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Sep 18, 2018

One Year After Harvey, Looking Forward to #2020 and Beyond

In the two months immediately after Harvey hit, the Coalition and partners of The Way Home were able to successfully prevent homelessness for nearly 1,000 people who had nowhere to go after the storm, BUT it was a major disruption to our already in-place homeless services and a devastating distraction from our planned work in 2018.

On the night of the Homeless Count in January, 18% of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness in our community said that Harvey was their homeless trigger – whether it was their first time homeless or not. This accounted for most of our increase in unsheltered homelessness – the first increase since 2011.

Despite the distraction and the increase in unsheltered homelessness, we are proud of what we accomplished through Housing For Harvey. Of the 334 households that moved into apartments, 206 of them have left the program to safe housing. This is a positive outcome and hopefully did what it aimed to, which was to prevent a large incoming wave of newly homeless individuals.

With the continued leadership from the Coalition for the Homeless the Way Home is making strides to bridge back the time and resources lost since the storm.

The Way Home utilizes a “Housing First” approach to solve homelessness by prioritizing the placement of homeless individuals and families into housing as soon as possible, and then providing voluntary supportive services as needed to help them remain housed.
Houston is leading the nation in solving homelessness and is a national model for other communities.

Since 2011, partners of The Way Home have reduced overall homelessness by 51% and unsheltered homelessness by 63%. In 2011, the Homeless Count identified 8,538 homeless individuals on the night of the Count.

The Key to our work is our systematic approach and key partnerships made throughout the our service area. Without the assistance of Global Giving we would be unable to reach and tell our message to people around the world. We thank you all for your assistance, and hope you continue to help “Be The Key” to ending homelessness.

Jun 21, 2018

State of Homelessness 2018- Harvey's impact on the Homeless System

State of Homelessness Breakfast 2018
State of Homelessness Breakfast 2018

The Coalition for the Homeless held a State of Homelessness breakfast event at the Junior League of Houston on May 23. The event featured a panel discussion as well as the results of the 2018 Homeless Count & Survey.
Nearly 100 community stakeholders from partner agencies of The Way Home, local government agencies, and the business and philanthropic community attended the event, eager to learn more about the future of The Way Home, the region’s homeless response system. Panelists at the event included Marilyn Brown (President/CEO, Coalition for the Homeless), Robert Pulster (Regional Coordinator, United States Interagency Council on Homelessness), and Eva Thibaudeau, LMSW (Vice President of Programs, Coalition).

The panel, moderated by Kaitlin Monte (Fox 26), began with a look back on the work of The Way Home, including successes to-date. Thibaudeau spoke to the incredible collaboration of the local homeless service nonprofits – may of whom attended the event – and how their willingness to think outside the box led to many of our community’s successes. Pulster reminded those in the room that, although homelessness in Houston can feel overwhelming, Houston has led and continues to lead the nation on solving homelessness through innovative partnerships and an incredible “yes” culture.

Brown revealed the 2018 Homeless Count & Survey results which showed an increase for the first time since 2011. The majority of the increase was seen in the unsheltered homeless population, and 18% of unsheltered homeless individuals surveyed during the Count reported that their homelessness was due to Hurricane Harvey.
“Hurricane Harvey was a major disrupter to the work of The Way Home, both in terms of diverting resources and contributing to the increase in unsheltered homelessness,” said Brown. “In just 41 days, partners of The Way Home shifted resources to successfully prevent homelessness for nearly 1,000 people who had nowhere to go after the storm. But it was a major disrupt

ion to the homeless programs already in place and a devastating distraction from our planned work in 2018.”
With an eye to the future, Pulster shared insights about an anticipated update to the federal plan on ending homelessness and what that might mean for the Houston area. Our region can expect that individuals experiencing non-chronic homelessness will be one subpopulation of focus in the future. Brown and Thibaudeau reiterated the importance that all of the partners in this work need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and continue to come to the table to end homelessness.

“We’ve proven that we have a greater impact when our voices are united, when we’re at the table together, and when we are working together toward our common goals,” said Brown.

The Coalition also announced the launch of The Way Home’s new Facebook page at the event. As lead agency to The Way Home, the Coalition will manage this new social media channel as a collective space where partners can share and post their success stories and how their organizations and staff are committing to the work to end homelessness through #2020AndBeyond! For more information about engaging on this new channel, visit our digital toolkit:

Mar 23, 2018

Housing for Harvey Update

Key to a New Beginning
Key to a New Beginning

To address the immediate needs of disaster shelter residents following Hurricane Harvey, multiple community partners enacted the Housing for Harvey program.

The Housing for Harvey program successfully transitioned more than 900 emergency shelter residents into housing either at New Hope Housing, Inc’s Residences on Emancipation program or in apartment units.

Those in apartment units signed six-month leases with landlords and had the full amount of their rent paid for that time. They also received intensive case management services, furniture and home goods.

As the Housing for Harvey program begins to close this spring, case management teams are working with everyone in the program to help them transition into their next housing options.

As leases end and as the Residences on Emancipation facility closes the Housing for Harvey program will be providing one-time financial assistance via a $500 cash card to help individuals and families with this transition.

Our work also includes the transition of individuals at Houston's Northline Location, which flooded during the storm. We are happy to report all clients have been safely moved and placed into new housing.
We are so very thankful to continue our work and as we look to a transition we know that Global Giving and their incredible community will be there to support any ongoing efforts.

The Way Home continues to house more than 40 individuals/families monthly. With your support, we are able to continue this work and purchase home goods, offer one-time financial assistance and purchase home essentials that clients need to begin their new lives.

Thank you all for being the Key to getting Houston back Home.

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