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Prevention – Outcome 8

Reduce the number of families in poverty that enter homelessness

As has been stated throughout this toolbox narrative, homeless families look very similar to other low-income families, and the combination of the high cost of housing, lack of sufficient inventory of affordable housing, and a low-income, service-based economy creates challenges to adequately solving the problems of our region.

By focusing on families living in poverty with the highest levels of vulnerability, efforts can potentially stem the growing crisis. The most vulnerable categories of families identified through the Keys to Housing planning process include:

  • Families with young children enrolled in Women, Infants, Children (WIC) nutrition programs
  • Families identified by Child Welfare Services as at-risk of separation due to lack of stable housing
  • Families with children enrolled in school free and reduced-cost meal programs
  • Families already homeless seeking shelter and transitional housing
  • Victims of domestic violence and their children

These strategies are aligned with those in Outcome 7: Families are identified as at-risk and assisted prior to losing housing, and Outcome 3: Coordination of resources. Clearly, we do not currently have in our region, nor do we anticipate generating sufficient resources to address the needs of all vulnerable individuals and families. Coordination and targeting of limited resources to those most vulnerable are seen as the most productive strategies by the Steering Committee, sub-committees, and the Advisory Council.

The Regional Continuum of Care Council, for the 2010- 2011 Supportive Housing Program application to HUD, set five-year and 10-year goals for program success.

They include:

The Keys to Housing initiative is aligned with current community efforts to end all homelessness, and goals for this outcome are consistent with these established benchmarks and goals.

What we will measure to track our progress over time:

  • Annual Point in Time Count
  • Annual SD County Office of Education homelessness count by housing category as compared to children enrolled in free and reduced lunch programs
  • Families with housing burden equal to or greater than 50%