scp-photo

City Launches Fast-Track to Permanent Supportive Housing for Homeless

Innovative Rapid Rehousing model will provide navigation and rental assistance to over 200 residents of COVID-safe shelter.

The City’s Family and Community Services (FCS) has launched an innovative Fast-Track to Supportive Housing to help people experiencing homelessness move more quickly off the streets. The trial program is working with over 200 residents, about half of whom are children, in one of the City’s five Wellness Hotels, a non-congregate extension of the City’s Westside Emergency Housing Center set up as part of the City’s COVID pandemic response. The program connects residents with supportive housing and services. Over 30 households have already been enrolled in case navigation in the program’s first week and are on the path to permanent supportive housing.

 

“Our COVID response for people experiencing homelessness is focused on access to testing, care and shelter that has controlled outbreaks in this vulnerable population, especially compared to other cities,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Now, working with partners in the community, we’re removing barriers and making it easier for folks – and even children - to get into safe permanent housing.”

 

The City’s first successful participant of the Fast-Track Supportive Housing was initially living on the street and hesitant to pursue housing, telling case workers that others deserved housing before her. After working with case managers and City partners, the participant signed a long-term lease for her own home the week of Christmas. Following her positive experience with the Fast-Track Supportive Housing program, she is encouraging her friends to work with case managers to secure homes of their own.

 

The Fast-Track to Supportive Housing brings together key resources that are often scarce and fragmented into a cohesive site-based framework to meet the needs of each individual with the goal of securing supportive and long-term housing. The City is collaborating with partners Heading Home and Cuidando los Niños to administer the City’s $2 million General Fund Rapid Rehousing vouchers so residents—many of them families with young children—can find homes of their own. Case navigators from the UNM-HSC Pathways Program along with other City partners provide on-site support for residents to exit from homelessness into stable housing.


“This is just a glimpse into the successes we will be able expand and institutionalize when community providers come together at the Gateway Centers,” said Carol Pierce, Family and Community Services Director. “As we continue to work together to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more important than ever that we come together to support the most vulnerable members of our community with safe homes of their own.”

Program participants are working with Case Navigators to collect the documents they need to get housing and connect with health care and support services as well as support their children’s learning. A dedicated housing specialist from Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless then reviews options, helps clients find an apartment, and lines up City rental assistance.