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ESC Annual Report 2018

HOUSING & ENERGY

HOUSING & ENERGY SOLUTIONS Housing Our Neighbors The Rapid Rehousing concept assists literally homeless people back into housing as quickly as possible. Economic Security Corporation of Southwest Area (ESC) is a member of The Homeless Coalition and received Rapid Rehousing funding from the U. S. Housing and Urban Development Department. We have been able to permanently house 18 families. Families are assisted with move-in expenses like rent, rental deposits and utility deposits. It can be very challenging finding housing for persons experiencing homelessness who may have significant barriers such as no income, past evictions or past felonies. Of the families that we are able to house, 17% were in recovery from addiction, 33% were domestic violence survivors and 17% were chronically homeless, meaning they had a disabling IMPACT OF RAPID REHOUSING THIS PAST YEAR: condition and experienced homelessness for a year or more or had multiple episodes of homelessness. The Homeless Coalition membership have agreed to a Housing First approach when working with families. According to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, Housing First is a proven method of ending all types of homelessness and is the most effective approach to ending chronic homelessness. Housing First offers individuals and families experiencing homelessness immediate access to permanent affordable or supportive housing. Without clinical prerequisites like completion of a course of treatment or evidence of sobriety and with a low-threshold for entry, Housing First yields higher housing retention rates, lower returns to homelessness, and significant reductions in the use of crisis service and institutions. “We like how quickly we got in an apartment.” - Satisfied Customer Collaboration Working In This Community to End Homelessness The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Strategic Goal 3: Using Housing as a Platform to improve the quality of life is the cornerstone of The Homeless Coalition’s strategic plan. One of HUD’s sub-goals that they have selected is to implement a coordinated assessment system for the Jasper Newton County Continuum of Care to End Homelessness in Southwest Missouri. In 2015, The Homeless Coalition established a coordinated entry system, and is referred to as Housing Connect. The purpose is to standardize access, assessment, referral and housing placement for all people experiencing homelessness. This is a community wide process that all members of The Homeless Coalition have made a commitment to utilize, prioritize housing through assessment, streamline and cut out duplication of services. This program has 20

HOUSING & ENERGY SOLUTIONS been recognized as a best practice in Missouri. During Homeless Coalition meetings regular updates about available funding, gaps, program openings and results are shared which helps providers coordinate around identified housing needs. Economic Security Corporation of Southwest Area (ESC) is a partner agency with The Homeless Coalition, a collaboration of local community members working together to end homelessness in our area. Partner agencies include: Lafayette House, Ozark Center, Children’s Haven, Salvation Army of Joplin, Missouri Department of Mental Health, Soul’s Harbor, H.O.U.S.E. Inc., Catholic Charities of Southwest Missouri, Veterans’ Administration, Joplin Schools, City of Joplin Public Housing Authority, Legal Aid of Western Missouri, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, Jasper County Public Housing Agency, Institute for Community Alliances, Missouri Housing Development Commission, SOS Ministries, Watered Gardens, Freeman Health Systems, Alliance of Southwest Missouri, City of Joplin, and others. The Coalition also routinely reaches out to other partner organizations such as emergency shelters, regional hospitals and law enforcement. Working together, ESC leads and organizes a twice a year point-intime count of the unsheltered and sheltered homeless who are residing in Jasper and Newton Counties to get a more complete picture of this issue. The January 2017 Point In Time homeless census count revealed there were 41 individuals living entirely unsheltered while another 165 individuals were living in an emergency shelter and an additional 64 individuals were residing in transitional housing. The good news is due to The Homeless Coalition’s Coordinated Entry, there has been a 10% decrease in homelessness compared to the 2016 January Point In Time census. The Coalition takes the lead responsibility for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Continuum of Care grant aimed at moving homeless individuals and families into safe, stable, permanent housing situations… ending homelessness in Jasper and Newton Counties. ESC serves as the administrative lead agency for this grant as well as operating five programs that receive a portion of the funding. These five programs 21

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