Coachella Valley’s (Calif.) approach to the RV homeless is working according to an independent analysis by the Health Assessment and Research for Communities (HARC, Inc.) in a just-released report, says The Desert Sun.
A 55-year-old man who ended up homeless amid a family dispute gets connected to social services, reconnects with his daughter and finds stable housing.
A couple, also in their mid-fifties, finds themselves in a Desert Hot Springs homeless encampment after their RV breaks down. With assistance, they move their repaired vehicle into an RV park with full services.
These are real stories of people who have been helped through CV Housing First, and they’re powerful reminders of the successes that can happen when everyone comes together.
The independent analysis by HARC says between July 1, 2017, and June 30, CV Housing First served 401 clients — and more than eight out of every 10 people exited the program to permanent housing. Another 11 percent went to temporary housing.
And they’re completing the program with better financial situations, too, as HARC found that clients’ average monthly income more than doubled from $629 to $1,496.
According to the study, the average client is 38 years old, but the program has helped a 94-year-old as well as infants. About half of the clients are female and about half are Hispanic/Latino. Some 18 percent have experienced domestic violence. And most CV Housing First clients — about 70 percent — have been homeless for more than 12 months out of the last three years, indicating long-term homelessness.
CV Housing First is based on the philosophy that if someone has a stable housing situation, they can instead focus their attention on issues like maintaining employment, addressing addiction or keeping their family together. It includes an array of services — such as rapid re-housing, homelessness prevention, and special needs services — so help is customized to the person’s needs.