This Weeks News from One Family’s Right Resources Bulletin Board

This Week’s News from the Right Resources Bulletin Board
October 5, 2009

~ Innovations in the Spotlight ~
South Shore Network – Family Triage Model

Innovations in the Spotlight…
With its new regional shelter triage model for homeless families ready to launch, the South Shore Network to End Homeless is now moving in an exciting new direction towards achieving one of  the broad systems changes envisioned by the ICHH and Plymouth County’s’ 10 year plan to end family homelessness.   The debut of the new regional triage model allows the South Shore Network to overcome two major short comings of the current shelter system.  First, the triage system will keep families local when they need to enter shelter; the model will allow South Shore families to be placed into South Shore shelters and motels (if necessary) rather than being placed haphazardly around the state.  Second, the model will focus on matching families with providers based on specific family needs and provider expertise and capacity. 
In the new model, families entering the Brockton and Plymouth DTA offices, who cannot be diverted, will be referred to the regional Triage Coordinator, a staff member of Father Bill’s & MainSpring, who will oversee all placements in triage beds and shelters. The intervention of the Triage Coordinator is a critical component of the model, for that person will have the green light from DHCD to keep families in their home regions, the ability to transfer families from hotels to shelters and between shelters, and the ability to ensure daily communication with shelters about projected housing placements and projected shelter vacancies. This model will be gradually phased in, starting with a small number of families and increasing in scope movement out of the shelter system to housing is increased.
Families will be assessed at the triage center and will stay in triage beds at a converted Father Bill’s & MainSpring congregate shelter while waiting for an appropriate shelter or motel placement.  The estimated time at the triage center will be 3 to 5 days.  This time is essential to finding the most appropriate placement for each family.  The triage beds made available at the converted congregate shelter will be paid for by DHCD as existing shelter resources.
Some families placed in scattered site shelter apartments may have the opportunity to assume the lease on those units through a ‘rolling stock model’.  Shallow subsidies for these units and for rapid re-housing of many of the families will be made available through ICHH funds, state flexible funds, and HPRP funds.
While the focus of this model is on keeping families local, those families experiencing domestic violence can be assured that their safety is the priority in the location of their placement.  Some families with active threats of domestic violence will continue to be placed by DHCD/ DTA out of network; families from other communities fleeing DV situations may at times need placements in this region to best ensure safety.
The new model hinges upon funding from the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP), shallow subsidies from the state for rapid re-housing, and ICHH flexible funds for the first year of a family’s housing. With long-term support, the program will be able to move families rapidly through the intake system into stable housing, where the proper social support services will be made available by the network providers.  The triage model shows great promise for the state of Massachusetts, and we hope that the leadership shown by the South Shore Regional Network to End Homelessness will pay off for the families of the region.
For more information on this model visit the Right Resources Bulletin Board:
From the Right Resources Forum:


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