Home Stretch, a project of EveryOne Home
Over the last decade, the “housing first” approach to homelessness has emerged as a best practice to help people secure and maintain stable housing. This model begins - rather than ends - with establishing a home, without any clinical pre-conditions. Home Stretch, a project of EveryOne Home, will employ this “housing first” model to create a path for homeless people in Alameda County to find housing more quickly and gain access to care and social services more effectively.
“Home Stretch will spearhead this transformation by streamlining the entry system so that the most vulnerable are prioritized,” said Robert Ratner, Housing Services Director at Alameda County Health Care Services Agency. “We will help people navigate the process so that nobody with a disabling health condition remains homeless in Alameda County.”
The project focuses on Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), a type of community-based housing that provides voluntary and flexible supports and services for homeless people with disabilities. Currently, there are more than 1,870 PSH opportunities in Alameda County, managed by more than 20 different housing providers at over 60 sites. Each building or program has its own eligibility requirements, leasing processes and waiting lists, meaning that there is no single pathway for people who qualify to secure housing. Of the estimated 4,200 people in Alameda County who are homeless at any given time, 60% of adults are living with long-term disabilities. These members of our community, who are the most in need of PSH, are the least able to navigate the complex system.
Home Stretch will transform access to Alameda County’s PSH opportunities, by developing a registry of all disabled homeless individuals and families in the County and streamlining the application process so that those in greatest need of housing move to the top of the list. The registry will also be used to match individuals with navigators who will help them access benefits and healthcare, even before housing is available, as well as assisting with their housing search.
Long-term, Home Stretch will help ensure that no person with a disabling health condition is homeless in Alameda County. Equaly important, by connecting the highest need, most vulnerable individuals to permanent housing and healthcare, Home Stretch will reduce costs and strains on the systems as a whole, which will move Alameda County closer to the goal of ending homelessness by 2020.
By the end of the 2-year Hellman Initiative grant, Everyone Home intends to double the number of high-need people being housed each month from 40 to 80, and long-term, ensure that no one in Alameda County spends more than 30 days without a home, especially those who live with disabilities.
EveryOne Home is the backbone organization of a countywide collaborative to end homelessness. It is directed by a 24 member Leadership Board with representatives from the public, private and non-profit sectors. The collaboration is led by Elaine de Coligny, Executive Director of EveryOne Home, Robert Ratner, Housing Services Director at Alameda County Health Care Services Agency, and Damon Francis, Medical Director of Health Care for the Homeless, Alameda County Public Health Department. Partners include:
* It is estimated that each night at least 4,200 people in Alameda County spend the night in a shelter, on the streets, or other places not meant for human habitation.
* In Alameda County, 60% of adults experiencing homelessness live with self-reported long-term disabilities, 26% report having a serious mental illness, 30% struggle with substance abuse disorders.
* Alameda County currently has 1,870 Permanent Supportive Housing opportunities, but they are operated by 21 different housing providers, all of which have their own eligibility requirements, leasing processes, and waiting lists.
For more information, contact:
Elaine de Coligny
Executive Director of EveryOne Home