Charrette Notes: Homelessness Prevention

South Central Housing Network

Region 10 Plan to End and Prevent Homelessness Charrette

Session #3, Monday, April 22

 Homelessness Prevention

RAW NOTES. Please send corrections to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Spechler: Need to learn how to motivate people to prevent themselves from suffering future homelessness

Ervin: Revolving door of homelessness going on locally with corrections. facilities.  Faith based communities are a good match for assisting with a personal plan.  What we need to do as a community is to surround individuals with services

Need to intervene sooner, corrections allows Middle Way into the jail system to assist but we need to gather in other agencies

Many services available, so is there a need for a single entry point?

Grier: Lost tradition of empowering power people to advocate for selves.

Guinn: Certain adult behaviors (addictions, anger)  are stressful on children. Children and families need to be taught coping skills to cope with the stress of poverty.  This is a method of intervening in poverty.

School system had a wrap around program which was cut. Many women want to work but can’t.  Support has been cut back. Need to address lack of funding. Many want to work but can’t with small children.

We have been talking about micro solutions but a Macro solution must involve state level issues in long term plan.  Concurs that people must mobilize around issues and work for themselves

Dyer:  Prevention is occurring at New Hope Shelter, which revolves families into permanent housing.  Likes the Healing Place format with 85% of funds being private. Keeping solutions local and private are less expensive.  Need to realize that problem starts with factories closing and kids dropping out of school.

Need to also think about prevention as it related to mental illness.  The affect of early life in poverty or uncertainty on children.

Circles program locally still looking for allies, it’s an opportunity to also work with children.

Circles program may be cut therefore private funding needed to keep it going.

Spechler: What is the role of city and county government and trustees (whose duties are poverty relief)?  Interested in solutions that realistically address the money that we have available.  Councilman Spechler will vote for projects that have private support and also have strategies in prevention.

Gilmore: This is a plan to end homelessness not necessarily to end poverty. They are used interchangeably but they not the same thing. Not possible to end poverty however national level solutions like HPRP are being promoted at the federal level. The shelter system costs more money than prevention or rent support.  Case management is empowering the client, how can we provide the resources to address your problems, it is inherent in case management role.

Grier: Sounds like groups outside Bloomington have a larger stock of affordable housing. One strategy is to increase the supply of affordable housing locally

Spechler: It is true that we don’t have enough affordable units, we may never be able to address this issue because of the numbers of homeless flooding into the community.  The University is part of this issue by increasing enrollment.  Need to collaborate with University to reduce the number of students. That is the only controllable factor.  We cannot build affordable housing on the kind of money that we have available.

Ervin: No matter what comes of the ten year plan, it will be difficult to not see the need for a low barrier shelter in the community.  However prevention is currently not being addressed other than a bed and a sandwich.

Hoffman:  People are making general statements like “people are coming into the community.” Need to know exactly how many, should assess the magnitude of the problem. Can happen with the simple loss of a job.  Jobs are the solution.

Stockment:  Low income Housing Tax credit program largest resource for creating low income units.  Rental subsidies are important, can subsidize a unit or scattered site.  Rapid re-housing is important for prevention.  Reallocate transitional housing programs to rental subsidy programs.

Grier: The students units being built are not appropriate for families. Need to increase quality of units and inspections.

Jobs are the most important component

Stockment: Kind of jobs available locally do not provide sufficient income to rent local units so need subsidies as well.

Why not create jobs in the community for people that need them as part of the solution?

Wyss:  Women with children should be helped first because they would stop the cycle. Collaborative use of existing spaces such as nursing homes to provide day care. 

Mental health is a cycle of bad decisions  not a switch that gets pulled on someone overnight. Medication alone may have adverse reactions, like addictions and that needs to be a focus.  Health effects of non treatment will eventually require additional expense.

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