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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Connecticut’s Rapid Rehousing Fund Helps Those In Need

The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Program (HPRP), which has provided significant funding over the past three years for the full range of rapid rehousing strategies expires September 2012. However, the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority has awarded one-time dollars to CCEH to establish a statewide Rapid Rehousing Fund.  Beyond Shelter CT and Housing First for Families coordinators are accessing the fund on behalf of homeless households across the State.
Connecticut’s Rapid Re-Housing Program (RRP) is designed to help families quickly move out of homelessness and into permanent housing, helping them achieve stability with time-limited supportsFamilies which include a pregnant woman; have a child under the age of six, ahead of household age 25 or younger; a family member with a disability or other chronic health issue or someone who has had a previous episode of homelessness within the past 24 months  are prioritized for Connecticut’s RRP services. In addition, applicants in Connecticut must be working with their Beyond Shelter or Housing First for Families Coordinator to access assistance. We expect that over the course of the year:
  • 300 families will exit homelessness;
  • At least 60% of households will exit homelessness within 45 days of approval for cash assistance and;
  • At least 80% of households will remain stably housed (no entry into shelter or transitional housing per CT HMIS) at 12 months after exit from program.
 To date, CCEH has served a total of 36 households across the state, 30 families and 6 singles.
 Rapid Rehousing Program – Client Story/Testimonial
Anne was a newlywed who relocated to Connecticut in 2011 and settled into in western Connecticut. Soon after her husband became abusive, and the abuse became worse after Anne learned that she was pregnant with twins. Eventually, Anne was able to escape her husband and took refuge in a homeless shelter. She had no family or friends in state that she could rely on for help or support, and her limited finances were not enough for her to pay for or save for a security deposit or to afford rent and living expenses. Though she was safe from abuse, Anne worried about being stuck in shelter and did not want her babies to be born there. Shelter staff connected her to the local Beyond Shelter program for case management and support services, but she still could not afford to get an apartment of her own.
Anne was eight months pregnant when CCEH’s Rapid Rehousing Program opened, offering a new opportunity for a small amount of financial assistance to help people like Anne overcome homelessness. The Beyond Shelter Coordinator helped her to find an apartment and to get financial assistance through the program. Anne’s was the first application CCEH received. With a security deposit and small rent subsidy, she was able to leave the homeless shelter, just in time. Her twin boys came home from the hospital to their own apartment.
Anne and her boys are thriving in their new home. She says they are comfortable and safe. In the coming months, Anne will return to work and looks forward to being able to support her family again. Anne refers to the rapid rehousing program as a “life saver”, making the difference between staying in the homeless shelter after the birth of her children and starting a new life with them in their own home.
A small amount of financial assistance and the right supports can change the lives of homeless children and their parents. The Rapid Rehousing program provided just what Anne and the twins needed –to get back on their feet and exit homelessness.

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