Despite the stereotype, the majority of people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, are families living doubled or tripled up or in motels. The reasons are many, but the most significant is that Orange County is one of our nation’s most expensive places to live. Too many families simply cannot afford the high cost of housing.
For homeless children, the lack of stable housing affects their health, education and well-being.
As part of our FACE 2024 initiative, we’ve helped expand an important new strategy in Orange County’s efforts to end homelessness: Rapid Re-Housing.
Stable Housing is Life Changing
Rapid Re-Housing is a model that works well in placing families experiencing homelessness into permanent housing. It’s designed to support families getting back on their feet, so they can take care of themselves, their families and be more self-sufficient. The outcomes are encouraging:
- Minimizes the amount of time an individual or family spends homeless
- Quickly helps families stabilize in their own housing
- Helps prevent future homelessness
- Lower costs per household than other interventions
- Decreased homelessness in communities
- Individuals and families have better outcomes if they spend more time in permanent housing
What’s Different About Rapid Re-Housing?
Traditional homeless services usually require a move into transitional housing, with participation in programs to make “ready for housing.” Rapid Re-Housing focuses on assisting our displaced neighbors move more quickly into permanent home environments—with appropriate services and support—minimizing the time they spend in shelters or on the street.
A Home for Good: How Rapid Re-Housing Works
There are three core components of Rapid Re-Housing: housing identification, rent and housing assistance (financial), and case management and services.
See for yourself! “Home for Good”
Alicia was strong enough to live in her car with her son for a year. She sent him off to fourth grade each day, after brushing their teeth with water bottles and bathing with baby wipes. But she couldn’t go on forever this way and worried that her son’s education would be affected. United Way’s Rapid Re-Housing partnership was their solution. With a roof over their heads, beds and showers, Alicia says they got their dignity back.
Now she has a full-time job and says, “I am living with humility and gratitude, and the strength of knowing we will never be homeless again.”