This webinar provides an introduction to the systems approach and identifies ways in which philanthropy can be a catalyst for change in local communities.Read more
We are excited for 2014! Here's a look at what we're doing and how you can plug in.Read more
What We Can Do:
- Increase TANF Payments to Protect Families from Homelessness
- Support Families with the Greatest Needs by Removing Barriers to TANF
- Strengthen Connections Among Welfare-to-work, Job Training, and Homeless Assistance Programs
- Use TANF to Provide Rapid Re-housing and Emergency Housing Assistance
- Use TANF to Create Subsidized Jobs and Provide Work Supports for Families Living in Poverty
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With limited resources and increasing demand, we have to think about prevention.Read more
Historically, efforts to address family homelessness have not been strongly coordinated. Programs such as shelters and transitional housing were started by organizations and associations motivated to help families in need in their communities. As more programs developed, they did so largely in isolation from one another, each deciding on its own criteria. Programs were also responding to the requirements of various funders, each of whom may have emphasized a certain population or service or measure of success. Many of these programs focused on providing families a temporary place to stay and services intended to help them become more self-sufficient in the long run. Rarely were these same programs equipped to assist families back into housing as quickly as possible.
In the last decade, more communities are embracing rapid re-housing models, which move people out of homelessness as quickly as possible and then provide a flexible level of support, depending on the household's continuing--and sometimes fluctuating--needs. Philanthropy can help communities understand and promote these models.
Funders Together Resources
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Fails to Meet Basic Needs: How Inadequate and Inconsistent Funding in Driving American Families into Homelessness
Today, in every state, a family that relies entirely on TANF for income cannot cover the cost of fair market rent. Funders can, however, play an important role in addressing the gap between state TANF benefits and Fair Market Rents, as well as strengthening the relationship between state TANF programs and housing programs.
Sequestration's Impact on Homelessness [INFOGRAPHIC]
We know that sequestration is hurting homelessness services around the country. This infographic is designed to give a brief overview.
Still looking for more information? Let us know what you're interested in and we'll try to help.
The Toolkit for Advancing Systems Change records attempts and successes at influencing and changing systems by linking Toolkit users to informational pieces, tools, sample documents, and relevant websites.
Systems change is the strategic use of the available methods and tools to affect the greatest possible number of elements. Public policy systems typically transform themselves over a period of years, not months. Achieving a real change in a system is different from making the system do something new – a real change is one in which people habitually do the new thing, utilizing resources, authority, technology, and ideas that are routinely associated with the new activity.
In 2001, the Corporation for Supportive Housing began exploring how to promote supportive housing for individuals returning to the community from incarceration. Supportive housing for the reentry population is designed for individuals with chronic health challenges who were homeless upon entry to prison or jail or at risk of homelessness upon release.
Research has shown that individuals with histories of incarceration, homelessness, mental illnesses, or other disabilities often cycle through the criminal justice and homelessness systems multiple times and may also frequently use crisis health and mental health services (Burt and Anderson 2005; Hall, Burt, Roman and Fontaine 2009; Metraux and Culhane 2004). Given the success of supportive housing models in increasing the residential stability of persons with homeless and mental health histories (Burt and Anderson 2005; Culhane, Metraux, and Hadley 2002; Culhane, Parker, Poppe, Gross, and Sykes 2007). CSH believed expanding these programs to target those released from incarceration could be a way to break the costly cycle of incarceration, homelessness, and emergency service utilization.
CSH launched its Returning Home Initiative with a $6 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and additional support from the Open Society Institute, the Conrad N. Hilton and JEHT Foundations in the spring of 2006. The Returning Home Initiative (RHI) has two goals. First, it is dedicated to establishing permanent supportive housing (PSH) as an essential component of reintegrating formerly incarcerated persons with histories of disabilities and housing instability into their communities. Second, it is dedicated to initiating and implementing public policy changes that strengthen the integration and coordination of the corrections, housing, mental health, and human service systems. As part of the first goal, the RHI seeks to:
1) develop successful supportive housing models tailored to formerly incarcerated persons;
2) facilitate the placement of 1,000 formerly incarcerated persons into supportive housing units; and
3) document decreased recidivism rates of the formerly incarcerated persons who live in supportive housing compared to a similar group of formerly incarcerated persons who do not receive supportive housing. To initiate and implement public policy changes as part of the second goal, the RHI engages local and national stakeholders, such as supportive housing providers, public administrators, and elected officials, through an array of activities.
This report summarizes the influence of the RHI activities in three initial cities – New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. It focuses on changes in system functioning and interagency collaboration that have come about, at least in part, through the facilitation and encouragement of the RHI program manager and other CSH staff funded with the RHI resources. In addition, the report identifies challenges and lessons learned from the RHI to date and provides a summary of the influence of the RHI activities on system change.
Melville Charitable Trust spent a year examining and honing its grantmaking to prevent and end homelessness. Find out how they did it.Read more