The goal of Everyone Home DC’s Street Outreach team is to connect people experiencing homelessness to housing. In order to do this, we rely on government funded housing interventions like Permanent Supportive Housing, Rapid Rehousing, and Targeted Affordable Housing. Permanent Supportive Housing is the most intensive housing intervention and is designed to support individuals who have the greatest vulnerabilities by providing long term housing subsidies coupled with intensive case management. Rapid Rehousing is intended for people with fewer vulnerabilities by providing short term support through time-limited subsidies and case management. Targeted Affordable Housing is a relatively new intervention that provides a permanent housing subsidy with light touch case management and it is making a difference!
According to the 2017 Point In Time Data, of the 3,578 individuals experiencing homelessness, 1,729 of them are over the age of 50. People above retirement age are less likely to acquire reliable, sustainable income, and are therefore less likely to afford market rent. An inability to afford to pay rent does not necessitate a need for intensive services that come with Permanent Supportive Housing, so having an option midway between Rapid Rehousing and Permanent Supportive Housing can be incredibly useful. Targeted Affordable Housing can also be used as a step down tool for people who have been in Permanent Supportive Housing for years and are no longer in need of the robust case management associated with the program, or conversely, it can be used as a step up tool for folks who are in Rapid Rehousing and are unable to increase their income and will need long term affordability.
Our Street Outreach Team is excited to have ended homelessness for a few individuals experiencing homelessness through Targeted Affordable Housing. One individual in particular, “Elliot” had been living outside for almost four years before our team was able to connect him with Targeted Affordable Housing through the city’s homeless services system. “Elliot” is in his 60s and has minimal income, so renting an apartment was not feasible. He had put his name on waiting lists for low-income senior housing, but the lists are long and his name never came up. Now, because of Target Affordable Housing, he doesn’t have to worry about waiting lists, and “Elliot” was able to choose his own apartment in a building he likes that is full of amenities including granite countertops, a fitness center, and a short walk to the Metro!