Supportive Housing is proving to be effective across the country, with innovations and successes emerging from different states in every region. This page is dedicated to presenting some of the most recent and valuable housing communications out there, collected from leading advocates providing housing and supportive services to the most vulnerable members of our communities. The resources and news illustrate how professionals like you are addressing today’s housing and homelessness issues.
Get involved in the conversation by using #VoicesofSH to contribute your thoughts, ideas, questions and answers to the community.
At the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) Summit, Foothold Technology sat down with providers, executives, advocates, and those receiving supportive housing services. Participants shared their thoughts about the current state of the industry, reflected on challenges related to service delivery, and offered advice to their colleagues in the field. These conversations are the latest additions to Foothold’s Voices of Supportive Housing video series, which was first launched following CSH’s inaugural Summit in 2015.
It’s our hope you will join us in sharing these videos with your community and participate in the dialogue by using #VoicesofSH on social media.
Sam Tsemberis, CEO, Pathways to Housing
The Housing First Model is simple: provide housing first, and then combine that housing with supportive treatment services in the areas of mental and physical health, substance abuse, education, and employment. Housing is provided in apartments scattered throughout a community in order to foster a sense of home and self-determination as well as speeding the reintegration of clients into the community.
Tools and Resources
Matching Permanent Supportive Housing to the Most Vulnerable: A State-by-State Snapshot
Permanent supportive housing (PSH) is a proven solution for the most vulnerable chronically homeless people. PSH ends a person’s homelessness by pairing housing with case management and voluntary supportive services. Investments in PSH have helped decrease the number of chronically homeless individuals by 28 percent since 2008.
Despite the progress, only 42 percent of PSH beds across the country are dedicated to people experiencing chronic homelessness. As a result, fewer resources are available for those with the most intensive needs.
For the first time since 2008, the number of chronically homeless people increased in 2017. Dedicating more PSH beds to people who are chronically homeless will help communities scale up the resources they need to end chronic homelessness.
Homelessness Trends Across the US: 2018 Point-in-Time Results
Reported a lower number of people experiencing homelessness than in 2017
Reported a higher number of people experiencing homelessness than in 2017
Racial Disparities in Homelessness in the US
Guest Writer: Robert Friant, Managing Director External Affairs, CSH
One of the biggest challenges facing affordable, supportive housing developers today is NIMBYism. Despite the clear crises in urban regions where sky-high rental costs are out of reach for many, creating homes for lower-income people can be a tough sell. The obstacles largely emanate from residents who may say they favor affordable housing to end homelessness and poverty, but are the first to cry “Not in my backyard!” (NIMBY) once a project is actually proposed.
With over 25 years of experience, CSH has found there are no silver bullets instantaneously changing the minds of hardcore opponents. There are, however, constructive steps supportive housing providers are taking to secure wider community support while also debunking some of the myths surrounding affordable housing. Here are some tips to address NIMBYism:
1. Keep it Proactive, Positive and Productive
It may be hard to believe in this day and age, but civil conversations and respect still go a long way. Trying to “sneak in” approval for new housing before anyone in the community catches on is a surefire prescription for disaster. Neighbors will find out and if you are not telling your story, someone else will and likely with a bunch of erroneous, harmful information inserted to match their biases. Engage the community fully, early and often. First spend time identifying local leaders – and not just the elected officials. Do not avoid houses of worship or vibrant community organizations you may not be familiar with or understand. Meet with leaders and plan community-wide gatherings with them. It’s icing on the cake if you can attract some to an advisory board focused on the project.
2. Be Respectful, Not Stereotypical
Fact of life: We don’t all agree on everything. That’s not a reason to call those who oppose your views bad names or try to paint them as horrible human beings. Show respect for everyone. It’s tough to stay cool when the need for affordable housing — whether it’s for the working poor, supportive housing for people with mental illness, units for homeless families, etc. — is apparent and urgent. And supportive housing developers often tell us that elements of racism or classism are present in these battles. But there can be legitimate concerns related to density, traffic, property values or crime. Let’s face it, any development can conjure up the worst thoughts and so this is an opportunity to attack myths about affordable, supportive housing, especially since there are now ample studies proving it does not harm property values or increase crime rates.
3. Get Your Supporters Out Too
There are neighbors on your side; don’t discount their impact. Find out who they are and help turn them up at community meetings. There is nothing wrong with getting supporters at the table. And don’t be afraid to engage and educate the media. Reporters by and large are not highly paid…they more often than not personally get the real need for affordable housing.
4. Your Message Matters
As already touched upon, the term “affordable housing” is sometimes equated with images of crime-ridden complexes. Let’s also acknowledge many Americans struggle but are not eligible for help with their housing, which can cause a degree of resentment. So keep your messaging focused on the community needs and positive outcomes like diversity and economic benefits everyone enjoys.
5. Make It Personal – The Stories, That Is
The CSH Speak Up! initiative proves the power of the personal story. The formerly homeless people who are part of this program share their lives – from the tragedies of homelessness to their transitions out of it to the transformations that came once they found supportive housing – in community forums. The best debater, the most popular politician cannot move a crowd as effectively as those with lived-experience. When neighbors meet our advocates and see what good people they are, many of their unfounded fears are put to rest. It’s also important to showcase some of the beautiful supportive housing that is already out there. When people see how nice it looks, the response is usually a universal: “I’d live there!”
Medicaid: What You Need to Know – Part 1
In the first session of this series, Foothold Technology Director of Client Services, Paul Rossi and Senior Advisor, David Bucciferro, along with Sue Augustus from CSH, bring us back to basics of all things Medicaid. They cover topics ranging in commonly used terms, coverage and eligibility and the differences between Medicaid and Medicare. This webinar series is designed for beginners and experts alike. Beginners will walk away with a strong foundation and experts will have the opportunity to contribute to the conversation.
Medicaid + Supportive Housing – Part 2
In our second webisode, Sue Augustus, Senior Program Manager at Corporation of Supportive Housing (CSH), Foothold Technology Director of Client Services, Paul Rossi and Senior Advisor, David Bucciferro, expand on the topics covered in their first webisode and take a deeper dive into Medicaid and Supportive Housing.
What You’ll Learn
- The current state of Affordable Care Act + Medicaid expansion
- A review of CSH State Plan Amendment/Waiver efforts
- Case studies about agencies that are using Medicaid in Supportive Housing
- How to prepare your agency to manage Medicaid data
Using Data to Make Decisions and Drive Agency Performance
- Patrick Germain, Chief Strategy Officer, Project Renewal
- Paul Rossi, Director of Client Services, Foothold Technology
Supportive Housing & Medicaid, Conversation w/ Steve Coe, CEO, Community Access
In this podcast, Steve Coe, CEO of Community Access joins David Bucciferro, Senior Advisor at Foothold Technology, to discuss funding models and how the process of billing for Medicaid for housing services in New York compares to other states. Topics include funding models, ways agencies can prepare internally to bill Medicaid, and the power of collaboration.
Supportive Housing & Medicaid, Conversation w/ Lindsay Casale, Housing First Program Director, Pathways Vermont
In this podcast, Lindsay Casale, Housing First Program Director of Pathways Vermont joins Paul Rossi, Director of Client Services at Foothold Technology, to discuss funding models and how the process of billing for Medicaid for housing services in Vermont compares to other states. Topics of discussion include Fee-For-Service, grant funding, service documentation methods, reporting, and policy-driven decision-making.
Supportive Housing & Medicaid, Conversation w/ Kevin Martone, Executive Director, Technical Assistance Collaborative
In this podcast, Kevin Martone, Executive Director of Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) joins Paul Rossi, Director of Client Services at Foothold Technology, to discuss how service providers across the country are adapting to the changing landscape of care to integrate more medically-based services into their programs. Topics include Medicaid billing, service documentation methods, outcomes, reporting, and care coordination.
CSH – Corporation for Supportive Housing
CSH operates under the mission to advance housing solutions that deliver three powerful outcomes: 1) improved lives for the most vulnerable people 2) maximized public resources and 3) strong, healthy communities across the country.
National Alliance to End Homelessness
The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose sole purpose is to end homelessness in the United States. They use research and data to find solutions to homelessness; they work with federal and local partners to create a solid base of policy and resources that support those solutions; and then they help communities implement them.
Supportive Housing Association of New Jersey
SHA is a statewide, nonprofit organization, founded in 1998, whose mission is to promote and maintain a strong supportive housing industry in New Jersey serving people with special needs.
Supportive Housing Network of New York
SHNNY is a membership organization representing 200 nonprofit organizations that have collectively created more than 50,000 units of housing across New York State.
United States Interagency Council on Homelessness
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness coordinate and catalyze the federal response to homelessness, working in close partnership with Cabinet Secretaries and other senior leaders across 19 federal member agencies.
By organizing and supporting leaders such as Governors, Mayors, Continuum of Care leaders, and other local officials, USICH drive action to achieve the goals of the federal strategic plan to prevent and homelessness – and ensure that homelessness in America is ended once and for all.
About the Supportive Housing Resource Center
Foothold Technology created this platform for organizations and providers working to address homelessness around the country. We offer this resource center as an online gathering place where providers can share resources, tips, and stories with partners and colleagues who are working tirelessly to support the complex needs of those facing or experiencing homelessness.