The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust Board approves a plan to create another 250 beds for the chronically homeless
Also approves funding for new emergency and Housing First beds
The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust’s Board of Directors approved a new plan to create another 250-plus beds for the area’s chronically homeless. The recommendation, approved at the September 27th board meeting, requires all Trust-funded permanent housing providers who do not already do so, to set aside units within their programs specifically for the chronically homeless. The Board also approved funding to programs selected through a competitive process to provide 134 new emergency housing beds for individuals, including the chronic, and families, and a “Housing First” program.
By requiring the set-aside as a condition of funding renewal, the Trust is assured at least 250 additional beds will be available to meet the needs of this hard-to-serve population. Providers who set aside more beds for the chronically homeless will increase their scoring when they compete for renewal of their contract. USHUD defines a chronic homeless person as someone who is disabled and has been homeless for more than a year, or four or more times in the past three years. An estimated 43-49% of the current unsheltered (street homeless) population is considered chronic.
“USHUD has set an objective to end chronic homelessness by 2015, and we have our own goal to increase the availability of permanent supportive housing beds to be able to do that,” said Ronald L. Book, Chairman of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust. “In order to meet both this objective and goal, we have to be creative and aggressive in our thinking. This is among ten initiatives that the Trust has had underway for some time, and moves us another step forward in offering more options to care for the hardest to reach men and women.”
The goal is to use this process to add an additional 200 beds for chronically homeless single adults and another 50 beds for chronically homeless families to the current inventory of almost 750 beds already set aside specifically for this population. Another 3,366 permanent housing beds are available in the local homeless continuum of care.
The new emergency beds funded will increase the inventory of emergency housing beds with case management services to assist individuals coming off the streets in stabilizing and preparing them to move to permanent housing. This includes additional, new, low-demand chronic homeless emergency beds. The beds will be provided by three different agencies, and is added to the current pool of more than 1,600 emergency beds that serve our community’s homeless, including victims of domestic violence. The new Housing First permanent housing units will serve the chronically homeless in a model that research has determined to be one of the most effective at serving the chronic. The Trust currently funds six other Housing First programs.
About The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust: Founded in 1993, The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust is a county agency headed by a board of 27 volunteers which serves in an advisory capacity to the Miami-Dade County Commission charged with the responsibility of implementing the Miami-Dade County Community Homeless Plan. These volunteers represent the business, religious, educational, provider and political communities, along with formerly homeless individuals. For more information regarding The Homeless Trust visit www.homelesstrust.org.