Homelessness doesn’t take a day off and neither do we. CAPTAIN Community Human Services (CHS), works closely everyday with our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness. We’re aware of the devastating effects homelessness has on children, individuals, and homelessness and are compelled to find solutions, programs, and services that best meet their needs.
November is Homeless Awareness Month and shines a light on the issue locally, regionally, and nationally in an effort to not only bring attention to the topic, but to highlight the programs and services available. It’s the opportunity for organizations such as CAPTAIN CHS to raise homelessness to forefront of our consciousness and provide ways that everyone can rally to help provide solutions.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR), on a single night in January 2017, 553,742 people were experiencing homelessness in the United States. For every 10,000 people in the country, 17 were experiencing homelessness. Of those counted as homeless, 184,661 (33%) were people in families with children.
New York State represented 16% (89,503 persons) of the total homeless population in the United States. A bulk of this is concentrated in New York City, but the balance of state (rest of New York) had over 13,000 people experiencing homeless on that one night.
Homelessness is one of the five focus areas for CAPTAIN CHS; Homelessness, Hunger, Economic Crisis, Empowerment, and Community Supports. We address this issue in many different ways through our Runaway and Homeless Emergency Youth Shelter, Street Outreach Project, and Solutions To End Homeless Program (STEHP), which works with individuals experiencing homelessness from 13 – 65+ years of age.
Today, we’re highlighting the amazing work of CAPTAIN CHS’s Solutions to End Homeless Program (STEHP) program and how it helps individuals and families who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless. The STEHP program is funded by the Office of Temporary Disability Assistance (OTDA) and demonstrates New York State’s largest effort to address homelessness.
The program has two main components; Rapid Rehousing and Prevention Services. Both are essential to supporting individuals and families facing a housing crisis and provide an integrated approach to securing permanent housing.
- The Rapid Rehousing service works with individuals and families who are truly homeless, which means that when we start working with them they are staying in a location not meant for human habitation (on the streets, in a car, abandoned building, etc.) or in an emergency shelter.
- CAPTAIN CHS’ Housing Case Manager can work with the individual or family to find and secure permanent housing, pay for security and first month rent, provide additional rent as needed on a limited basis, and provide case management to help them get back on their feet.
- The Prevention service works with individuals and families who are facing a housing crisis and are at risk of becoming homeless. Typically, this means they are in an eviction process and are at risk of losing their housing.
- CAPTAIN CHS can work with the individual or family to negotiate a settlement with the landlord to prevent eviction, broker a payment plan, or provide funds to take care of rental arrears to stop the eviction.
- By keeping individuals and families stably housed, our program can prevent the traumatic and disruptive chaos of homelessness, avoid any disruption in children’s schooling, and prevent a myriad of other issues that stem from becoming homeless.
Last grant year (10/1/17 – 9/30/18), CAPTAIN CHS provided Rapid Rehousing and Prevention services to 88 individuals in 36 households for Saratoga County. Of those, 45 were children under the age of 17 years.
The STEHP Program is available to any resident of Saratoga County facing a housing crisis and is targeted toward those individuals and families struggling with financial insecurity. This includes not only those living in poverty, but those individuals and families from low-income households and A.L.I.C.E households (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed). The United Way just released new data capturing how many households this represents in our region. For Saratoga County, almost 30% of households meet the A.L.I.C.E. threshold, which means that almost 1 out of every 3 residents working and living in Saratoga County are struggling financially.
For more information on the CAPTAIN CHS STEHP Program, follow the tab on our website under What Do We Do, Family Assistance or click here.
When facing a housing crisis, your neighbors at CAPTAIN CHS are here to help. We lift people up and build brighter futures.