The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in partnership with CSH, Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, and Santander Bank, launched the Massachusetts Pay For Success Initiative in June of 2015. Sixteen participating housing and service agencies across the state of Massachusetts are aiming to house 500 to 800 chronically and “high-use” homeless individuals with an 85% continuous sustained housing rate over five years.
One year later, providers participating in the Initiative have housed half of the initial 500 person goal and continue to outreach and engage additional chronic and high-use individuals experiencing homelessness.
The Pay For Success Initiative leverages significant public and private funding along with the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance’s (MHSA) Home & Healthy for Good (HHG) housing and service model. HHG demonstrates that providing housing and supportive services to chronically homeless individuals through a low-threshold, Housing First model is less costly and more effective than managing their homelessness and health problems on the street or in shelter. Additionally, roughly three quarters of the Pay For Success tenants are enrolled in the Community Support Program for People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness (CSPECH) program. CSPECH was designed by the the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP) and MHSA, and is a proven model of Medicaid reimbursement that help funds permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals.
As a member of the Massachusetts Alliance for Supportive Housing, and investor in the Initiative, CSH provides advisory services and best practices to enhance service providers’ performance, and the success of the initiative overall. CSH developed a multi-year, multi-level, logic-model driven Provider Learning Collaborative, which kicked off in February 2016. The Provider Learning Collaborative supports participating providers in developing and strengthening their networks, sharing best practices, and building their capacity. Case Managers, supervisors, and provider leadership have gathered to discuss their participation in the initiative, challenges, and successes. Specific sessions have addressed housing search and placement, eviction prevention, and motivational interviewing.
To date, over 80 professionals across the 16 participating agencies have attended and contributed to collaborative discussions and peer-to-peer learnings.
CSH will continue to convene learning collaborative sessions throughout the Initiative, covering topics ranging from addressing active substance use, to self-care and preventing employee burnout.
CSH also is launching an online community where participating providers can connect between sessions to share content and ask questions.
CSH will continue to provide local and national best practices and guide discussions around opportunities for change and improvement as our Massachusetts partners work to house those in need of housing and services.