Rapid Re-Housing: The Solution to Ending Homelessness in Your Community

written by Jen Saunders
April 11, 2016

Welcome to our Rapid Re-Housing Know-How Series. During this month-long event we will share best practices, tools and resources for new rapid re-housing programs. View the series and more resources at http://www.endhomelessness.org/rrhknowhow.

Rapid re-housing is an intervention designed to help individuals and families to quickly exit homelessness and return to permanent housing. Offered without preconditions, the resources and services provided through rapid re-housing are tailored to the unique needs of each individual household.

Communities around the country have transformed their response to homelessness through rapid re-housing. The model has let them

  • Increase the number of people they are able to serve.
  • Reduce the overall number of people experiencing homelessness in a community on any given day.
  • Help people exit homelessness to permanent housing and not return to shelter.

The rapid re-housing model also reduces waitlists and demand for shelter. Here are just a few examples we heard about at our 2016 Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness.

  • Alameda County, CA: Rapid re-housing worked for all kinds of people who had lost their housing including those facing high barriers, extremely low income people. It was a vital tool in our CoC’s response to homelessness and committed to increasing the scale of it in Alameda County.
  • Harris County, TX: Rapid re-housing is the most cost-effective option for the newly homeless, for positive outcomes that we can invest in as a system. Only 6% of families experienced another homeless episode after using rapid-rehousing.
  • Phoenix, AZ: 93 percent of families with high barriers in rapid re-housing have exited to permanent housing and only 7 percent of these vulnerable households have returned to homelessness two years after the program.
  • Dayton, OH: Serving vulnerable populations with rapid re-housing, the community found the average length of homelessness was cut in half within 2 years to under 40 days; 100 percent of households exited to permanent housing; none of the families shelter; and 100 percent of those who participated increased their incomes.

Rapid re-housing interventions allow providers to highlight clients’ strengths and resiliency, build empowerment, and changes the way they provide case management by believing that  clients already have the tools they need to be successful.

Also, importantly, rapid re-housing allows providers to serve more people in a compassionate way. Our rapid re-housing webinar series has highlighted some provider perspectives in places around the country, including in Spokane and Pierce County in Washington State and Grand Rapids, MI.

Rapid Re-Housing: All You Need to Know to Get Started!
During the next few weeks, we will roll out resources that can help you understand how to implement each of the three core components of rapid re-housing: housing identification, rent and move-in assistance, and rapid re-housing case management and services. We will include best practices and tools from other communities who are successfully implementing the model. We have also posted additional resources to get you started: http://www.endhomelessness.org/rrhknowhow.

Don’t forget to sign up for our webinar this week on ending family homelessness in Cleveland.