Providence Housing Development Corp. receives several federal grants totaling more than $2.3 million to provide housing for homeless and at-risk populations through a variety of programs — some of which have been helping individuals for the past two decades.
In collaboration with other community agencies, Providence administers five programs funded by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development. To qualify for the programs, the head of a household must be homeless and have a disability impeding the person’s ability to live independently, according to information provided by Donna Granger, Providence’s grants administrator. Disabilities may be physical or include a substance use disorder, a mental-health diagnosis or having HIV/AIDS.
The programs are considered “Permanent Supportive Housing,” so participants are not limited in their enrollment as long as the financial or support needs continue to exist, according to the information provided by Granger. All of the programs also provide for security deposits for apartment leases.
Providence offers the following programs to help the homeless:
‚Ä¢ Providence Housing Shelter Plus Care: Providence holds the lease for the 45 privately-owned units. The lease structure helps program participants who may have credit problems or histories of eviction, which are two of the most common barriers to obtaining housing. In addition to providing a rental subsidy, participants in this program receive case management to facilitate independent living. Case Managers assist program participants with procuring and maintaining income as well as other noncash benefits, and also help them connect with medical providers as needed. As part of the program’s subsidy benefit, participants with income are responsible for a portion of their total rent amount, up to 30 percent of their annual income.
‚Ä¢ Providence Housing Veteran’s Permanent Housing Program: Provides individual homeless veterans with both rental subsidy and case management, as well as household furnishings and other start-up necessities for their homes.
‚Ä¢ Supportive Suburban Housing Initiative: This program was initiated by Tempro Development Corp., an agency associated with Rochester’s Temple B’Rith Kodesh. Tempro transferred the program to Providence in 2016, and it is the first interfaith partnership to help homeless families in Monroe County. The program’s case manager works on the site of the apartment community to offer nearly immediate access to support for the families. Participants and their children also receive school supplies, household products and Thanksgiving meals.
All of the case management services for these programs are contracted through Person Centered Housing Options (PCHO).
Providence also collaborates with PCHO for its Rapid Rehousing Program, which offers short-term assistance to homeless individuals and families in need. Common barriers to housing are not having the needed funds for a security deposit, or not having the funds to repay utility debts,which prevent services from being turned on. The Rapid Rehousing Program is able to provide these one-time financial resources in order for program participants to secure and maintain housing, according to Granger.
Additionally, Providence dedicates three staffers to conduct regular outreach to areas where homeless people are known to frequent, such as churches, shelters and abandoned buildings.