Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cincinnati homelessness strategy close to implementation

Cincinnati City Council has adopted a motion to accept the Homeless to Homes plan (PDF) and to incorporate its findings into the City's 2010-2014 Consolidated Plan, and an ordinance directing the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Continuum of Care for the Homeless (CoC) to begin implemeting the plan will be considered by council on Thursday.

Prepared by CoC and a steering committe of stakeholders, the 109-page report recommends changes to the emergency shelter system, additional transitional and permanent housing, and better cooperation among funders and social service agencies.

The goal of the plan is to find better ways to address barriers to employment and housing that homeless individuals face, such as mental and physical health problems, addictions, and lack of education.

Council's motion and ordinance direct CoC to assemble a transition team – similar in makeup to the committee that created the plan – and begin working on:

  • Prioritizing the recommendations and developing a schedule
  • Identifying best practices and medical providers by doing a nationwide search for programs with notable success
  • Developing minimum standards for shelters that receive public funding
  • Developing minimum standards for "good neighbor agreements" to which all transitional and permanent housing must adhere to receive public funding
  • Working with representatives from existing shelters and stakeholder groups to engage in site feasibility studies
A report from CoC on the transition work is due before council within 90 days.

The Homeless to Homes plan anticipates that many of its recommendations will take three to five years to implement.

Previous reading on BC:
Qualls presents Homeless to Homes plan to council (4/23/09)
Second community forum for 'Homeless to Homes' this Wednesday (2/23/09)
New plan to help homeless find homes (10/16/08)

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