HPRP Promising Practices and Success Stories

HPRP marked the first time that such a large amount of federal funds was available for homelessness prevention at the national level. Communities across the country prevented and ended homelessness for 1.3 million families and individuals (see the HPRP Year 2 Summary). Homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing are key strategies of Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness and are components of the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act. While HPRP came to an end in 2012, many of the activities are eligible under the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program. Learning what was instrumental to foster success under HPRP can be key as communities continue to incorporate homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing activities into their continuum of care. This page contains community and program-level promising practices and individual success stories submitted by HPRP programs across the country.

Community Promising Practices

ACAM's Houston-Based Collaborative Shares HPRP Best Practices (Houston, TX)

The Alliance of Community Assistance Ministries, Inc. (ACAM) formed a faith-based HPRP collaborative ("the Collaborative") to serve people in the greater Houston area with needed homelessness prevention or rapid re-housing services. By partnering with diverse stakeholders throughout the planning process, developing best practices based on ACAM member experience, and diligently tracking program outcomes, the Collaborative produced results that substantiate the efficacy of continued support for homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing services post-HPRP.

Read More

San Antonio Uses HPRP to Emphasize Financial Literacy (San Antonio, TX)

With HPRP, the city saw an opportunity to develop and implement a new and comprehensive financial literacy program for homeless and at-risk people that coupled financial education with housing assistance. San Antonio and its partners found that this approach has the potential to improve families' long-term well-being, because program participants acquired the tools and renewed perspective needed to maintain self-sufficiency and to be better prepared for unexpected crises. Although the continuation of these efforts post-HPRP will be smaller in scope, the city's goal remains the same: to build the financial capacity and self-sufficiency of its citizens with the highest need.

Read More

A City and County Combine HPRP Efforts to Better Serve their Community (St. Paul, MN)

The City of Saint Paul and Ramsey County used HPRP as an opportunity to work together to provide better homelessness delivery systems by creating a central contact point for their homeless residents and those at-risk of homelessness. It also allowed them to plan for the future and include a rapid re-housing service for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan that will be at least partially funded through the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program. This service will be similar to HPRP, drawing upon lessons the community learned through its implementation.

Read More

Tempe Serves as Model for Program and Community Collaboration (Tempe, AZ)

By utilizing HPRP funds and collaborating with existing programs, the City of Tempe was able to make a significant impact in the community by rapidly re-housing hard-to-reach chronically homeless persons. The lessons learned through HPRP, such as the importance of political will and stakeholder collaboration in changing an entire region's approach to homelessness, have already informed Tempe's latest initiative, and the impact of successfully rapidly re-housing "hard to serve" clients will be seen for many years to come.

Read More

Ventura County Uses HPRP and HUD-VASH to Assist Homeless Veterans (Ventura County, CA)

In Ventura County, homeless veterans make up over 10 percent of the unsheltered population, so the County reached out to the Los Angeles Veterans Administration to find out how to use HPRP and HUD-VASH together to better serve veterans. This resulted in expanded services and support for the area's homeless veterans. HPRP gave Ventura County an immediate, concrete way to help its homeless veterans get housed. "It makes housing possible. It stirs up their hope. And by supplementing HUD-VASH with HPRP, we can quickly put our veterans into the safe and quiet homes they need."

Read More

Roanoke's Community Housing Resource Center Serves as a Model of Success (Roanoke, VA)

With HPRP and United Way's Emergency Assistance funding, Roanoke launched a "Community Housing Resource Center" and began their first formalized rapid re-housing efforts. The organization operating this Center, the Council of Community Services (CCS), has since become the largest provider of prevention and rapid re-housing dollars in the community. Through the Housing Resource Center, Roanoke has served more than 500 households with financial assistance, moving help, budget and credit counseling, and case management through the CCS, and continues to expand the program.

Read More

DeKalb County Access to Prevention and Homelessness Assistance (DeKalb County, GA)

Recognizing that households in DeKalb County were suffering from the lack of coordination between homeless service providers, DeKalb developed a model to better direct clients to appropriate services. DeKalb built the principles of the "Access Model" into contractual agreements with HPRP subgrantees. This new approach, aided by HPRP funding, created an inter-organizational network that will benefit the community even after HPRP.

Read More

HPRP Helped to Quickly Integrate HMIS into Washington State's Homeless and At-Risk Assistance (Washington)

Using HPRP funds, Washington State implemented HMIS-based reporting and evaluation with its subgrantees for the first time. Three years later, all subgrantees continue to use HMIS to report data for their State-funded grants. Agencies share client-level data while retaining client privacy, giving the community a clearer picture of homelessness in their community. The State is using this better data to develop performance measurements on their non-HUD homeless assistance grants.

Read More

State of Michigan Uses Data to Increase and Analyze Success (Michigan)

The State of Michigan embraced the challenge of HPRP to prioritize those with the most imminent need. The State created a risk assessment matrix based on research to identify individuals and families facing the greatest risk of housing loss or insecurity, which HPRP subgrantees incorporated into their intake process. In addition, Michigan performed follow-up analysis to learn that only 6.5% of those who received financial assistance for rapid re-housing returned to homelessness within 2 years.

Read More

Regional Collaboration in Connecticut Creates Network for Success (Connecticut)

Connecticut used HPRP funding to transform the way the State serves people in need of housing. Using their network of subgrantees and applying promising practices, including HMIS data-sharing and quarterly meetings to share best practices, the State streamlined their intake processes and provision of homeless prevention and assistance. This network will continue to facilitate information sharing and collaboration for all programs beyond HPRP.

Read More

Central Intake and HMIS Prove Keys to Successful HPRP Implementation (Buffalo, NY)

The City of Buffalo instituted a central intake for HPRP requests and then channeled referrals to appropriate HPRP grantees, eliminating both the need for clients to shop around for assistance and for agencies to do initial screening. In addition, they used HMIS to assist with applications for mainstream services and requests for financial assistance which was approved in the HMIS system. The cross-agency collaboration improved outcomes for the clients and successfully modeled the benefits of working together to meet the community needs.

Read More

HPRP Case Studies in Community Change

Seven communities show the way the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program is promoting community change and transformation of local homeless assistance.

Read More

Community Revises HMIS to Evaluate and Plan (Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH)

The Partnership Center, the community's HMIS lead agency, customized HMIS to track HPRP rapid re-housing participants' housing stability after assistance ended. They created custom reports to help identify housing vulnerabilities of their former clients and are using the information to realign programs under HEARTH.

Read More

Communication Streamlined, Evaluation Built into County-wide Program (Alameda County, CA)

Alameda County combined HPRP funding received by state and direct grantees with TANF funds to coordinate and systematize prevention and rapid re-housing efforts across the county. To continually learn from and refine their program, grantees and providers meet regularly in an "Implementation and Learning Community", and communicate daily through an online Google Group. Alameda County's coordinated HPRP is leading to a new way of working together that will impact the rest of the homeless services system.

Read More

Austin Realigns Homelessness Services to Streamline Delivery (Austin, TX)

In the past, the City of Austin had supported homelessness services through individual contracts with nonprofits that focused on prevention, homeless assistance, or housing location services. With HPRP, organizations began aligning their intake processes to give and take referrals, creating numerous entry points and expedited paths to appropriate assistance. This new process is also changing how Austin manages homeless services for the future, resulting in multiple lasting benefits.

Read More

Cincinnati Transforms Its Emergency Assistance System to Focus on Outcomes (Cincinnati, OH)

HPRP helped Cincinnati, Ohio, reinvent its homelessness prevention program to great success. Using HPRP funding to consolidate and coordinate homelessness prevention services offered by various providers, Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio, have helped more than 1,500 households avoid homelessness in just 2 years. A renewed focus on tracking and improving housing outcomes through their local HMIS has enabled service providers to boost the financial assistance and case management support available to each household. HMIS has enabled service providers to boost the financial assistance and case management support available to each household.

Read More

 

Individual Success Stories

A Laid Off Wisconsin Woman Finds Hope, Direction in HPRP (Wisconsin)

Two years after losing her job and her marriage, Sheri entered HPRP feeling overwhelmed by her bills. In the program, Sheri met a case manager and a network of friends who became her financial and emotional support. She learned how to prioritize housing costs and budget while working part-time jobs. Sheri left the program with this new skill set, a home, and full-time employment.

Topic: Homelessness Prevention

Read More

A Struggling Veteran Finds Employment and Housing Support with HPRP (Albuquerque, NM)

Bob came to Catholic Charities after falling behind on his rent, losing his job, and facing the possibility of homelessness. Once enrolled in HPRP, Bob worked hard from day one. He was a regular at the computer lab, perfecting his resume and applying for open positions. He attended a variety of life skills classes offered by the agency and received financial assistance to help cover the cost of his rent. Bob now has a full time position, where he works as an education assistant with autistic kids. He recently reported that he is doing great, working two jobs, and still residing in the same unit.

Topic: Homelessness Prevention; Special Populations

Read More

A Father and Son Find Permanent Housing and Supportive Services Through HPRP (Oakland County, MI)

Roger struggled with both substance abuse and providing for his son, Michael. When they entered the shelter, a case manager was able to provide Roger and his son with Rehabilitation Services and Rapid Re-Housing assistance. Shortly after obtaining housing, Roger was able to secure a new job near his new home and support his son. A year later, Roger's Follow-up Care Coordinator has reported that he is still housed and employed. Roger comes back to the shelter now to volunteer, serving food and providing fellowship to those still in need.

Topic: Rapid Re-housing

Read More

HPRP Helps a Mother of Four Find a Home and Employment in Missouri (Missouri)

Amanda was sitting outside a convenience store, keeping her four children out of the rain when she was approached by a friend of the East Missouri Action Agency (EMAA). As a victim of domestic abuse, Amanda was temporarily living in a shelter while trying to find work. EMAA was able to provide her short-term rental assistance as well as resources that supplied the family with donated household goods and clothing. She now has a job and can provide her children with a stable home. Amanda reported to the Housing Specialist that she and her children are very happy, and that she feels as if she has been given "a new lease on life."

Topic: Rapid Re-housing; Special Populations

Read More

Mother and Daughter Find a Better Future with the Help of HPRP (Corpus Christi, TX)

Despite her limited education, work experience, and abusive past, Carla and her daughter were able to start a new life. At the Rainbow House Shelter for women and children Carla met with a case manager to help realize her personal assets and received financial assistance to help her move into a home and pursue her GED. HPRP provided her with the security deposit she needed to move into a subsidized apartment, and connected her to furniture and food donations to make her apartment feel more like a home.

Topic: Rapid Re-housing; Special Populations

Read More

HPRP Provides Housing and Healing for Single Mom (Tucson and Pima County, AZ)

Sarah made a lot of sacrifices to take care of her son and newborn twins. However, after being hospitalized and relying on family to provide housing, she turned to HPRP for assistance. With the help of her case manager, she is now able to provide safe housing, and with child care in place, Sarah continues her journey toward healing.

Topic: Rapid Re-housing

Read More

Veteran Finds Health and Housing Assistance Through HPRP (Irving, TX)

Victor had been living in one of his six storage units when his case manager first met him. He has since received comprehensive financial and mental health support which helped address his hoarding tendencies and financial struggles. Victor has now lived in stable housing for over two years and serves as an example of how dedicated HPRP specialists can make a difference in someone's life.

Topic: Rapid Re-housing; Special Populations

Read More

Veteran Finds Safety and Relief Through HPRP and HUD-VASH (Philadelphia, PA)

Upon returning to her family from her second tour in Iraq, DJ was confronted with an abusive husband, a family to take care of, and several war-related injuries. DJ left her husband and moved her children to be near family in Philadelphia where she eventually entered HPRP. With the help of HPRP and then HUD-VASH, DJ was able to get the veteran support she needed and a safe home for her family.

Topic: Homelessness Prevention; Special Populations

Read More

Single Mother Achieves Education Goals (Tacoma, WA)

As a young, single mother of two, Danni had many responsibilities and very little income. Through HPRP, she received rental assistance and help towards achieving her goal of becoming a certified nursing assistant. She has since graduated, now has a full time job that supports her family and has big plans for their future.

Topic: Homelessness Prevention; Special Populations

Read More

HPRP Housing Assistance Provides Safe and Healthy Home (Macomb County, MI)

After years of living in an unsafe rental unit with a sick child, Keisha was able to take advantage of HPRP's housing search assistance and found an apartment immediately. HPRP provided the security deposit and utilities for the first month and rental assistance until she entered a permanent supportive housing program one year later. This assistance helped her maintain the housing stability she needed to continue taking care of her disabled son and regain custody of her older children.

Topic: Homelessness Prevention; Special Populations

Read More

Family Facing Eviction Receives Support Through HPRP (Union County, NJ)

Faced with an illegal eviction, Terrell and Melanie feared that their family would soon end up in a homeless shelter. However, after determination of their imminent risk of homelessness, they entered HPRP and received the needed legal assistance from Central Jersey Legal Services (CJLS) to keep their family in their home.

Topic: Homelessness Prevention

Read More

Mother Uses HPRP Support to Rise Above the Odds (Hialeah, FL)

Madeira faced extreme odds when her husband was incarcerated. She found herself without a source of income, work history, and English fluency. With support from an HPRP grantee in Hialeah, Florida, however, Madeira faced these challenges head on. She found employment and advanced from a temporary seasonal position to a permanent position, where she was recognized as employee of the month.

Topic: Rapid Re-housing

Read More

Victim Turns Advocate with Help of Case Management (Albuquerque, NM)

Margarita was the victim of domestic violence for many years before she fled with her children. Enlace Communitario connected her with pro bono lawyers, counseling services and housing and she was able to exit HPRP with a Section 8 voucher. Ultimately, she secured a position as community leader helping other vulnerable members of the Spanish-speaking community.

Topic: Rapid Re-housing; Special Populations

Read More

Family Relocates for Educational Opportunity (North Carolina)

An under-employed veteran, his wife and two young children were living in a fishing shack with no running water when the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services partnered with the Buffalo Valley HPRP in Tennessee to locate an auto mechanic training program and suitable housing. Using the housing allowance from the VA and the assistance of the HPRP, the family will be able to maintain safe, stable housing while the dad increases his future earning potential.

Topic: Rapid Re-housing; Special Populations 

Read More

Hidalgo County, Texas Family Avoids Homelessness Thanks to HPRP (Hidalgo County, TX)

After losing his job and facing imminent eviction, Legal Aid linked Jose to Advocacy Resource Center for Housing's HPRP program. The case worker was able to locate a new unit, provide funding for first month's rent and security deposit and avoid homelessness for this family of six. With housing stabilized, the case worker provided linkages to other needed resources for the family including food stamps, clothing and educational supports. Within four months of facing eviction, Jose had a job and the family had a Housing Choice Voucher.

Topic: Homelessness Prevention

Read More

Sudden Single Dad Stabilized and Supported (Erie County, NY)

When Rob was suddenly given custody of children he barely knew, he struggled with his new role and the unfamiliar demands of parenthood. His work was affected and he fell behind on rent. HPRP support stabilized his housing, worked on budgeting and found resources for his children including subsidized child care. He left the program after 8 months with a raise, past bills paid, and the children doing better in school.

Topic: Homelessness Prevention

Read More

HPRP Assistance Leads to Support for New Home, New Job and New Grandchild (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

With an impending eviction and the birth of her first grandchild, Toni and her family needed assistance – and fast. Her landlord referred her to an HPRP case manager who rushed the verification process and helped her locate a new apartment for her and her pregnant daughter to live. She found a new job as well as she awaits the birth of her grandchild.

Topic: Homelessness Prevention

Read More

Veteran Maintains Housing While Supported Through Job Search (Glendale, CA)

A former Vietnam Vet saw her hours decrease at her job and her debt increase. Showing confidence in her ability to find employment, HPRP held off the eviction and supported her during her job search. They also focused on budgeting and saving skills to help her in the future.

Topic: Homelessness Prevention; Special Populations 

Read More

Elder Abuse Victim Takes Back Control of his Money and his Life (Oregon)

He accepted the offer to move in with his daughter. But when the companionship he had hoped for turned in to both fiscal and physical abuse, the senior moved into a shelter. He needed to stabilize his housing and his finances and did so working with his HPRP case manager.

Topic: Rapid Re-housing; Special Populations 

Read More

Veteran Moves Out of Car and Into Apartment (Oakland, CA)

Kevin, a veteran of OEF/OIF, found himself attending college classes during the day and sleeping in his car at night. After two years, he was finally offered a Section 8 voucher and had to admit to his case manager that he lacked the resources for a security deposit. With this small amount of assistance from HPRP, he was able to move into his apartment and complete his degree six months later. 

Topic: Rapid Re-housing; Special Populations 

Read More

A Grateful Street Performer Finds Stable Housing in New Orleans (New Orleans, LA)

Mr. Bryant, known in the French Quarter as “Silver Man,” earns his keep by painting himself silver and performing mime for tourists. Although he had won his battle with drug addiction, he continued to struggle with finding an apartment due to a lack of steady income. But with the help of his determined case worker and HPRP assistance, Silver Man landed himself a one-bedroom and a new lease on life.

Topic: Rapid Re-housing

Read More

Rental Assistance and Compassion Empower a Florida Woman to Get Back on Her Feet (Pompano Beach, FL)

After a series of crises, including loss of a job and major car repair bills, Laura was evicted from her apartment in Broward County, Florida. Being a transgender individual and a survivor of hate crimes, she was wary of seeking help. But an empathetic case worker at Crisis Housing Solutions connected Laura with rental assistance from HPRP, helping her find affordable housing and renewed stability. 

Topic: Homelessness Prevention

Read More

Rapid Re-Housing Program Puts Florida Woman on Path to Secure Housing and Employment (Palm Beach, FL)

A criminal background, prior evictions, and unemployment posed formidable challenges to Palm Beach resident Marta and her young daughter in their search for stable housing. But with the support of her case manager and rental assistance provided by HPRP, Marta found a new apartment, took advantage of available job training, and landed a new job that pays $10 an hour more than her previous employment.

Topic: Rapid Re-housing

Read More

Rapid Re-Housing Assistance Gives Pregnant Utah Woman a Fresh Start (Salt Lake City, UT)

Six months pregnant and newly homeless, Janet found herself seeking help at an emergency shelter in Salt Lake City last winter. After securing rapid re-housing assistance through HPRP, Janet was able to find a stable apartment, giving her a safe home to begin raising her daughter and the confidence to find part-time employment and go back to school to become a medical assistant.

Topic: Rapid Re-housing

Read More

HPRP Helps Reunite and Re-House a Texas Mother and Daughter (Tarrant County, TX)

For Kerry, a single mother from Tarrant County, Texas, overcoming substance abuse was just the first step in reclaiming her life—and her daughter. With the help of financial assistance from HPRP, she’s not only kicked the addiction and reunited with her young daughter, but Kerry now has an apartment to call home

Topic: Homelessness Prevention

Read More