An average of 701 unduplicated homeless individuals come through the Human Services Campus Welcome Center each month, seeking assistance to end their homelessness. Approximately 50 percent qualify for Rapid ReHousing.
Since January, 1,276 individuals have been connected to different programs. 1,197 were referred to shelter, 18 to Rapid ReHousing, and 45 to permanent supportive housing. Central Arizona Shelter Services currently has over 200 individuals in shelter that have been there from three months to a year.
Stories like these are consistent throughout our state. Every month, hundreds of households experience some type of crises and find themselves homeless. Hundreds are stuck in shelters due to the lack of resources for housing solutions.
Last year the Arizona Department of Housing launched its Rapid ReHousing program in Maricopa County. Since then we have launched our Rapid ReHousing program in the 13 rural counties and most recently in Pima County.
From July 2016 through April 2017, the Department’s Rapid ReHousing program has housed 255 households: 118 in Maricopa County and 137 in balance of state. Our goal is to house at least 320 households by June 30. We will renew these programs in FY 2018 and anticipate doubling our goal to over 600 households.
Thanks to our deployment of the Arizona Management System, we are establishing goals, setting targets, measuring daily, and implementing countermeasures when targets have not been achieved. Every day our provider partners report how many people they have enrolled in the program and how many were housed. Over the next year we will monitor our customers to ensure they stay housed.
Another benefit of Rapid ReHousing is the opportunity it creates to work together as a community. It starts with coordinated entry. We are learning that coordinated entry, in most places, is still evolving. By requiring that our Rapid ReHousing customers be referred from coordinated entry it creates an opportunity for our Rapid ReHousing providers to engage with coordinated entry. The more we work with the system, the sooner it will operate more effectively.
Employment is a critical piece of the Rapid ReHousing program; without income, housing is not sustainable. From my view, there are greater opportunities to engage our employment resources around the state in our process.
We are grateful for our partners in the Rapid Rehousing program. In Maricopa County, we are partnering with UMOM, A New Leaf, HOM Inc., and Valley of the Sun United Way. In our 13 rural counties: Good Neighbor Alliance covers Cochise County; Old Concho Community Assistance Center covers Navajo and Apache Counties; Western Arizona Council of Government covers La Paz and Yuma Counties; Catholic Charities covers Yavapai, Mohave and Coconino Counties; and Community Action Human Resources Agency covers Pinal County.
In Pima County we are partnering with Primavera, Pima County/Sullivan Jackson Employment and Community Bridges, Inc. Primavera will partner with Our Family, and Pima County is partnering with Compass Affordable Housing and Old Pueblo Community Services.
We are thankful for the many people in our state who work tirelessly to assist others who have experienced some sort of crises in their lives and need a hand up.