On October 1, 2018, CSL began its third contract for services under the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) Supportive Housing Program. What does that all mean?
From HUD's website about Supportive Housing: "The Supportive Housing program is designed to promote the development of supportive housing and supportive services to assist homeless persons in transitioning from homelessness, and to promote the provision of supportive housing to enable homeless persons to live as independently as possible. Grants under the Supportive Housing Program are awarded through a national competition held annually."
CSL now has three contracts for service, each renewable annually with HUD, based on performance and outcomes. In total, the value of the three contracts is $658,669, and we house 49 families, with a cumulative total of 46 children. We offer "scattered site" housing, meaning CSL holds the lease for all 49 units, and every family has a full-time, dedicated Case Manager. We practice the "Housing First" model, which suggests we find good shelter for these folks, and then with that critical need in place, other life domains can be addressed. On at least a monthly basis, we're in the homes working with families to improve their situations.
Our new third contract with HUD is unique. After we were awarded the opportunity to expand our work, we became aware of 10 Veterans at risk of losing their housing in the Kansas City area. The timing was perfect for us to intercede and bring these Veterans under our new contract. We will be relocating them from their existing homes across Jackson County, to be more compliant with HUD fair market rent regulations, and offer them more opportunities to succeed.
Most of these Veterans entering our program are unlikely to reach a high level of self-sufficiency due to their previous, chronic battles with homelessness, and will require Supportive Housing Program services for the foreseeable future. While HUD helps us pay their rent, would you consider a gift to support the other associated costs with housing these veterans? We provide moving services, furniture, household items and cleaning materials, utility and rent deposits, transportation assistance, job training, financial coaching, and a bevy of other social supports to these men and women that fought for our country. A gift from you would amplify our efforts to house them, and allow us to truly create a home that is filled with warmth and opportunity.
For programs like this to work, public dollars (like those from HUD) are amplified with private philanthropy. Our community is strengthen when we can help all people "have a place to call home" (part of CSL's Vision Statement). We have a long way to go towards meeting that vision, but programs like this are a great start. When families have safe, affordable, and reliable housing, that is a platform upon which we can help families grow and thrive.