“Moving Housing & Houston Forward”
The community of Houston, Texas has come together and committed to ambitious goals. Not only are we focused on ending chronic homelessness, we want to transform lives by keeping people housed, healthy and out of poverty through economic advancements and workforce training.
The progress already has been beyond expectations. The federal government has declared Houston a city that has effectively ended homelessness among veterans. Chronic homelessness has dropped by over 70%.
The Houston PSH Capital Grant Fund has contributed greatly to these results. Through the creation of the Supportive Housing Capital Grant Program under the Fund, more supportive housing is available throughout the community. Supportive housing is a proven, evidence-based intervention leveraging affordable housing as a stabilizing platform to access much-needed services that keep people in a home. Houston is determined to add 2500 additional units of supportive housing to meet its goals.
To date, the Fund’s grant program has moved an additional 256 supportive housing units into the development pipeline, and has ensured that four important projects reach the construction phase. Through mixed use development, the Fund’s resources are responsible for an additional 124 units of affordable housing in the Houston rental market.
Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker appointed a prominent leadership team to champion the community’s goals and oversee progress important to the Fund. To sustain and magnify the accomplishments achieved by this team and ensure a self-sustaining oversight, the Houston HOME (Homeless Opportunity Management and Engagement) Council was proposed at the end of Mayor Parker’s term and has continued its work under the current Mayor, Sylvester Turner. This Council consists of the Mayor of Houston, the Houston/Harris County Continuum of Care (CoC) recognized task group, President of Central Houston and the Greater Houston Partnership, and private individuals and businesses deeply committed to the preservation and expansion of housing and services for Houston’s most vulnerable people.
To date, the Fund has received close to $7 million from respected, community-minded partners such as:
Because it is a complex and demanding endeavor to develop many units of supportive housing simultaneously through multiple providers, CSH (Corporation for Supportive Housing) was asked to serve as the trusted, third-party oversight manager. CSH is a recognized expert in supportive housing and a well-regarded, award-winning CDFI.
CSH’s role is to assess the capital risk for each supportive housing proposal, conduct due diligence, provide detailed analyses, and serve as the fiscal agent for the combined pool of private funding that is needed to complete the remaining development projects.
By ensuring funds are used in accordance with established agreements, and compliance monitoring is consistent across all projects, CSH will mitigate risk for investors.
Committed to Results
Houston’s initiatives, spearheaded through The Way Home, are not only creating housing for thousands of individuals in need of an affordable place to live, they also are opening doors to healthcare, substance use recovery, workforce development and economic advancement. These services are crucial in helping supportive housing residents move closer to self-sufficiency.
One of the evaluative criteria within the Fund’s Supportive Housing Capital Grant Program is convenient access to public transportation, employment training and job opportunities. We believe it is imperative that supportive housing is located with ease of access to public transport systems, employment training and job opportunities in mind.
Working with Income Now, a job-training and matching initiative for formerly homeless individuals, we are connecting supportive housing residents with immediate economic opportunities that enhance their likelihood to stabilize and stay housed. We are complementing programs offered by United Way of Greater Houston and UpSkill Houston to connect individuals to training and jobs once they are stably housed.
Housing near adequate public transportation is an essential feature in our quest to effectively match supportive housing residents to job opportunities.
Bryant has been housed at New Hope Housing (supportive housing) since November 2014.
Bryant worked as a cook in a major restaurant chain but lost his job and housing after a stroke, caused from a blood clot in his brain, resulted in the left side of his body being temporarily paralyzed. He was then homeless off and on for over 3 years.
Bryant was unemployed when entering supportive housing but now works as a home health aid at the site where he lives – cooking and cleaning for other people who are disabled.
Not only has he been working hard at his job, he has been focused on improving his own health and finding answers to some of the serious medical issues he faces.
Bryant’s emergency room visits (just Harris Health – not including private hospitals) before supportive housing: 2012 – 9 visits; 2013 – 17 visits; 2014 – 6 visits. Since entering supportive housing in 2014, he has only had 1 emergency room visit to Harris Health.
Before Bryant entered supportive housing, he missed a lot of medical appointments and wasn’t connecting with services in a way that helped him stabilize his health. He didn’t have a primary care provider (PCP) and would use walk-in clinics for medicine refills.
Once he found supportive housing, his Case Manager and Community Health Worker helped him find a PCP and began accompanying Bryant to appointments. Now he not only has a PCP he sees regularly, he has appointments with specialists — a Neurologist, Pulmonologist and others.
Securing stability through supportive housing has been beneficial to more than Bryant’s health and employment status; it has literally transformed every aspect of his life.
Although Bryant doesn’t currently live with his 5 year old daughter, he is very involved in her life and loves to spoil her. His long-term goal is to save money for a two bedroom apartment and have his daughter move in with him.
Bryant is one of hundreds of success stories in Houston. His progress moves all of us forward.
For more information on the Fund, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.