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CLOSUP Public Sector Excellence Database

Homebase

The National League of Cities - 2009 - Award for Municipal Excellence (Over 500,000)

Summary

The city of New York created a network of 13 neighborhood-based homelessness prevention centers designed to help families avoid homelessness.  Their purpose is to 1) prevent homelessness from occurring, 2) help families who seek shelter find immediate alternatives and shorten their time in shelter and 3) prevent repeated stays. To achieve these goals, Homebase provides a combination of case management services and financial assistance to tailor a solution that helps the family avoid entering shelter. Services may include short-term financial assistance, job training, financial education, legal services, mediation, household repairs, and accessing work support benefits.

Description

Homebase is a network of 13 neighborhood-based homelessness prevention centers designed to help families avoid homelessness. It is funded by the New York City Department of Homeless Services, and operated by community-based organizations with decades of experience tackling poverty and homelessness.

Homebase is designed to achieve three primary goals: 1) prevent homelessness from occurring, 2) help families who seek shelter find immediate alternatives and shorten their time in shelter and 3) prevent repeated stays in shelter.

To achieve these goals, Homebase provides a combination of case management services and financial assistance to tailor a solution that helps the family avoid entering shelter. Homebase acts quickly to help the family preserve their housing, and then develops a long-term plan for housing stability. The service plan is unique to each household and is developed in conjunction with the family. The plan may include short-term financial assistance, job training, financial education, legal services, mediation, household repairs, and accessing work support benefits.

The Homebase model is successful due to a combination of experienced community-based providers, a flexible service model, and comprehensive data analysis. From September 2004 through April 2009, over 14,000 households were served by Homebase. Over 90 percent of these households did not enter shelter within one year of service. Homebase has also provided diversion services to over 1,000 families.

The Homebase model is constantly evolving to meet current demands and trends in shelter entry, such as the current foreclosure crisis.

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Tags: Access to Services and Social Justice, Economic and Community Development, Education and Training, Pluralism, Diversity, Gender, and Inequality





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