Since 2014, the Your Way Home system has evolved to include a single call center, diversion from shelter for those that have alternative housing options, housing-focused emergency shelters, a robust rapid re-housing program, and prioritization for permanent supportive housing for those that need more support to maintain housing stability. As a result of these system transformations, Montgomery County has reduced homelessness by 37% in four years.
However, our work is not done.
While our system is positioned to more effectively respond to the crisis of homelessness, we haven’t yet tackled the monumental effort of preventing more vulnerable families and individuals from losing their housing in the first place. If we are to truly meet our goal of making homelessness a rare event, we must start to work “upstream".
Your Way Home is thrilled to share the final report from our eviction prevention research study, “Unlocking Doors to Homelessness Prevention: Solutions for Preventing Homelessness and Eviction.” This report is the culmination of the research study sponsored by HealthSpark Foundation to help Your Way Home develop a comprehensive homelessness and eviction prevention strategy in Montgomery County.
Through this study, we reviewed local data to better understand the need for eviction prevention services in the County, identified model eviction prevention strategies from our peer communities across the country, and solicited community feedback on which projects to implement locally. The study has led to the launch of two pilot projects to address homelessness prevention, the Eviction Prevention and Intervention Coalition (EPIC) and the School-Based Homelessness Prevention Program.
The “Unlocking Doors” report includes information on our research process, the models we studied, and our implementation status. It also shares helpful tips for philanthropy, community partners, and local governments looking to adopt similar strategies in their own communities.
"As a final note, one of my personal “lessons learned” from this study has been that partnerships are the key to addressing complex and widespread issues like homelessness prevention and housing instability. Alone, none of our organizations or sectors can meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents- rather, we need the collective expertise, wisdom, resources, and support from each of our groups to truly address these types of social challenges. I’m grateful to be a part of an initiative that creates these types of partnerships."
-Emma Hertz, Administrator of the Montgomery County Office of Housing & Community Development
To read the full report, please click here.