• People who are transitionally homeless – “These
people are often in some type of program,” explains
Hustings. “You’ll see this model often used in substance-
abuse housing. You go into a program, and after a certain
number of days, you move into another program. All
the while you’re receiving services to help you move
onto the next stage of your life.”
• People who are episodically homeless – More fami-
lies fit into this category, says Hustings. “It’s folks who
are working and fall behind on their rent, so they lose
their house or are evicted.” When they get money either
through a job or assistance, they’re often able to get
back into housing.
What’s known as rapid rehousing has been successful
in stabilizing families. “It’s like the housing-first idea,”
notes Hustings. “It’s connecting folks directly with per-
manent housing or more stable housing, instead of an
emergency shelter, and other support they need. Part
of the program is prevention. Some folks are behind
on rent or their electric bill; it involves giving small
amounts of cash assistance to cover things that can
snowball into homelessness.”
The key to today’s models is combining housing with sup-
port, commonly known as permanent supportive housing.
“With housing first, someone could say, ‘I moved them
into an apartment and now they’re housed,’” notes Klasky-
Gamer. “But for someone who has continual challenges,
whether it’s their physical health or unemployment, you
can’t move them into an apartment and say, ‘Best of luck!’
You need to stay connected and continue to enrich them
with supportive services.”
L.A. Family Housing’s services include things like parent-
ing and financial literacy classes, along with legal advocacy.
Perhaps a veteran left the military with an other-than-hon-
orable discharge; that prevents the veteran from receiving
benefits. L.A. Family Housing may seek to change that
discharge status to enable the vet to tap into medical treat-
ment or housing benefits.
Patience and persistence are also critical to ending
homelessness. Klasky-Gamer and other advocates insist
that nobody really wants to live outdoors. Many have
The key to today’s models
is combining housing with
support, commonly known as
permanent supportive housing.
Patience and persistence are
critical to ending homelessness.