NJ Communities Embrace Rapid Re-Housing and Seeing Results
Change is hard, but necessary when it comes to Rapid Re-Housing, the changes communities must make can require navigating a complex set of factors.
More and more communities are embracing rapid re-housing approaches to ending homelessness that focus on permanent housing solutions, such as rapid re-housing.
New Jersey is in a unique position to utilize Emergency Assistance (EA) funds to provide intensive case management to households placed in permanent housing through Temporary Rental Assistance (TRA) and create a statewide opportunity to implement rapid re-housing.
In Mercer County, the Mercer County Board of Social Services is utilizing a single point of entry model to assess and prioritize rapid rehousing resources for families, with a commitment to intensive case management, wraparound services, and linkage to other community supports to ensure success.
Community leaders embrace the rapid rehousing model and dedicate resources for housing assistance and client centered inter-agency collaboration.
While Housing First and rapid re-housing are no longer novel concepts, the change that communities must often make administratively, structurally, and philosophically to move a system toward adopting these approaches can require navigating a complex set of factors.
The new resource, Rapid Re-Housing: Creating Systems and Culture Change:
- Provides guidance for communities interested or currently engaged in efforts to expand rapid re-housing,
- Examines strategies communities have used to engage leadership, providers, and the community in transforming their system,
- Shares common elements these communities describe as important for supporting change.
All communities differ – not all of these actions will be necessary or required to make the shift, but it may be useful to consider them part of a larger strategy when beginning the process.
Rapid Re-Housing is a strategy that has proven successful in helping communities cost effectively reduce homelessness. Homeless households entering the emergency shelter and transitional housing system are immediately provided with services to connect them with permanent housing.
Once housing has been located, households are provided with temporary rental assistance and short term, intensive case management to help them stabilize and maintain their housing.