SAVE THE DATE
Stand Up for Homes with Hope
Wait, wait... it's
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Westport Country Playhouse
Tickets go on sale through the Playhouse Box Office on September 15th
Please view our new video created for us by 4th Row Films, Our Home, Our Hope: The Bacharach Community, below that premiered at this year's Stand Up for Homes with Hope gala event.
Fairfield County Community Foundation & the Barbara Benton Davis Fund Partner
with Area Nonprofits to Provide Housing Stability for the Homeless
March 11, 2014 - The Fairfield County Community Foundation together with one of their funds, The Barbara Benton Davis Fund, has taken a concept that, to date has only been funded by large governmental entities, and created a smaller and much more agile program. Using the “rapid rehousing” concept of providing newly housed formerly homeless individuals and families with rental assistance as they become stable in their housing and increase their earnings this new Housing Stability Fund was created. The Fairfield County Community Foundation has chosen two local nonprofits to pilot this concept: Inspirca in Stamford and Homes with Hope in Westport.
Inspirica is one of the largest providers of homeless services in the state of Connecticut and Homes with Hope is a smaller but very highly regarded organization that has been providing shelter, housing and services to the homeless for almost 30 years. Inspirca provides rental assistance to qualified people in both their emergency shelter and their transitional housing program while Homes with Hope’s feeder program is their emergency shelter for homeless mothers with children. In the year that the Housing Stability Fund has been in operation fifteen individuals and families have qualified to receive the rental assistance, nine are housed and the balance anticipates being housed before the end of the year.
The slight differences in the way each nonprofit runs their program is more driven by their different programs than from any philosophical difference. Both methods have been proven to be successful. Homes with Hope is piloting this new program in their family emergency shelter, the Bacharach Community. The Bacharach Community has limited space sheltering up to six families, headed by single mothers, at any one time. Once a family has found employment, and located safe, suitable and affordable housing they move into their own apartment with partial rental assistance, up to $500/month, for from 6 to 12 months based the each family’s individual need. Families sign an agreement with Homes with Hope when receiving this funding that mandates that the Program Director will monitor their progress and compliance with the program. Families moving into Section 8 or permanent supportive housing where they rents are capped at 30% of their income do not qualify for the Housing Stability Fund only those moving into market-rate housing.
Inspirica’s Housing Stability Fund pilot targets short-term residents, typically single mothers who have either a job or other income and need minimal rental support. This program provides rental support for from one to three years on a graduating level. Each subsidy is determined on a case-by-case basis with clients receiving between $250 and $500 per month. Financial support must scale down each year and end with self-sufficiency after month 36. Inspirica requires candidates for the Housing Stability Fund to be continuously employed in their current job for at least 4 months, to be compliant with all rules and regulations while residing at Inspirica and have the ability to pay the security deposit, through P2P, personal savings or the Guarantee Security Deposit Program. Throughout the period of time the client is receiving support they must continue to work closely with Inspirica staff.
“The rapid re-housing model has gained traction in the U.S. and Connecticut as an effective strategy to reduce the number of families in emergency shelters. However, it needs some customization for Fairfield County, given our extremely high cost of rental housing. The Barbara Benton Davis Fund at the Fairfield County Community Foundation is pleased to support two local nonprofit providers, Homes with Hope and Inspirica, and enable them to adapt the rapid re-housing model to their client populations. The Community Foundation is very interested in studying the results of this funded pilot, and we know Homes with Hope and Inspirca are committed to sharing the results of this pilot with State agencies, other foundations, and colleague nonprofit organizations,” according to Karen R. Brown, Vice President of Programs, Fairfield County Community Foundation.
Fairfield County Community Foundation promotes the growth of community and regional philanthropy to improve the quality of life throughout Fairfield County. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds and contribute to existing funds. The Foundation provides philanthropic advisory services, and develops and leads initiatives to tackle critical community issues. It is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards for community foundations. The Foundation has awarded over $120 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. For more information, visit www.fccfoundation.org.
Inspirica’s mission is to break the cycle of homelessness by helping people achieve − and maintain − permanent housing and stability in their lives. As one of the largest providers of services to the homeless in the state of Connecticut and the largest in lower Fairfield County, Inspirica provides emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, and affordable housing to approximately 240-260 people each night. For more information visit: www.inspiricact.org.
Homes with Hope is a Westport-based grassroots response to the tragedy of homelessness. With a caring, professional staff and the help of more than 400 volunteers, they assist people who have lost their ability to lead normal lives. Each night, over 85 people find shelter or housing in one of Homes with Hope’s facilities. To learn more about Homes with Hope’s programs and services for the homeless and those at-risk of homelessness visit: www.hwhct.org.