A Home for Everyone
A Home for Everyone is the first ever truly community-wide plan and initiative to respond to the crisis of homelessness in Multnomah County. We unite elected leaders from Portland, Gresham, and Multnomah County, leaders from faith, philanthropy, business, and non-profit sectors, and people who experience homelessness around one plan, a shared vision and carefully chosen strategies in housing, employment, health, and emergency services.
How we Do It
Using data, and practices that we know work, we set outcome targets and budget commitments that allow us to do enough for long enough to make homelessness rare, brief, and one time. To reduce homelessness (unmet need for permanent housing), we must reduce the number of people who become homeless each year (prevention) and increase the number of people who go into permanent housing each year (placements). As we increase cost-effective prevention, we can reduce the number of more expensive new placements needed.
What We Did Last Year
In year two of the AHFE Initiative (fiscal year 2015-16) we served over 25,000 people with some level of housing and support services. Among those were an unprecedented number of people who received prevention services (5,219) and emergency shelter (6,644), and 4,603 people who moved into permanent housing!
What We Are DOING This Year
JOINT OFFICE OF HOMELESS SERVICES
doing what works
To create a community where homelessness is rare, brief, and one time, we must help more people. We have set the following targets to achieve by the end of the 2016-2017 fiscal year:
- Increase preventions to over 6,000 people per year;
- Increase permanent housing placements to 4,350 per year; and
- For those who are still homeless, expand emergency shelter by 650 beds.
In order to do more, and achieve the ambitious outcomes set for this year, the City of Portland and Multnomah County increased investments in prevention, placement, and shelter.
A Home for Everyone coordinates policy making and planning across governments and private sector partners through our Executive Committee and Coordinating Board. This year, we are making the administration of policy implementation better by merging City of Portland and Multnomah County homeless program administration into a new Joint Office of Homeless Services.
Investing In What Works
We are innovating to achieve more with the limited resources available, for example:
Partnering with Private Landlords
The lack of available units is the biggest challenge to our efforts to end homelessness. We now offer private landlords a wide range of financial incentives and supports to encourage them to rent to homeless people.
Linking Housing and Employment Services
Stable housing leads to success in employment, while employment income is needed for stable housing. Our programs now connect rental assistance and employment training to maximize the benefits of each.
Aligning Mental Health, Corrections, and Homelessness
There is a group of people who have long histories of cycling through the mental health, corrections, and homeless services systems. By aligning those systems to identify and better serve those people – we will save the community money and improve outcomes for those served.
Making it Simple and Mobile
Too often someone needing help struggles to figure out where to go for services, how to apply for them, and finds themselves having to fill out separate applications at many different agencies. We are creating a shared community-wide data platform, a shared application process, and we are bringing services to the people through mobile outreach teams to make sure people get the services they need.
Offering Different Shelter Options
Shelter offers vital basic safety and access to hygiene services, and it is a place to connect with housing, employment and health services needed to get back into permanent housing. This year we are not only adding 650 beds of shelter, we are adding shelter in different parts of the community, for couples and people who are still struggling with addiction, that is open 24/7, and that accommodates pets and possessions.