On September 23, 2014, the Council of Community Services’ Community Housing Resource Center was awarded certification for rapid re-housing. The CHRC is now one of six Virginia organizations to have met the certification standards for the rapid re-housing program. The certification lasts for a period of 3 years.
Rapid re-housing is a proven and cost-effective strategy that has been used across the country to reduce homelessness. The structure focuses on moving families into permanent housing quickly and includes a comprehensive and formalized referral and assessment process that has been developed among all the homeless service providers in our community.
The rapid re-housing certification process was developed by the National Alliance to End Homelessness to certify providers in Virginia as proficient in providing rapid re-housing assistance.
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, this Rapid Re-Housing Certification is designed to:
“…help providers, funders, and other stakeholders to identify the qualities of effective rapid re-housing programs and to determine which providers are providing rapid re-housing assistance effectively. The RRH Certification focuses on identifying organizations that quickly re-house individuals and families while reducing the risk of future episodes of homelessness. The RRH Certification is not intended to fully assess other services provided as part of a rapid re-housing program, such as mental health, treatment, employment, and child care.”
Applicants awarded this certification were assessed based on the following:
1. Necessary activities, including landlord outreach, financial assistance, case management, and housing barrier assessment.
2. Having good outcomes, including length of time it takes to house participants, permanent housing success rates, housing stability, and efficiency.
3. Program orientation
4. Program policies
Click here for the Rapid Re-Housing Certification Review form showing CHRC’s alignment with the above standards: RRH Certification Review CHRC
The CHRC has worked hard over the past few years with its partners to develop a robust rapid re-housing program that has proven effective in the Roanoke Valley.
In order to meet the criteria listed above, the CHRC had to provide outcomes from the past year. This means the CHRC tracked over 30 rapid re-housed households that have been discharged from the program for at least 12 months in order to provide outcomes to the National Alliance to End Homelessness to successfully apply for certification.
It was no easy task but the CHRC efforts have paid off. Take a look at their 2013-14 Rapid Re-Housing program outcomes:
- 193 homeless individuals (including 99 children and 22 veterans) in 77 families were placed in their own, permanent housing through the CHRC rapid re-housing programs
- 53 of the 77 (69%) families served had “high” housing barriers
- High housing barriers means they met two or more of the following: previous evictions, zero income, long-term substance use disorder, previous episodes of homelessness
- Through increased efficiencies, increased resources and additional community partnerships the CHRC increased the number of homeless families placed in permanent housing by 64% over 2012-2013
- Rate of homelessness decreased 16.5% in the Roanoke Region in 2014
- 92% (33 of 36) of households discharged for more than 12 months did not have a return to homelessness within one year
- 91 landlords are currently partnering with the CHRC to rapidly place homeless families in permanent housing
- Length of homelessness for rapid re-housing participants has decreased 67% since April 2013
- 187 day average in April 2013 to 61 day average in June 2014
View the award notice here: CHRC RRH Certification Letter
To learn more about the CHRC, visit their webpage by clicking here.