Over the last three years, The Road Home has seen a 309% increase in the number of families turning to us for help. We have responded to this dramatic need by increasing housing options rather than building an additional shelter.
We believe in a progressive engagement method: Families receive a small amount of support at first, then additional or more intensive support is added if they struggle to stabilize. From 2009 to 2012 we utilized Federal Stimulus funds received through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to rapidly rehouse families in our community.
Through our Rapid Rehousing Program, we were able to help 1,100 families. This program provided families with barrier elimination, housing placement assistance, short term subsidies and supportive services. 87% of families served remain successfully housed and have not returned to homelessness. 13% of families received more intensive housing services and support. Single men, women, and youths were also placed in housing through our Rapid Rehousing Program. 26 youths and 32 formerly chronically homeless men and women received rental subsidies which helped them move out of shelter and into housing.
Looking forward, The Road Home will continue to assist families using similar methods as they overcome homelessness. In this way we will be able to assist as many families as possible with the resources we have available.
Cynthia came to The Road Home with her husband, Robert, and five children earlier this year. She was working at a fast food restaurant, but was unable to support her family on her own. Robert, who suffers from mental health issues, stayed home to care for their children while Cynthia was at work.
After a short time at our Salt Lake Shelter, the family was placed in housing through our Rapid Rehousing Program. Robert’s health problems soon intensified, and with a cut to her work hours, Cynthia was again unable to support her family in housing. They were forced to returned to the shelter after a few months in housing.
During their second stay at The Road Home, our housing team intensified the support given to the family. Head-start and after school programs for the children gave Cynthia time to enroll in job training and seek additional work. These programs also allowed Robert time to recover.
Cynthia’s family was placed on a waiting list for a Tenant Based Rental Assistance voucher. These vouchers are limited, but can help reduce a families rental payments up to 30% of their income once they qualify.
After another brief stay at The Road Home, Cynthia’s family qualified for a housing voucher and was able to move out of the shelter. They continue to receive support from The Road Home as they work to apply for a permanent section 8 housing voucher. A section 8 voucher will allow Cynthia to continue pursuing additional job training while supporting her family.
Cynthia’s family is just one of the many families who have returned to housing through our Rapid Rehousing Program. While the program has ended, we continue placing families in housing, using what we have learned from Rapid Rehousing.
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the people we serve.