Preble Street, a nonprofit human service agency with programs throughout Maine, created its Rapid Re-Housing program (RRH) in 2020 to move more people from homelessness to permanent housing. Today, Preble Street announces that the program has officially served 101 individuals and families and housed 77 people. Nearly 90% of people housed through the program have remained stably housed.
“We are excited to have reached the milestone of 100 participants in the Rapid Re-Housing program. Each participant has different needs and caseworkers work alongside each person and family to find and maintain housing, increase income, connect them with benefits such as health insurance and SNAP, or connect them to community resources like mental health care and primary care services,” says Erin Kelly (she/her), Program Director.
Currently, the Rapid Re-Housing program is working closely with Preble Street caseworkers at the Comfort Inn hotel in South Portland to connect people staying at that hotel to housing before it closes its shelter services on May 31, 2022. “Landlords have played a key role in working with us to successfully house 77 people and we are urgently looking for more housing; we currently have over 120 individuals on the wait-list and are working hard to keep people sheltered and safe,” shares Kelly.
If you are a landlord interested in partnering with Preble Street Rapid Re-Housing, please call 207-775-0026 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, a person experiencing chronic homelessness costs taxpayers an average of $35,578 per year. Based on the cost of the program and the number of chronically homeless individuals served, the Preble Street Rapid Re-Housing program has saved the emergency services system in Maine over $1,000,000.
Through casework and financial assistance, the Preble Street Rapid Re-Housing program, which is supported through funding by MaineHousing, helps individuals and families experiencing homelessness return to housing quickly and stay housed.
“We are grateful for the hard work of Preble Street and the willingness of landlords to work together to help solve homelessness, one household at a time,” said MaineHousing Director Daniel Brennan (he/him). “Rapid Re-housing is an important component to the ongoing redesign of the homelessness response system in Maine. Preble Street is leading the way in demonstrating a model that is replicable across the entire state. We are proud to be part of this important effort.”
RRH is a short-term, intensive, intervention with three components: housing identification, move-in support, and rental assistance. Participants work with a Preble Street caseworker to create an individualized housing plan with the goal of obtaining a connection to permanent housing as quickly as possible.
Homelessness and lack of affordable housing disproportionately affect individuals who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC). In fact, 26% of Maine’s homeless population are Black despite making up only 1% of the state’s population. Currently, 16% of the people served by the Preble Street Rapid Re-Housing program are BIPOC.
Along with connecting people experiencing homelessness to housing, the RRH program also helps keep individuals and families from becoming homeless in the first place. “At times, individuals and families in the community may be at imminent risk of becoming homeless. In these cases, our team provides diversion interventions, connecting the household to resources and services that can help prevent them from ever entering the trauma of homelessness,” says Kelly.
Preble Street is a nonprofit human service agency serving the most vulnerable people in Maine since 1975 through innovative, best-practice, client-centered programs. In addition to the largest direct service emergency food program in northern New England, Preble Street operates low-barrier programs throughout Maine providing 24/365 services for individuals and families, including homeless youth, women, veterans, and survivors of human trafficking, driven by its mission to meet urgent needs, empower people to move beyond the crises in their lives, and advocate for solutions to homelessness, hunger, and poverty. PrebleStreet.org