Ten Year Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness in the Richmond Region
In 2006, Homeward led the development of a unified vision to prevent and end homelessness and to restore hope and dignity to our community’s most vulnerable residents. Through this planning process with representatives from over 35 non-profits and four local governments, our community launched the Ten Year Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness in the Richmond Region in January 2008. The Ten Year Plan guides the transformation of our community’s homeless services system to focus on housing stability for people experiencing homelessness or those at risk of homelessness. The goals of the Plan include: a) Focusing on reducing the length of homelessness experienced in the region; b) Prioritizing affordable housing as a solution for homelessness; c) Increasing the pool of prevention resources, such as rent, utilities, job training and healthcare; d) Educating policy-makers about homelessness; and, e) Developing our regional research as a tool for community analysis and decision-making.
Project Homeless Connect
Project Homeless Connect is a nationally recognized best practice to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness and is modeled on the Stand Down events for veterans where service providers come together to make a range of services available in one location. Project Homeless Connect fills a gap in our community’s services for persons who are unsheltered or not engaged in the system of services and is a key strategy in the Ten Year Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness in the Richmond Region to meet the needs of unsheltered individuals. We serve up to 750 individuals experiencing homelessness or at great risk of homelessness by matching each person seeking services with a community volunteer. The volunteer works with the person in crisis to access services designed to address barriers to housing stability.
Homeward Community Information System
Homeward's Community Information System (HCIS) is the regional implementation of the system required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. HCIS is a web-based database tool used in Greater Richmond and other communities around Virginia to link clients to resources, to better understand client demographics, service needs, service usage, and trends, and to facilitate community planning. HCIS enables homeless service providers to manage real-time client and resource information and data. It provides client and referral monitoring, case management, and reporting through a web interface. This "real-time" information allows individuals and families to get immediate assistance in any location where they have come to seek help. HCIS provides the longitudinal data which allows Homeward and other organizations to monitor trends in the community. Use of HCIS allows the Richmond region to access over $4 million in federal and state funding for homeless services.