The purpose of this document is to inform HUD-GFE readers of the benefits that the program offers to the public, both today and for the foreseeable future; outline the various aspects of the program; and highlight the goals and objectives of the program.
1. THE BENEFITS.
“Housing First” is a model of homelessness-based permanent housing solutions that has been shown to provide an excellent alternative to hospitalization for a wide variety of patients that are homeless. Housing First is an approach focused exclusively on helping individuals and families find permanent housing solutions with appropriate services.
Housing First is a strategy for helping the homeless find permanent housing. HUD defines “Housing First” as,
(a) The placement or transfer of a client(s) from the temporary to the permanent housing of their choice; (b) Continual assessments of each client; and (c) An annual evaluation of the situation of each client in order to determine which client, in the judgment of the manager, has the best chance for success with that place.
According to HUD, Housing First can improve both the individual and the community. In addition to decreasing the number of emergency hospitals, it has been shown to reduce the homeless population within a given area and to offer better outcomes for individuals as they move toward permanent housing.
2. THE PROGRAM.
Housing First is a permanent solution to homelessness. The program is supported by federal, nonprofit, and state agencies such as the National Institute of Housing and Urban Development; the Department of Health and Human Services; the Department of Veterans Affairs; the Department of Housing and Urban Development; the U.S. Department of Education; the Department of Labor; the Office of the Director of the United States Agency for International Development; The Council on Homelessness; and The National Alliance to End Homelessness. HUD's goal is to reduce the number of homeless individuals to zero within 10 years.
HUD-GFE focuses on preventing homelessness through a series of program components:
The Housing First Pilot
The Housing First Pilot provides information and best practices for agencies to help implement Housing First in their communities. The Pilot provides resources including an online resource library, training materials, a guide on best practices using Housing First with community service providers, and other resources to assist agencies to move forward with implementing Housing First programs. The Housing First Pilot is part of HUD's overall work on preventing homelessness and on building strong communities.