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UMOM Announces $1.1 Million Grant From Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation
UMOM New Day Centers — which provides shelter, affordable housing and support services for families, single women and youth experiencing homelessness — has received a $1.1 million grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation to facilitate housing for homeless families.
The organization has created an innovative new approach to facilitate rapid re-housing. Rapid re-housing is an intervention designed to help individuals and families to quickly exit homelessness and return to permanent housing.
The grant will fund the new program to provide greater support to families emerging from homelessness by placing them into housing at a much quicker pace than previous programs. Considered one of the most powerful interventions in the movement to end homelessness, the new approach is expected to create a 40 percent reduction in the time between homelessness and permanent housing, along with a reduction in program costs of approximately $1,000 per family.
“Tackling homelessness is about more than putting a roof over someone’s head. It’s about addressing the underlying cause and working towards a sustainable solution,” said Bob Parsons. “UMOM’s rapid re-housing program will be able to cut through some of the red tape to get people back on their feet, productive and into a stable home as quickly as possible.”
Over the past several years, rapid re-housing has been recognized as one of the most effective interventions for families experiencing homelessness. Research suggests rapid re-housing shortens the time a family spends in homelessness and is cost-effective not only because it reduces time in an emergency shelter, but also frees up shelter beds to serve additional families. At the same time, families and individuals will receive support services such as child care, transportation and vocational training while avoiding restrictions in federal funding that can significantly slow the process.
“Right now, our success with rapid re-housing is at about 75 percent, meaning 75 percent of the families we help are able to secure an apartment and maintain their housing stability when they exit the program. This incredible grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation will allow us to increase that number to 85 percent or higher,” said UMOM CEO Darlene Newsom. “We also believe we will be at the forefront of a national movement to increase the number of families who exit homelessness to permanent, stable housing.”
Once in housing, many families still need additional services including help training for and finding a job, childcare during work hours and transportation to and from work. Federal grants typically come with restrictions that will not allow funding to be used for those purposes. Privately funded rapid re-housing programs are not subject to those restrictions, making it easier to connect families with services.
“Having a place to call home is something many of us take for granted. A home means stability, protection and freedom. It means hope,” said Renee Parsons. “By combining private donations with government support, UMOM is better able to create housing programs that give people the help they need to rebuild their lives and the hope for a better future.”
UMOM’s new, privately-funded rapid re-housing pilot program will be implemented over the next two years. The program will operate under UMOM’s mission to prevent and end homelessness with innovative strategies and housing solutions that meet the unique needs of each family and individual.