Department of Health & Human Services

Posted on: August 14, 2017

Housing Action Program reduces homelessness, benefits local families in need

A mother with a long history of homelessness and poor credit was unable to access low income housing and was living in a local shelter with her new baby. She was able to get assistance in the form of the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) Housing Action Program (HAP).

HAP, which uses the rapid rehousing model, is funded by a Housing Support Grant from the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program. HAP serves qualified applicants who are homeless or have been legally evicted, helping them find housing and get connected to other services and supports.

The program uses Housing Action Teams made up of the family, a social worker, social services aide and representatives from CalWORKs Welfare-to-Work, the Employment Training Division, Mental Health, Public Health, Child Welfare Services and other community partners. Specific services are based on each family’s needs.

The woman’s Housing Action Team worked with a local property management company, helped her apply for unsubsidized, affordable housing and provided her security deposit and basic housing supplies. Once settled, the team connected her to a Family Resource Center, and she enrolled in CalWORKs employment services. 

Since the program’s launch in October 2015, 108 families (349 people) have been housed, and two families were able to avoid eviction.

“These Housing Action Teams are great because they are able to provide a variety of customized necessary services to not only help get families into housing, but to keep them there,” said Marti Hufft, CalWORKs program manager at DHHS.

The team assists each family in developing an action plan to obtain and retain permanent housing. During frequent visits, team members provide a range of services including housing search and rental application assistance, credit report and/or repair services (if necessary to remove barriers to housing) and landlord recruiting and liaising. Assistance with first and last month’s rent and security deposits, moving expenses and utility deposits, and application or credit check fees may be available.

Once housing is secured, services remain open for up to six months to allow families time to stabilize.

It worked for her, and after receiving subsidized child care for her baby and transportation assistance, she was able to secure a job in customer service.

For more information about this and other CalWORKs programs, and to see if you qualify, visit humboldtgov.org/525/CalWORKs or call 877-410-8809.

Housing Action Team members Allan Daniel, Lisa Patterson, Pamela Fishtrom and Rosy Provino.

From left: Housing Action Team members Allan Daniel, Lisa Patterson,

Pamela Fishtrom and Rosy Provino.

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