We support efforts to:
- increase supportive housing units in communities and ensure they are quickly available to people who are highly vulnerable to homelessness
- take advantage of Medicaid reform to help pay for and deliver supportive housing services
Through supportive housing, individuals who once cycled in and out of emergency rooms, detox programs, psychiatric institutions, temporary shelters, and jails, receive the necessary support they need to stay healthy and safely housed.
In supportive housing, housing subsidies to pay for rent are combined with flexible, voluntary support services to help tenants stay housed and healthy. This may be help with managing an illness, getting an education, a job, a doctor’s appointment, or other support to get back on their feet.
Successful supportive housing uses the "Housing First" principle. Housing First prioritizes people most vulnerable to homelessness and moves them immediately from the streets or a shelter to their own home. Individuals receive housing and services without prerequisites or requirements for eligibility, such as being sober or participating in programs. It's based on the simple notion that someone experiencing homelessness needs housing first and foremost. Learn more about Housing First
Multiple studies have proven that supportive housing is not only a humane and effective solution, it is also the most cost-effective response. Research has found that without supportive housing, each person experiencing chronic homelessness costs local communities $30-50,000 every year in crisis care.
One of the greatest impacts of the Trust’s support has been the significant expansion of supportive housing. In 1991, when we began our work, there were no
supportive housing units in the entire state of Connecticut. By 2008, there were 3,500, reaching over 80 communities and by the end of 2012, there were over 5,200 supportive housing units in operation or development, and over 200,000 nationally.
Medicaid can help end homelessness
In 2015, the federal government made a tremendous leap forward in recognizing the relationship between housing and health. Thanks to provisions in the Affordable Care Act, state Medicaid offices across the country were given the green light to use Medicaid dollars—usually reserved for medication and clinical care—to help pay for supportive housing services. This opened up a new source of funds to care for chronically homeless people in housing at lower cost and with better health outcomes. We are excited by this new development and are helping homeless services providers in Connecticut build their capacity to take advantage of this.