Rescue Outreach Mission Finds Success Adopting “Housing First” Model

Contact: Tabitha Talbott, Director of Development

(407) 592-9912

Sanford, FL. April 21, 2022. Rescue Outreach Mission (ROM), under the leadership of its new Executive Director Chris Ham, has adopted the Housing First approach. This proven model connects those experiencing homelessness with a permanent home first, then uses the new home as the base for a job search, school enrollment and other necessary support.

“This model is guided by the belief that people need a stable place to live before attending to things like such as getting a job, budgeting properly, or attending to substance use issues,” Ham explains. “We work with our guests to secure housing and then we coordinate support services which can include everything from job placement to substance abuse counseling.”

This process does take time which is why ROM offers up to 90 days of temporary housing while permanent housing is being acquired. A family who recently benefited from ROM’s Housing First model moved into their new Flagler County home last week. During their two-month stay at ROM, …

Through partnerships with government agencies, service providers, the faith-based community and businesses, Rescue Outreach Mission expects to provide permanent, supportive housing to more than <800? Individuals> in 2022.

About Rescue Outreach Mission: Rescue Outreach Mission serves disadvantaged people throughout Central Florida by providing resources that help prevent homelessness and assisting those who are homeless to become self-sufficient. The organization was founded in 1987 and is based in Sanford.

About Housing First: Unlike other programs, Housing First does not require people experiencing homelessness to address all their problems including behavioral health problems, or graduate from a series of programs before they can access housing. Housing First does not  mandate participation in services or set  prerequisites or conditions beyond those of a typical renter. Supportive services are offered to support people with housing stability and individual well-being, but participation is not required, as services have been found to be more
effective when a person chooses to engage.

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, there is a large and growing evidence base demonstrating that Housing First is an effective solution to homelessness. Studies have shown that rapid rehousing helps people exit homelessness quickly—in one study, an average of two months—and remain housed.
A variety of studies have shown that between 75 percent and 91 percent of households remain housed a year after being rapidly re-housed. Research consistently shows that when people have a home, they spend less time in hospitals, police custody and shelters. The state of Utah recently reported spending $7,800/person in the Housing First model vs. an average $20,000/person due to the chronic use of emergency services. In addition, chronic homelessness decreased 72%.