What is Rapid Re-Housing?

Rapid re-housing is an intervention, informed by a Housing First approach that is a critical part of a community’s effective homeless crisis response system. Rapid re-housing rapidly connectsfamilies and individuals experiencing homelessness to permanent housing through a tailored package of assistance that may include the use of time-limited financial assistance and targeted supportive services. Rapid rehousing programs help families and individuals living on the streets or in emergency shelters solve the practical and immediate challenges to obtaining permanent housing while reducing the amount of time they experience homelessness, avoiding a near-term return to homelessness, and linking to community resources that enable them to achieve housing stability in the long-term. Rapid re-housing is an important component of a community’sresponse to homelessness. A fundamental goal of rapid rehousing is to reduce the amount of time a person is homeless. Rapid re-housing models were implemented across the country through the Homelessness Prevention  and Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP), included as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009. Through this national implementation experience,...

Local Zoning Best Practices for Shelter and Transitional and Supportive Housing


On February 9, 2016, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a landmark plan representing the most comprehensive effort ever undertaken by the County to combat homelessness. The Homeless Initiative includes 47 strategies. The same day, the City of Los Angeles adopted its plan to address the homelessness crisis. Together, the City and County strategies aim for strategic and historic levels of collaboration to attack root causes of homelessness. The County and City plan to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in the next several years on fighting homelessness in the region. This SB 2 Best Practices Guide helps implement Strategy F1 (“Promote Regional SB 2 Compliance and Implementation”) of the County’s recommendations to increase affordable/homeless housing. Its purpose is to educate cities in Los Angeles County on zoning and land use actions they can take to increase housing opportunities for people experiencing homelessness in our communities. 

Swept Away Reporting on The Encampment Closure Crisis


Across the United States -- from Washington, D.C., in the east to Honolulu, Hawaii, in the west; from as far north as Anchorage, Alaska, all the way down to Key West, Florida the existence of homeless encampments, colloquially known as “tent cities,” has seen a sharp increase. The rise is particularly visible in larger towns and cities, where people experiencing homelessness tend to cluster in order to find employment and/or to access services necessary for their survival, though such makeshift communities are by no means simply, or even primarily, an urban phenomenon. Larger-scale homeless encampments first drew attention on the Pacific coast. One of the earliest to gain media attention was Dignity Village in Portland, Oregon, where what began as a camp of just eight men and women in 2000 has grown nearly eightfold in size (and gained the tacit support of the community) today. Toward the end of the last decade, particularly after the Great Recession devastated the national...

Homelessness: Causes, Culture and Community Development as a Solution


This thesis seeks to explain the reasons that homelessness occurs, and how it is currently being dealt with in public policy. Triggers and predictors of homelessness are explored and it is shown that triggers are almost always compounded, indicating a multitude of factors that lead to homelessness. The culture and community surrounding the homeless lifestyle is seen as playing a significant role in how the individual copes with their homelessness. The norms and values of their culture are investigated and its role in rehabilitation is explored. Current institutions for helping the homeless are analyzed for different success rates. Additionally, initiatives and solutions to homelessness from two Western countries, The United States and Denmark are compared for varying successes and failures. Based on the analyzed factors this thesis proposes what could be done to improve the situation of homeless individuals by shaping public policy. Specifically the benefits that community building programs of rehabilitation such as Assertive Community Treatment and Critical Time Intervention could offer if public...

Homeless Encampments on Public Right-of-Way | A Planning and Best Practices Guide

Homelessness is a societal problem. Its causes are complex, and its effects have implications for many public agencies, including those not directly responsible for providing  assistance to homeless individuals. Because homeless people constantly seek safe shelter and refuges, agencies that own public land and buildings sometimes find themselves in contact with this population.

Nationally, the impact of homelessness appears to represent a substantial operational challenge for state transportation agencies and Departments of Transportation (DOTs). Two online surveys one of  state DOT managers and supervisors and the other of public sector managers of highway rest areas (DOT and other state agency staff) conducted in 2012 found  that 76% of the 24 states and one Canadian province with staff that responded reported issues with homeless encampments or individuals on rights-of-way or  rest areas (Bassett, Tremoulet & Moe, 2012).

Homeless individuals and their encampments can raise a number of concerns for DOT managers and other staff. They include:

• Safety, including that of motorists and other users of state DOT facilities, state agency personnel and homeless individuals themselves.

• Damage to public structures, land and landscaping.

Migration Patterns Of The Homeless Population

1. Introduction

The picture of homeless migration may have been established in the American mind by the characters Joe Buck and “Ratso” Rizzo in the 1969 film classic Midnight Cowboy, whose homeless New York City dream was a winter flight to a warmer climate. Ratso’s abode in an abandoned tenement building is brightened only by a Florida tourism poster on the wall, and the threat of the impending winter is broken only by his hopes, expressed in an explanation of the conditions to Joe. “I got no heat, but by that time, you know, cold weather, hey, Ill be in Florida.” Though there is some anecdotal corroboration of the perception that the homeless population travels south for the winter, and no doubt there are some sunbelt cities whose resources are particularly stretched because of their attractive regional climates, the most significant of migration patterns that have been identified and studied in relation to the homeless population are not governed by the sun. Grace for the Homeless, the 10-Year

Homeless Programs and Social Insurance


Each year, over 1.5 million Americans rely on homeless programs for overnight shelter. Despite robust federal funding for this critical part of the social safety net, more than 200,000 remain unsheltered on any given night. In this paper, I quantify behavioral responses to program generosity to study the tradeoffs inherent in expanding homeless assistance. I utilize a new, national dataset on sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations and exploit differential distribution of federal homeless assistance grants across communities. An outdated formula sets each region’s funding eligibility, inadvertently generating exogenous variation in homeless assistance. Program providers use the resulting marginal funds to add beds in both individual and family programs. Homeless individuals and families, however, have very different characteristics and behavioral patterns. I find that greater individual program generosity reduces unsheltered homelessness without drawing others into the local homeless population. A permanent $100,000 annual increase in homeless assistance decreases the size of the unsheltered population by 35 individuals, and all of the individuals who utilize marginal beds would otherwise be unsheltered.

Butt Out: Homelessness & Smoking Cessation

Tobacco use, cigarette smoking in particular, is the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality in the United States, and tobacco use is much higher among children and adults of lower socioeconomic status, resulting in medically underserved individuals suffering disproportionately high rates of tobacco-related morbidity and mortality.  While many of us take visits to the doctor and screening for potential health problems for granted, access to health care services such as getting help to quit smoking is unequal, with those uninsured or underinsured less likely to receive this type of service.3 In 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that an estimated 46 million people or 20.6 percent of all adults aged 18 years and older in the United States smoke cigarettes. Cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke account for about 443,000 deaths or one of every five deaths in the U.S. annually.4 Although it is difficult to determine the level of cigarette use in the homeless population, a study conducted...

AB 346, Stone. Runaway and Homeless Youth Shelters. Existing law, the California Community Care Facilities Act,

AB 346, Stone. Runaway and homeless youth shelters. Existing law, the California Community Care Facilities Act, provides for the licensing and regulation of community care facilities, as defined, by the State Department of Social Services. A violation of the act is a misdemeanor. This bill would include within the definition of a community care facility a runaway and homeless youth shelter, as defined. The bill would require the department to license as a group home a runaway and homeless youth shelter that meets specified requirements, including the requirement that shelter staff shall offer short-term, 24-hour nonmedical care and supervision and personal services to up to 25 youths who voluntarily enter the shelter. The bill would provide that a runaway and homeless youth shelter is not an eligible placement option under specified provisions. The bill would require the department to adopt regulations to implement these provisions and provide that, until those regulations become effective, the department may...

Health Problems of Homeless People

Homeless people are at relatively high risk for a broad range of acute and chronic illnesses. Precise data on the prevalence of specific illnesses among homeless people compared with those among nonhomeless people are difficult to obtain, but there is a body of information indicating that homelessness is associated with a number of physical and mental problems. This is evident not only in recent data from the Social and Demographic Research Institute but also in individual published reports in the medical literature. It also was apparent to the committee in its site visits across the country.

Types of Interactions Between Health and Homelessness
In examining the relationship between homelessness and health, the committee observed that there are three different types of interactions: (1) Some health problems precede and causally contribute to homelessness, (2) others are consequences of homelessness, and (3) homelessness complicates the treatment of many illnesses. Of course, certain diseases and treatments cut across these patterns and may occur in all three categories.