Father Bill's & MainSpring Assessments
IASP has conducted two assessments for Father Bill's & MainSpring, a large homeless service provider in the South Shore region of Massachusetts. The most recent considers shelter use among homeless individuals, and recommends a daytime drop-in center where individuals can receive additional support. The other examines participants' use of a state short-term rental support demonstration project in 2009. These assessments are part of IASP's larger portfolio on homelessness.
Father Bill's & MainSpring Shelter Use Assessment
IASP, in partnership with Father Bill's & MainSpring, completed two reports on the characteristics and service needs of homeless shelter users and the successes and limitations of current service delivery approaches in the shelter system. This information will support strategic planning for improved shelter models that include day centers for homeless individuals.
Shelter Guests’ Characteristics & Service Use, FY2014 -15
This report details shelter users in 2015. Father Bill's & MainSpring served 1860 individuals over the course of the year. Shelter guests are most commonly between the ages of 35 and 49,although there are more older and younger guests than in the past. They tend to have very low incomes, on average less than a thousand dollars per month. Almost three quarters report a disability. Shelter stay is about 11 days, up from 8 days in 2014. Shelter users face a wide variety of service needs.
Planning for a new Community Center for Homeless Individuals: Stakeholders Reflect on Services and the Need for System Change
This report presents staff and guest perspectives on the current shelter model and unmet service needs. As the homeless population has increased, staff and guests report a need for more beds, safe daytime shelter, and a variety of services to support shelter guests with health care and employment in addition to housing. Staff experience shelter as a "dumping ground" where other strapped care systems, such as nursing homes and correctional facilities bring those they cannot accommodate. This report concludes with recommendations for a day center for homeless individuals.
Short-Term Rental Vouchers for Homeless Families
This research study brief evaluates the implementation and early outcomes of a pilot rapid re-housing program for homeless families in one region of Massachusetts. While the program offers many benefits over living in a shelter, key findings detail the economic challenges families face and their anxiety about the short- term nature of the rental subsidies. Recommendations include offering more intensive employment-related support services to families while in housing,as well as employment supports such as affordable child care and transportation, and increasing the stock of affordable housing in the area.
Sara Chaganti presents a poster at Heller Poster Day