Meeting the Diverse Service Needs of People Experiencing Homelessness
This chapter explores the array of supportive services a social worker must become familiar with to help families and individuals exit homelessness. Using a plan to prevent and end homelessness developed by Austin, Texas, as a guiding framework, this chapter discusses such services as outreach, coordinated assessment, prevention, diversion, case management, and healthcare coordination and highlights the range of knowledge and skills social workers need to be effective practitioners in this arena. The trend today is “housing first,” and it is these services that support and empower a person experiencing homelessness through the process of moving into housing and successfully maintaining that housing. The chapter underscores the critical role social workers play in providing, or connecting clients with, these essential services in the effort to end homelessness in our communities.
KeywordsEmergency shelter Outreach Housing first Case management Financial assistance Housing navigation Rapid rehousing Permanent supportive housing Defining homelessness Austin Continuum of care Outreach Service resistance Housing first System of care Youth Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program Shelter Diversion Prevention Case management Housing plan Housing history Housing barriers Landlords Rapid rehousing Permanent supportive housing Health Respite Harm reduction
- Burt, M. R., Aron, L. Y., & Lee, E. (2001). Helping America’s homeless: Emergency shelter or affordable housing? Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute Press.Google Scholar
- Community Solutions. (2016). Tips for working with landlords (outreach and engagement strategies). https://www.community.solutions/landlord-toolkit. Accessed 2 Oct 2018.
- de Vet, R. D., Beijersbergen, M. D., Jonker, I. E., Lako, D. A. M., van Hermert, A. M., Herman, D. B., & Wolf, J. R. (2017). Critical time intervention for homeless people making the transition to community living: A randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Community Psychology, 60(1-2), 175–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- ECHO. (2016). Youth homelessness needs assessment. http://www.austinecho.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/161214-FINAL-youth-homelessness-needs-assessment-1.pdf. Accessed 1 Oct 2018.
- ECHO. (2017). Current needs and gaps report. http://www.austinecho.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/170901-Austin-Homelessness-Needs-Gaps-Analysis-2017.pdf. Accessed 18 Sept 2018.
- ECHO. (2018). Austin’s action plan to end homelessness. www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=292841. Accessed 1 Sept 2018.
- McNeil, R., Guirguis-Younger, M., Dilley, L. B., Dilley, L. B., Aubry, T. D., Turnbull, J., & Hwang, S. W. (2012). Harm reduction services as a point-of-entry to and source of end-of-life care and support for homeless and marginally housed persons who use alcohol and/or illicit drugs: A qualitative analysis. BMC Public Health, 12, 312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- National Alliance to End Homelessness. (2015). Assessment tools for allocating homelessness assistance: State of the evidence. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. https://www.huduser.gov/publications/pdf/assessment_tools_Convening_Report2015.pdf. Accessed 2 Oct 2018.
- National Alliance to End Homelessness. (2016). Housing first. https://endhomelessness.org/resource/housing-first/. Accessed 2 Oct 2018.
- NAEH (2018). The Role of Emergency Shelter in Diversion. National Alliance to End Homelessness, September 27, 2018. https://endhomelessness.org/resource/role-emergency-shelter-diversion/. Accessed 14 January 2018.Google Scholar
- Oliva, A. M. (2014). SNAPS in focus: Rapid re-housing as a model and best practice. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. https://www.hudexchange.info/news/snaps-in-focus-rapid-re-housing-as-a-model-and-best-practice/. Accessed 2 Oct 2018.
- Springfield’s Housing Collaborative. (2007). High risk and homeless youth survey. Springfield, MO: Community Partnership of the Ozarks, Christian, Greene, and Webster Counties Continuum of Care.Google Scholar
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2010). Permanent supportive housing evidence-based practices (EBP KIT). https://store.samhsa.gov/product/Permanent-Supportive-Housing-Evidence-Based-Practices-EBP-KIT-/SMA10-4510. Accessed 2 Oct 2018.
- The Homeless Hub. (2018). Harm reduction. http://homelesshub.ca/about-homelessness/substance-use-addiction/harm-reduction. Accessed 2 Oct 2018.
- The Urban Institute, & ICF Consulting. (2002). Evaluation of continuums of care for homeless people: Final report. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. https://www.huduser.gov/publications/pdf/continuums_of_care.pdf. Accessed 1 Sept 2018.
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (2011). Homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing program year 2 summary. https://www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/HPRP_Year2Summary.pdf. Accessed 2 Oct 2018.
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (2013). Making the transition to permanent housing. https://www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/shptransitionpermanenthousing.pdf. Accessed 2 Oct 2018.
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (2017). Coordinated entry core elements. https://www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/Coordinated-Entry-Core-Elements.pdf. Accessed 2 Oct 2018.
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (2018). Homeless services system: Program referral guidelines. https://www.hudexchange.info/resources/housingsearchtool/?housingsearchtoolaction=public:main.client-intake-and-case-management-resources. Accessed 2 Oct 2018.
- United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. (2014). Implementing housing first in permanent supportive housing. https://www.usich.gov/resources/uploads/asset_library/Implementing_Housing_First_in_PermanentSupportive_Housing.pdf. Accessed 2 Oct 2018.
- United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. (2015). Rapid re-housing. https://www.usich.gov/solutions/housing/rapid-re-housing. Accessed 2 Oct 2018.
- United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. (2016). Housing first checklist: Assessing projects and systems for a housing first orientation. https://www.usich.gov/resources/uploads/asset_library/Housing_First_Checklist_FINAL.pdf. Accessed 2 Oct 2018.
- Varnell, W., & Shoenfeld, E. A. (2017). Ending youth homelessness in Austin/Travis County. The College for Behavioral Health Leadership. https://www.leaders4health.org/images/uploads/files/Lifeworks_Youth_Homelessness.pdf. Accessed 1 Oct 2018.