03/19/2018

New Grant Helps Position Appleseed to House Families Facing Homelessness & Separation

Albuquerque – CSH (Corporation for Supportive Housing) has selected New Mexico Appleseed to receive a grant that will determine if Pay For Success (PFS) financing can help create supportive housing for families without homes who also experience high instances of open child welfare cases.

CSH anticipates Appleseed will receive approximately six months of technical guidance to determine if PFS is a realistic supportive housing funding option for Appleseed to pursue. PFS initiatives are often public-private arrangements that enable a government to test or expand programs while paying only for those that achieve agreed-upon outcomes. Such payments are known as success payments. Since it may take several years to verify the outcomes that trigger such payments, service providers like Appleseed often require upfront private financing from third-party funders (often philanthropists or community-based lenders).

“We are incredibly honored to be recipients of this important award, but the real beneficiaries are the children in New Mexico at risk of abuse and neglect because their housing is not healthy, stable, or safe,” said Jennifer Ramo, Executive Director of New Mexico Appleseed. “The end result of all this work is that those children will live in a home where they can focus on studying and playing, as every child should.”

In dozens of studies, supportive housing has repeatedly proven to be an effective intervention that improves housing stability, reduces the use of expensive crisis care (e.g., ERs, detox, hospitalization, nursing homes, child welfare), and improves outcomes even for the most vulnerable individuals and families with complex needs. This makes supportive housing an ideal candidate for achieving the successful results identified within many PFS financing contracts.

“The cost savings resulting from supportive housing are particularly significant among families with high interactions with child welfare systems,” said Deborah De Santis, President and CEO of CSH. “This group of families demonstrates the potential for progress through reduced length of stay in foster care and reduced costs for out of home placements, as well as improved health and safety outcomes overall for the children and parents served.”

The federal government estimates there are more than 50,000 families experiencing homelessness in the United States. Some of these families have repeated episodes of homelessness due to underlying addiction, mental illness, extreme poverty, and histories of trauma. These families also tend to have repeated contact with the child welfare system, sometimes resulting in foster care placement for young children and family dissolution. The PFS model offers a potential tool to support the creation of supportive housing for families, helping them gain housing stability, increase family functioning, and improve child and adult well-being across a range of outcome areas and measures.

“This exploratory work with Appleseed seems well-timed to coincide with large data sharing efforts undertaken by the New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department to match education, health, and child welfare data and needs,” said Stephanie Mercier, CSH Director of Impact Investment. “Appleseed demonstrates a clear vision and plan for using Pay for Success financing to expand and bring to scale existing families-focused supportive housing.”

The CSH grant to Appleseed is made possible through an award received from the Corporation for National and Community Service combined with additional financial support from CSH’s philanthropic foundation partners.

The Center for Healthcare Strategies will assist CSH in providing guidance to Appleseed during the term of this grant award.

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Media Contacts
CSH: Robert Friant; 212-986-2966, x245; robert.friant@csh.org
Appleseed: Jennifer Ramo; 505.814.1200; jramo@nmappleseed.org

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