homelessness and return to permanent housing, Mercer has been able to reduce its number of homeless families by 70 percent.
Since 2010, more than 1,000 homeless families have been rapidly rehoused by moving into their own apartments within 54 days of entering the homeless system, Mr. Hughes said. Before the transformation, families were remaining in emergency shelters and transitional housing for up to a year.
“Best of all,” Mr. Hughes said, “94 percent of families who have been rapidly rehoused have not become homeless again.”
The Alliance also recognized for their achievements at the systems level;
- Flagler Housing and Homeless Services at St. Joseph’s Villa in Richmond, VA for their work as a homelessness provider; and
- Mr. Will Evans at Community Connections of Jacksonville, FL.