Homeless Initiative

 


housing solves homelessness title graphic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Homeless Initiative is a City and County partnership created to oversee the implementation of the community’s efforts to end
homelessness by making it Rare, Brief, and Non-Recurring. 

The City of Asheville supports the Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Initiative with two full-time staff to manage funding, shape policy, and coordinate community strategies to end homelessness. This team monitors the performance of the community’s homelessness services system per requirements of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Continuum Care funding provided to Asheville Buncombe County.

Visit the Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee  page.

Visit Funding Programs pages for more information on Continuum Care and Emergency Solutions Grant.

 


Strategies

 

Housing Solves Homelessnesseliminate homelessness tent graphic

 

The Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Initiative embraces Housing First, and evidence-based approach that prioritizes permanent housing placement for people experiencing homelessness. Once housed, individuals and families have stable platform from which they can recover, pursue personal goals, and improve their quality of life. Outdated strategies typically force people to solve complex personal issues like health, finances and relationships before helping them find basic safe housing.

 


 

maze with coordinated entry graphic
Following the Steps of Coordinated Entry Leads to Success

 

Coordinated Entry

 

Coordinated Entry is the process through which people experiencing or at risk of homelessness can access housing in a streamlined way. It all starts with a strengths and needs assessment to help quickly connect people to stable, affordable housing options and supportive services within the community.

 

Assessment

 

Assessment occurs in Coordinated Entry using an objective housing needs triage tool called the Vulnerability Index- Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (VI-SPDAT) to measure each person’s vulnerability, housing circumstances, service needs, and individual preferences. By-Name List, which ensures that most vulnerable homeless neighbors are identified by name and their specific housing needs are known. The By-Name List tracks the status and progress toward permanent housing placement for each individual. It also:

  • Coordinates housing and services options among the community’s service providers
  • Measures progress toward community goals and objectives

 

triangle with housing graphic
Coordinated Entry removes the confusion
Without Coordinated Entry

 

Prioritization helps manage the inventory of available housing resources and services, ensuring that those persons with the greatest need and vulnerability receive the support they needs to resolve their housing crisis. All housing placements are determined based on:

 

  • Length of time homeless
  • Health status and conditions
  • Frequency of interactions with hospital and criminal justice system

 

 


Programs and Tools

 

Community Services are a broad range of resources provided by local agencies including meals, showers, laundry, mail, legal aid, counseling, case management, job training and health clinics.

 

Prevention and Diversion

Prevention and diversion efforts aim to keep at-risk individuals and families who are housed from becoming homeless and provide innovative paths to avoid entering the shelter system whenever possible.

 

Emergency Shelter

Emergency Shelter is a traditional temporary option for people living on the street, meeting their basic needs of food, clothing and a place to sleep.

 

Traditional Housing

Traditional housing is a short-term housing model, typically up to twenty-four months, meant to bridge the gap from homelessness to housing often with programs for addiction, mental health or basic life skills. Rapid Re-housing connects people quickly to safe, sustainable housing through a tailored  package of assistance that may include the use of time-limited rental assistance and targeted supportive services with few barriers.

 

Permanent Supportive Housing

Permanent Supportive Housing is designed to meet the ongoing needs of people experiencing chronic homelessness, those with severe health needs struggling with homelessness for more than a year.

 


Measures  of Performance under the NC-501

Asheville- Buncombe County Continuum of Care

 

What We Measure

 

The Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Initiative tracks progress toward community objectives to align with goals set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.

Federal Funding to address homelessness locally is based on specific System Performance Measures. These measures are interrelated and provide a more thorough analysis of the effectiveness of the community’s overall response to homelessness that a single measure, such as the number of people experiencing homelessness on a given day.

 

Increases

 

  • Obtain and Maintain Housing – there is increase in the number of people who exit street outreach to permanent housing

 

  • Job and Income – there is increase in employment and income growth for homeless persons

 

 

Reduction

 

  • Return to  Homelessness – there is reduction in the amount of people that are permanently housed, but end up back on the streets

 

  • First Time Homeless – there is reduction in the number of persons who become homeless for the first time

 

  • Length of Time Homeless – there is reduction in the length of time spent homeless, in emergency shelter, or traditional housing

 

  • Eliminate Homelessness – there is reduction in the number of persons experiencing homelessness

 


Funding

 

The City of Asheville allocates and manages almost $1.8 million annually to address homelessness. Funding sources include:

  • United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
    • Continuum of Care (CoC)
    • Home Investment Partnership Program
    • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
  • North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG)
  • Strategic Partnership Fund (SPF)
  • City of Asheville General Fund

 


Funding Supports

 

  • Emergency Shelter Operations
  • Rental Assistance and Leasing for Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH)
  • Rapid Re-Housing (RRH)
  • Security Deposit Assistance
  • Coordinated Entry and Housing Placement
  • Housing Case Management
  • Homelessness Prevention and Diversion

City of Asheville staff also work to align these activities with other efforts, funding, and resources including:

  • Housing Authority of the City of Asheville
  • Housing Choice Vouchers
  • Affordable Housing Units
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Vouchers
  • Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)
  • Grant and per Diem Program (GPD)

 


Contact Information

 

Brian Huskey, Community Development Analyst – Homelessness Lead
Economic and Community Development

828-251-4048

 

Related Services

Cold weather emergency shelter

When extreme cold weather is expected, the Asheville Homeless Coalition issues a Code Purple Alert. Participating homeless shelters voluntarily add space beyond their normal capacity to keep as many people as possible out of the cold. To find out when Code Purple is in effect, visit the Homeless Coalition’s Code [...]

Homeless Initiative News

Picture of broken Haywood Street sidewalk
Haywood Streetscape Improvement project moves forward with construction contract, anticipated to begin in January

    The Haywood Streetscape Improvement project is another step closer to construction, following City Council’s Nov. 12 authorization to execute a contract with Tennoca Construction Company as well as a memorandum of understanding with the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) of Buncombe County for cost sharing.   This project includes sidewalk replacement, street resurfacing, stormwater improvements, sanitary sewer replacement [...]

Lighted starflake with Santa and Mrs. Claus
Asheville holiday festivities kick-off Nov. 22, in time for the Holiday Parade on Nov. 23, and continue through the season 

    With the holidays around the corner, the City of Asheville is excited to promote several festive events around town that encourage families to enjoy the winter season while eating, shopping and celebrating the holidays in the city’s business districts. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive in Asheville Nov. 22 for the kick off of the

Asheville City Manager Development Forum set for Friday

    The City of Asheville’s Office of Economic Development hosts the City Manager’s Development Forum twice a year, in May and November. The next forum is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 15, at the U.S. Cellular Center Banquet Hall, 87 Haywood St. The forum — which is free and open to the public — [...]