Housing and human services attract investments from other government systems:
WHAT: Public funding beyond housing agencies can be leveraged to support housing.
HOW: We invest in organizations that seek to redirect dollars from corrections to housing and human services.
- Dollars leave the corrections system. We support Californians for Safety and Justice (CSJ). Following a successful ballot initiative (Proposition 47) to lower six felonies to misdemeanors in California, CSJ advocated for legislation to capture the savings from lowered prison populations. In 2017, the Board of State and Community Corrections announced grants using $103 million from these savings for community diversion and treatment programs across California.
- Corrections dollars support housing.
- o Los Angeles. Butler supported CSH ’s efforts in Los Angeles to secure increased, sustainable funding for supportive housing targeted to people in the criminal justice system. In 2016, CSH’s advocacy helped lead Los Angeles County to direct $120 million for diversion and reentry efforts, 40% to be used for housing interventions. CSH’s advocacy also resulted in the LA Probation Department investing an additional $18 million in rapid rehousing programs for their clients.
o New York. We made a small grant to support a demonstration project in New York City, created by Housing+Solutions and partners to divert women during the pre-trial period from jail to a community-based alternative. During that time, women are offered services to help them stabilize and meet their criminal justice requirements. The results were so strong that the Mayor’s Office of Diversion Re-entry and Prevention will fund a $2.3 million demonstration project for three years.
Ending homelessness takes more than housing:
WHAT: Housing is indispensable to ending homelessness, but employment is also necessary to regain and maintain independence. Federal and state governments have resources available, but they need to be targeted more effectively.
HOW: We make grants to help leverage federal and state resources.
o Follow up. Following the Summit, we convened and collaborated with the Oak Foundation and Melville Charitable Trust to launch the National Center on Employment and Homelessness and the Connections Project, whose purpose is to increase employment and economic opportunity for homeless jobseekers.
o Be the catalyst. In partnership with the Oak Foundation, we initiated and funded the Partnerships for Opening Doors Summit, co-sponsored with the federal Departments of Labor, Housing and Urban Development, and Interagency Council on Homelessness. Communities, federal agencies, and national organizations identified promising practices as well as barriers to federal resources to support employment for homeless job seekers. Attended by Cabinet Secretaries from the Department of Labor and Housing and Urban Development, the Summit catalyzed tremendous interest and work around this issue.
- o Help leverage Medicaid. Butler supports efforts by the New York-based Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS) to leverage Medicaid dollars to provide employment services to people with severe mental illness who are experiencing homelessness. Under this initiative, CUCS’ Career Network can use Medicaid dollars to pair employment services with other supportive services to help stabilize lives.