04/01/2021

CSH awards grants to Community Providers in Minnesota and Washington to help Families and Children Caught in Cycles of Homelessness and Foster Care

Providers in Benton and Sherburne Counties, MN, Scott and Carver Counties, MN, and Spokane County, WA to develop the CSH “Keeping Families Together” Supportive Housing Model

New York, NY (April 1, 2021) – Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), a national nonprofit that advances practical housing solutions to improve the lives of the most vulnerable, has awarded grants to three housing and social service providers in Minnesota and Washington to expand housing access opportunities for families experiencing involvement in the child welfare systems. The grants will be used to advance the CSH One Roof program and Keeping Families Together (KFT) initiative that brings together service providers and public agencies to reunite families and connect them with stable housing and supportive services.

The lack of stable housing is often a precipitating factor for a family’s involvement with the child welfare system. It is a significant barrier to reunifying families, threatening the children’s immediate and long-term well-being. As many as 30% of children in foster care are primarily there due to a lack of housing. Also, significant racial disparities in the child welfare and housing systems that result in family separation compound the trauma that Black, Indigenous and People of Color experience. The CSH One Roof program showed that when families with children in foster care were reunited and gained stable housing, approximately 90% of families stayed in housing. These families were able to heal and thrive in their communities.

“These grants represent the CSH commitment to dismantling structural racism as a root cause for families and their children who are caught in a cycle of homelessness and family separation just because of their ethnicity or color of their skin. We admire the longstanding work these three service providers make to help families and children and we look forward to collaborating with them for integrating the CSH One Roof approach as a proven solution to a persistent crisis,” said Deborah De Santis, President and CEO at CSH.

Currently active in 10 states, the One Roof KTF program builds a humane and improved approach to community collaboration and merges the common goals between housing and child welfare agencies. CSH will work with providers and public agencies in the three selected regions to foster the multi-sector partnerships that will develop and deliver supportive housing –stable housing and improved wraparound supportive services – targeted to families involved in the child welfare system.  

The three community service providers and regions CSH has funded are Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative serving Scott and Carver Counties, Minnesota; Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota serving Benton and Sherburne Counties, Minnesota; and Catholic Charities Eastern Washington, serving greater Spokane County, Washington.

Over the next two years, each grant recipient will receive up to $225,000 intensive technical assistance from CSH.  With their new grants, CSH will work with the regions to strengthen and center the voices of families and communities and ensure pathways to thriving for both current and future generations.

By providing affordable home and essential supports to families, this approach has shown real promise in maintaining and reuniting children with their families in a safe environment while reducing costs. “We know that supportive housing works for residents and for communities,” said Kevin Walker, Vice President of Housing for Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative. “This grant will bring nationally tested best practices to Prairie Pointe as we link high-quality supportive housing, public and nonprofit systems, and faith communities to better identify and respond to the needs of families in Scott and Carver counties. Together with our partners, we will use wraparound, two-generation, and family-driven service models to support family reunification in a supportive community where families can and will thrive.” 

“We’re honored to have been selected for this initiative and are looking forward to working closely with our partners, local families and the foundation to keep more families together,” said Michele Fournier, Program Director with Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. “This supportive housing model will provide the opportunity to galvanize our support among partners to support families threatened with housing stability, improve their well-being and address racial disparities.”

“With the support of CSH’s Keeping Families Together Initiative, Catholic Charities Eastern Washington and a core team of local partners will remove service barriers for Spokane families – creating supported connections between temporary and permanent housing units in the community for households impacted by child welfare. said Dawn Kinder, Vice President of Stabilization Services, Catholic Charities Eastern Washington. “Family reunification is essential because it leads to long-term positive outcomes—disrupting the generational impacts of trauma and advancing community health.” 

BRIEF PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS

Scott and Carver Counties, Minnesota – Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative

CSH is working with Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative toimplement KFT in Scott and Carver Counties, building from their growing partnerships with child welfare and human services, housing and homeless response system services, and local government entities in the region. An energized community change movement is currently underway in the region centered around homelessness/housing stability with child welfare cases and fostering an initiative to reduce child abuse and neglect through various community-level interventions. KFT will support and align efforts to implement robust community-based resources and solutions for families experiencing poverty, child welfare system involvement, and homelessness/housing instability. Despite being a high-income region, poverty, child welfare involvement, and housing instability is shown to align with race, disproportionately impacting American Indian/Native Alaskan, Hispanic/Latino, Multiracial, and Black families in the area. Core partners for this initiative will include the Child Welfare and Housing Departments of Scott and Carver Counties, Volunteers of America – Minnesota, and the Scott, Carver and Dakota Counties CAP Agency.

Benton and Sherburne Counties, Minnesota – Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota

CSH is working with Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) to implement a local One Roof initiative that brings together a core team of representatives from local organizations to share data, information and best practices. The core team will receive technical assistance from CSH and guidance from a Parent Advisory Board consisting of families who have experienced housing instability or involvement in the child welfare system as they plan and implement KFT supportive housing. LSS works across Minnesota to foster safe and supportive homes for children, restore health and wellness in families, empower people with disabilities to live the lives they imagine and promote health, independence and quality of life for older adults. LSS core partners for this local One Roof initiative include Benton and Sherburne county human services, St. Cloud and Stearns County Housing and Redevelopment authorities, Institute for Community Alliances, Promise Neighborhood of Central Minnesota, Central Minnesota Housing Partnership, Rise and Catholic Charities.

Spokane County, Washington – Catholic Charities Eastern Washington

CSH is working with Catholic Charities Eastern Washington (CCEW) to form Spokane County’s One Roof initiative to implement Keeping Families Together supportive housing in Spokane County that will create a pipeline of support promoting long-range housing stability for local families. CCEW’s Rising Strong program provides whole-person, whole-family treatment resources by providing a temporary housing program that offers treatment and intensive support for Spokane County families involved with the foster care system. CCEW has been partnering with families to strengthen, stabilize and support them through its programs. With the support of CSH, CCEW and a core team of local partners will build from this positive progress to remove service barriers for Spokane families – creating supported connections with housing in the community for households impacted by child welfare. KFT will be key to better aligning regional partners to achieve and scale the vision of Spokane County leaders focused on strengthening families, preventing family separation and ensuring any necessary separation is rare and brief. Key partners include the Spokane Housing Authority and State of Washington Department of Children, Youth, and Families, City of Spokane, CCEW Community and Behavioral Health, Better Health Together, and Community Health Workers in neighborhood schools.

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