As the single-point of entry into homeless services in Tippecanoe County, LTHC is able to offer a continuum of care for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. One of the programs along that continuum is the Rapid Re-Housing Program which was established in the 2009 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. The program is funded nationally by HUD (Housing and Urban Development) and its focus is to help homeless people be quickly re-housed and stabilized.
At LTHC, all homeless clients are assigned a Case Manager who helps identify the barriers to housing in order to develop an Individualized Housing Plan. Clients who may only have a few obstacles in their way may qualify for the Rapid Re-Housing Program and are referred to the Housing Specialist while continuing to work with their Case Manager. The Housing Specialist assists the client in working out their budget and ensures they complete Tenant Education class. At LTHC, this class is done in conjunction with Homestead CS. The purpose of the class is to make sure that the participants understand their rights and responsibilities as a tenant as well as those of the landlord. Its goal is to help the clients be better tenants in order to maintain their housing.
The Housing Specialist will assist the client in finding an affordable and safe home. She has developed many relationships with local landlords who are willing to work with our clients to help maintain them in housing. Depending on each client’s situation, the Housing Specialist may be able to assist with the application fee, security deposit, and first month’s rent.
The Rapid Re-Housing Program is truly a “housing first” model — get people out of shelters or off the streets and into housing as quickly as possible. The LTHC Case Managers stay involved with the client during the rent process as well as after they are housed to complete the goals of their housing plan. On average, clients work with LTHC for 3-4 months after they are housed.
In Fiscal Year 2016, over 140 adults participated in LTHC’s Rapid Re-Housing Program and 97 percent remained in their home at the conclusion of services. Of the clients in the program, almost half had a physical and/or mental health condition. All clients in the program are connected with local resources to help address these kinds of needs as well as other services that will help them be successful in maintaining housing.
How can you support the Rapid Re-Housing Program to get more clients into their own lease? Unrestricted financial contributions can assist our Housing Specialist and Case Managers in addressing some of the needs that the clients may have — for example, if the barrier to housing is paying off an old utility bill, a donation can make that happen! Also, most of the clients have very few belongings when they are housed so your donations of furniture, bedding, household goods, and cleaning supplies are always welcome!