A Sample of Current Initiatives:
Home Works, USA: Young people "aging out" of foster care at age 18 lose their financial benefits, and are at high risk for housing instability. This pilot community in Lawrence, Kansas will provide affordable housing with essential supports to help launch young people safely into adulthood. After the pilot program is evaluated and optimized, it will be launched nationwide to address this growing problem.
National Network to End Family Homelessness: Our network of community-based providers is now active in all 50 states. Recent achievements include:
- Our fact sheet on Adverse Childhood Experiences developed with National Healthcare for the Homeless Council has been broadly disseminated to service providers and health care practitioners.
- Our Health Committee is assessing current screening practices that determine eligibility for housing with the goal of developing an efficient and comprehensive tool for use by practitioners and clinicians nationwide.
- Our Policy Committee is spearheading education and outreach about the Homeless Children and Youth Act (HCYA or H.R. 2001). This bipartisan legislation will enable a more accurate count of children, youth, and families experiencing housing instability to bring them urgently needed resources.
New Reach: We are partnering with Yale New Haven Hospital and a community-based shelter in New Haven, Connecticut, to assesses the value of providing comprehensive follow-up services to women experiencing housing instability who have been hospitalized with co-occurring substance use and mental health issues (such as depression, anxiety, suicidality). The project seeks to strengthen housing stability for women after their in-patient treatment and prevent hospital readmission. The Bassuk Center's role is to review project performance, identify effective interventions, and analyze outcomes such as anticipated reductions in costly hospital visits.
Organ Wise Family: Barriers for healthy eating and physical activity for families experiencing housing instability and homelessness include food insecurity, restrictive shelter policies, shared cooking space, and no place to play or exercise, which all impact physical and mental health. Our innovative, interactive research project is helping to improve family wellness, reduce health disparities, and prepare families for stable housing in the community.
Supporting Partnerships for Anti-Racist Communities (SPARC) is a multi-city initiative that engages policymakers, service providers, and communities in community-driven efforts to understand and address racial inequity as a root cause of housing instability. With racial and ethnic minorities experiencing housing instability in greater numbers and for longer periods, SPARC uses research, public discussions, and training for local leaders in housing, health care, educational, and criminal justice to transform communities and systems.
Trauma Informed Care: Trauma-informed care improves service delivery and outcomes by recognizing the role of trauma in housing instability, and the many ways in which program or organization can properly respond to trauma when serving individuals, families and youth. A recent training for two Family Promise affiliates in New Jersey engaged staff, volunteers, and board members in implementing organizational trauma-informed care. Our goal is to bring this training to other providers and programs nationwide.