Types of Housing Support for the Homeless
There are proven models for housing support services that aid individuals experiencing homelessness. Without the right supportive services, coupled with the appropriate housing measures, many communities would be unable to fulfill the daily needs of homeless individuals, ensure the availability of adequate housing solutions and progress towards ending homelessness in America. By establishing short-term transitional solutions to more permanent housing, we can find a path suitable for each of our homeless neighbors.
These facilities are often the first place people turn to during or after experiencing an economic or domestic crisis. Emergency shelters provide support services and short-term stabilization, often for a 90-day period or more, for individuals and families before finding appropriate housing that meets their long-term needs.
Volunteer respite accommodations serve as important alternatives to emergency shelters for young people under 18. Small facilities or households with spare rooms are offered by community members who are willing to offer their space for a time.
Bridge Housing is a program that provides temporary residence, ranging from six to 24 months, for people experiencing homelessness. It is often referred to as “transitional” or “interim” housing. Bridge housing typically includes supportive services to aid with living requirements and improve employability, to further help individuals obtain permanent housing as quickly as possible.
Rapid Re-Housing (RRH)
RRH is a housing model created to provide temporary housing assistance to individuals or families experiencing episodic homelessness, with the goal to bring them quickly out of homelessness. Typically this type of house runs for six months or less and provides time-limited assistance for rental units and other community support services.
Permanent Supportive Housing
Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) is a program designed to provide housing and supportive services on a long-term basis to formerly chronic homeless people. For a significant number of homeless Americans with mental or physical disabilities, often coupled with drug and/or alcohol use issues, long-term homelessness can only be addressed by providing permanent housing combined with intensive supportive services.
PSH provides safe and stable housing environments with flexible and voluntary services. The program is based on a “housing first” approach to homelessness, which is a recovery-oriented model meant to move individuals quickly into independent/permanent housing then providing appropriate support services once they are housed.
When coordinated on a national level, campaigns such as United To End Homelessness can foster organizational relationships to provide the appropriate housing solution for our homeless neighbors. The United to End Homelessness initiative brings Orange County citizens together to ensure that integrated and sustainable solutions are implemented for homeless individuals suffering from debilitating or disabling conditions.