People can find themselves in hard times. Hard times include facing homelessness. When people find themselves dealing with homelessness, they can feel helpless. Luckily, there are nonprofit organizations that can support the homeless. One particular nonprofit organization is the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
What to Know About the National Alliance to End Homelessness
The purpose of this nonprofit organization is to end homelessness in America (that’s why it’s in the name!) This organization aims to do that through research and data that can help find solutions to homelessness. Besides that, this organization works with both local and federal partners to form a consistent base of resources and policy that can help support the solutions they find. On top of all of that, they help communities implement the solutions!
History of the National Alliance to End Homelessness
This nonprofit organization has been around for decades. It was founded back in 1983. The founders were a concerned group of citizens that wanted to help homeless people in the nation. Through hard work, this nonprofit organization was able to focus on permanent solutions to homelessness. It even grew a national network that consists of more than 10,000 providers, private partners, and public agencies.
How Has This Nonprofit Organization Been Able to Help?
The National Alliance to End Homelessness challenged America to create plans that work towards its goal of ending homelessness. As a result, the federal government took on this method and increased its resources. This includes:
- Coordinated assessments
- Coordinated entries
- Crisis systems that focus on the outcome
- Local systems in place to end homelessness
- Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH)
- Rapid Re-Housing (RRH)
- Systematic collection of data
- Use of data
Specifically, you should focus on some of the important solutions that are available like RRH, PSH, and Crisis Response Systems.
What is Rapid Re-Housing?
This is a housing aid option that can give short-term rental support and services. The goal of this opportunity is to help people not only get housing rapidly but also improve their levels of self-sufficiency while keeping them housed. One of the benefits of RRH is the fact that it is available without preconditions. Preconditions can include:
- Employment requirements
- Income requirements
- Criminal record requirements
- Sobriety requirements
When individuals receive services from this housing opportunity, they are typically designed to help the needs of the recipients. The core components of RRH include:
- Housing Identification
- Rent assistance
- Move-in assistance
- Case management
- Supportive services
This is a common solution for ending homelessness because it has been proven effective through research. Research has proven that individuals that receive RRH support are homeless for a less amount of time than those who benefit from other support opportunities such as transitional housing or shelters.
On top of that, it is more affordable than other homeless support opportunities such as transitional housing or shelters. It helps people dealing with homelessness find permanent housing to stay in. Once a recipient gets housing, they can focus on other issues that could have led to their homelessness. Some of these issues may include:
- Troubles with employment
- Substance abuse problems
- Those dealing with domestic abuse
- Having limited income
- Having no income
What is Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH)?
This is a supportive housing opportunity that combines both voluntary support services and affordable housing assistance. PSH aims to help those that chronically deal with homelessness. The benefit of the services this opportunity provides is that they can help recipients work towards:
- Independent Living
- Having a Tenant Skillset
- Connections for Health Care That are Community-Based
- Employment Support
This housing opportunity has been so helpful that it has been able to lower the number of chronically homeless people by a whopping 8% since 2007! It’s a cost-effective solution and has been proven to help increase housing stability and even improve the health of recipients.
What is the Crisis Response System?
The purpose of a Crisis Response System is to help identify individuals dealing with homelessness, prevent homelessness, and connect individuals in need with housing quickly. On top of all of that, it can also provide supportive services to those who need them. Some of the goals of these systems include:
- Coordinated entry
- Prevention and diversion
- Interim housing and emergency shelters
- Permanent housing opportunities
There are outreach workers that have the task of connecting people to housing opportunities like coordinated entry, emergency services, and shelter. These people must either be at risk of homelessness or actively dealing with homelessness.
This term describes the process of quickly identifying, assessing, referring, and connecting people dealing with crises to supportive services.
Prevention and Diversion
These two factors are very important parts of a community’s crisis response system. These factors can decrease the overall size of the community’s homeless population. First, let’s look at prevention. Through prevention assistance, households can stay in their current housing situation to avoid homelessness. Through diversion assistance, homeless individuals looking for a place to stay can get help with identifying alternative housing arrangements as well as supportive services (if applicable).
Interim Housing and Emergency Shelters
When people need immediate housing, they can consider these housing opportunities. This is a great option for those dealing with housing crises or those escaping an unsafe situation. Interim housing and emergency shelters can provide those in need with a place to stay as soon as possible.
Permanent Housing Opportunities
Besides providing temporary support, there should be resources in a crisis response system to provide permanent housing. This includes the support opportunities mentioned above like RRH and PSH.
What are Some Principle Activities of the National Alliance to End Homelessness?
To execute its goal of ending homelessness, this nonprofit organization focuses on the following principles:
- Building Knowledge
- Enhancing Policy
- Increasing Capacity
This nonprofit organization uses data and research to find out what the best solutions are for homelessness. With this information, they can develop knowledge to form these solutions that are easily accessible. The branch of this nonprofit that leads research is the Homelessness Research Institute (HRI).
From the knowledge they get through their research and data, this nonprofit organization can teach leaders and policymakers. This can help them learn what works and what doesn’t when forming policies that offer supportive solutions.
This nonprofit organization wants to help increase the capacity of communities to have the ability to implement solutions. It can do this through its Center for Capacity Building. This building provides a variety of resources like training, technical assistance, tools, and more that public agencies can benefit from.
Keep in Mind…
While we discussed a variety of resources above, this non-profit organization cannot directly provide services to those in need. Instead, individuals that want to benefit will need to get in touch with their local 211 hotlines. Individuals can also check out the National Alliance to End Homelessness website. They have an informational page that can point users in the right direction if they are dealing with homelessness.
When you find yourself dealing with a terrible situation like homelessness, there are opportunities you can consider. One nonprofit organization, in particular, that is worth considering is the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Their goal is to end homelessness and it can do so through a variety of different means. While you can’t benefit directly from this organization, they have information that can help point you in the right direction. You can also get in touch with your local 211 hotlines for support as well!