Our Client Communities in the News

Seattle/King County

“The bottleneck in Seattle’s homeless shelters that leaves thousands on the streets,” The Seattle Times
October 26, 2017
As an initial story of The Seattle Time’s Project Homeless, “an initiative that explores the causes of homelessness, explains what the Seattle region is doing about it and spotlights potential solutions,” Vernal Coleman looks at the impacts of long-term shelter stayers, as well as the community’s plan to help these individuals move out of homelessness to free up space in the emergency shelter system and help others living outdoors also end their homelessness. “Those who are entering shelter for the first or second time will become long-term shelter stayers if their housing needs are not also addressed,” Focus Strategies’ Director of Analytics and Evaluation Tracy Bennett was quoted.

“A new way to help Seattle’s homeless: Navigation Center set to open Wednesday,” The Seattle Times
July 10, 2017
In early July, Seattle opened its first low-barrier homeless Navigation Center, which will connect people experiencing homelessness with supporting services and housing. Seattle officials have set a 60-day limit on how long each client may stay at the Center, with the potential for extensions on a case-by-case basis depending on how long it takes to connect the client to permanent housing.

“Seattle is revamping its approach to homeless programs,” MYNorthwest
June 28, 2017
Mayor Ed Murray announced that the City of Seattle will adopt a more coordinated, integrated approach to homeless services. “Katherine Lester, the director of the Human Services Department, says with a more integrated approach will be a focus on addressing racial disparities and prioritizing five specific goals: increasing the number of people being referred to permanent housing; reducing the average length of a stay in shelters; reducing the number of people who return to the streets; reducing the number of people becoming homeless; and better utilization of current shelters.”

“The hard truths about Seattle’s new homeless fix,” Crosscut

June 28, 2017
Crosscut explores the realities of rapid re-housing for people experiencing homelessness in the tight rental market of Seattle and greater King County. The article features a landlord who has happily participated a landlord for rapid re-housing programs, and provides an overview of what it will take to expand these landlord engagement efforts in the future.

San Diego County

“Coalition demands county spend more on homeless, hep A fight,” The San Diego Union-Tribune
October 12, 2017
In the wake of San Diego County’s Hepatitis A outbreak, local, state, and union officials announced an “emergency action plan” to address the community’s homeless and housing crises. The plan calls for addition funding of housing, mental and behavioral health services, and capacity building to address homelessness in the region.

“San Diego County close to giving $25 million for affordable housing trust,” The San Diego Union-Tribune
September 12, 2017
The San Diego County Supervisors are set to add $25 million to a trust fund designed to create more housing for those experiencing homelessness and are most vulnerable within the community. The funding will be administered to the County’s Health and Human Service Department and will fund projects, with a priority for housing projects serving “people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, veterans, people with disabilities, seniors, transitional age youth, and families.”

“Why the Housing First approach is a practical solution for homelessness,” The San Diego Union-Tribune
August 4, 2017
San Diego business owner and advocate on homelessness Michael McConnell speaks out on why Housing First is a viable and practical solution for reducing and eventually ending homelessness in San Diego County. ” We know what works and what doesn’t,” writes McConnell. “While San Diego has been slow to adopt common-sense, data-driven solutions, evidence has given us a clear path to what works and Secretary Carson and HUD are correct to favor programs that follow Housing First.”

“Collaboration required to get the homeless in San Diego into shelter,” The San Diego Union-Tribune
August 4, 2017
In this commentary, Jonathan Herrerra, the Mayor’s senior adviser on homelessness, speaks to the long road ahead to end homelessness in San Diego County, as well as the need for collaboration and additional permanent housing solutions for people experiencing homelessness.

San Francisco

“Homeless families increasingly leaving SF for stability in other cities,” SF Gate
October 9, 2017
Homeless service providers in the Bay Area are taking a new approach to housing people experiencing homelessness: assisting households to obtain and maintain housing outside of the City and its surrounding communities where rents and cost of living continue to rise. According to Tomiquia Moss, chief executive of Hamilton Families — a non-profit that is helping families obtain housing from homelessness —  87% of over 200 families served by the organization are housed outside the City this year.

“SF’s ambitious homeless strategy seeks sharp cuts, coordinated outreach,” The San Francisco Chronicle
October 2, 2017
San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing unveiled a coordinated plan for ending homelessness in the City through a Homelessness Response System. The plan will be completely implemented by December 2018 and will include Coordinated Entry, outreach to people living outside, HMIS, and a Moving On initiative to assist 300 people trandition out of supportive housing for more independent permanent housing situations.

“New radical transformation for providing services to San Francisco’s homeless,” KTVU
September 15, 2017
San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing launched its ONE System, which will be utilized by more than 50 homeless service providers, in September, as a way to more effectively assist people experiencing homelessness.

“New Navigation Center opens; nearby tent camps dwindle,” The San Francisco Chronicle
July 18, 2017
San Francisco’s newest Navigation Center opened in late June and the community is already seeing a reduction in the number of encampments and tents in the nearby neighborhoods. The Navigation Center hosts 120 beds and aims to connect people with housing and other voluntary services and supports.

“SF supervisor, mayor earmark more money for homeless youth,” The San Francisco Chronicle
June 12, 2017
The Mayor of San Francisco Ed Lee and Supervisor Jeff Sheehy revealed a proposal to earmark $1.54 million in additional funds to housing homeless and unstably housed youth. An estimated 20 percent of the city’s homeless population is made up of youth, according to the City.

“Ed Lee’s political rehab plan: Deal with homeless drug users,” The San Francisco Chronicle
June 5, 2017
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee plans to spend an additional $30 million on homelessness to provide people with enhanced housing and mental health services. The plan will pay for an additional 40 new mental health beds, which would be housed at the San Francisco General Hospital, and a 24-hour drop-in and shower center planned for the Tenderloin.

Metro Denver

“Denver’s new apartment building caters to homeless who have been traumatized after years on the streets,” The Denver Post
August 25, 2017
A Denver service provider Mental Health Center of Denver opened its new Sanderson Apartments complex in late August 2017 as a way to house the City’s most vulnerable amongst the homeless population who has been homeless for long periods of time and/or are”high utilizers” of other systems of care (i.e. the criminal justice system, hospital system/emergency room). Those housed in the 60 new units will be apart of a research study that looks people who were formerly homeless and are now living in “trauma-informed” housing environments, as compared to people with similar characteristics who were not selected for the housing program.

“New HOPE For Homelessness And Affordable Housing In Metro Denver,” Colorado Public Radio
March 24, 2017
Will Connelly of the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative and Erik Soliván talk about regional efforts to reduce and eventually end homelessness in Metro Denver. Connelly said his vision is that “all of the programs and all of the resources dedicated to homelessness [in Denver and the seven surrounding counties] are aligned and they share a set of common goals, and are working towards the main goal of getting every person, or every family, that’s experiencing homelessness in the region into housing… We need to make sure that each part of our homelessness system is housing focused…”

February 2017
The City and County of Denver, Colorado is working to preserve and develop income-restricted units throughout the city. There are 15 publicly-supported housing projects in the local pipeline, “slated to provide 943 units across the entire homeless to home ownership spectrum.”

 Orange County

“Orange County needs temporary and permanent housing solutions for the homeless,” Los Angeles Times
August 4, 2017
This commentary speaks to the need for increased emergency shelter and permanent housing solutions for people experiencing homelessness in Orange County, where the cost of living and housing continues to soar. The authors encourage considering public-private sector partnerships to make these changes come to fruition.

“Orange County aims to house 60 to 75 Santa Ana riverbed homeless by year’s end,” The Orange County Register
July 21, 2017
An Orange County non-profit plans to begin housing some of the people living in and along the Santa Ana Riverbed, the County’s largest homeless encampment. The $720,000 pilot program will help people living along the Riverbed move into permanent housing.

“Nonprofits and city officials turn to cooperation in Orange County’s fight against homelessness,” Los Angeles Times
April 9, 2017
With homelessness on the rise in Orange County, local leaders shift their focus towards housing as a key to reducing homelessness. City and County officials are teaming up to find solutions locally and housing those most in need.

“Orange County Allocates $33 Million to Whole Person Care Program,” Voice of OC March 15, 2017 The Orange County Board of Supervisors approved additional funding for the Whole Person Care program, which assists in delivering crucial services and supports to people experiencing homelessness. Funding will allow for a program that alerts homeless crisis response system providers and stakeholders when an individual experiencing homelessness enters the emergency room, as well as additional outreach and coordination services for the population.

“Price tag of homelessness in Orange County is nearly $300 million, UCI study finds,” The Orange County Register March 8, 2017 A study conducted by University of California, Irvine found that the Orange County would save around $42 million per year in law enforcement, healthcare, and other local expenses by placing chronically homeless households into stable, safe housing. This was the first study of its kind in Orange County. Its primary finding was that the County would save significantly if they were to invest in a housing first approach, moving people from the streets to permanent housing.

Valley of the Sun United Way

“Phoenix’s Rapid Rehousing Helps Homeless Man End ‘Roughest 2 Years of My Life,'” Phoenix New Times
July 14, 2017
Two men served by Pheonix’s Rapid Rehousing 250 Program, which was evaluated by Focus Strategies and showed that the program was successfully housing and retaining around 73 percent of clients who were single adults experiencing homelessness, tell their stories to the Phoenix New Times. The program also has been achieving high cost effectiveness, at around $5,000 to $7,000 to house each person.

“Is Maricopa County program to rehouse homeless adults working?,” AZ Central  
June 29, 2017
On Tuesday June 27, Focus Strategies published an evaluation of the Pheonix’s Rapid Rehousing 250 Program for single adults; the report shows the early successes and challenges of the pilot program serving single adults experiencing homelessness, a group often seen as hard to house. The evaluation was commissioned by Valley of the Sun United Way, who also partially funded the rapid rehousing program for single adults.

“Can The Valley End Homelessness?,” KJZZ
September 28, 2016
Valley of the Sun United Way has adopted a Housing First approach to end homelessness, which utilizes harm reduction to enable individuals to stabilize before addressing other needs.  Bruce Liggett, Director of Maricopa County Human Services Department, and Amy Schwabenlender, Valley of the Sun United Way’s Vice President of Community Impact, discuss efforts to reach functional zero in Maricopa County.

San Mateo County

“Peninsula’s Job Growth Resulting In Crunch For Housing,” BisNow
July 14, 2017
Fast job growth in the Bay Area and San Mateo County has resulted in drastically increased demands on the community’s housing market, making it difficult for all segments of the population to attain affordable housing. The article reports that between 2012 and 2015, evictions due to the inability to pay rent “increased 59% while no-cause evictions rose 300% in the Peninsula… San Mateo County also lost 49% of non-subsidized affordable housing, which is naturally occurring housing that happens to be affordable, during this time period.”

 “Affordable housing drying up across Bay Area, report finds,” SFGate
May 5, 2017
A report produced by nonprofit agencies California Housing Partnership Corp. and the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California found that several Bay Area counties, including San Mateo County, would need more than 10,000 rental units in order to ensure that all low-income households have an affordable place to live.

“Comprehending homelessness: San Mateo County, national One Day Count this week helps officials gauge how to help,” The Daily Journal
January 23, 2017
In January, San Mateo County’s Human Services Agency conducted its One Day Homeless Count, which occurs every other year and is aimed at gathering data to inform policy decisions and other local homelessness planning.


State of Connecticut

“Homelessness fell 24% in three years. How did Connecticut do it?”, The CT Mirror 
June 21, 2017
Connecticut has seen significant decreases in homelessness over the past three consecutive years, a rate that has exceeded most other states, by making ending homelessness a top priority Statewide and locally. Additionally, the State has worked to coordinate efforts between local government and service providers, while also increasing the resources available for these efforts.

Pierce County

“Pierce County fights mental health crisis with mobile clinic,” K5
June 29, 2017
A new program piloted by Pierce County is helping people experiencing homelessness through a mobile mental and physical health clinic. The clinic, which will take the form of a mobile van, will cover many areas of the County that are currently under-served.

“Tacoma’s homelessness crisis needs an emergency solution, mayor says,” The News Tribune
May 2, 2017
The Mayor of Tacoma said homelessness has reached a new “crisis” level and encouraged that government, private, and non-profit agencies come together to find solutions to address homelessness.


“‘System change’ as Berkeley works to focus homeless money on housing,” Berkeleyside
March 30, 2017
The City of Berkeley, California has shifted its approach to ending homelessness from responding primarily with emergency shelter and services to one of assisting people to obtain permanent, stable housing. Additionally, the City has implemented a Coordinated Entry system. As a result, Berkeley has reduced chronic homelessness by 57 people.

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