Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $2,000,000)
Heading Home Ramsey, the HUD Continuum of Care for Ramsey County, Minnesota, proposes to implement Familiar Faces: Engaging Frequent Users of Emergency and Shelter Services. Familiar Faces will improve the function of our local criminal justice and emergency response systems by addressing these individuals’ immediate needs and reducing their reliance on these costly public services. Since our local public health and public safety systems often present fragmented and uncoordinated options to individuals who are homeless and in crisis, the premise of the project design is: “don’t make people work the system; make the system work for the people.”
Project activities will consist primarily of stabilization approaches that include outreach, multi-month shelter stays, and care coordination of mental health case management, and benefits/ housing navigation. The project is proposed to last 18 months with the first three months used to select the providers, identify qualified participants and finalize the service model. Expected project outcomes include: 60 people engaged and offered referral; 45 people sign up for services, use transitional shelter, and complete a stability plan; 20 people stay at the transitional shelter for 60- 180 nights; and 15 people placed in long-term housing with supports– with all 15 qualifying for long-term benefits such as Medical Assistance, Social Security Income (SSI), and/or Medicaid-based Housing Support.
Qualifying populations expected to benefit from the project include people who are experiencing long-term homelessness with demonstrable behavioral health service needs, people who are involved in, or at risk of involvement with, the criminal justice system; and people in frequent contact with other emergency response systems such as Emergency Medical Service (EMS) or hospital emergency rooms. Subrecipients will be overseen by Ramsey County Housing Stability Department. Subrecipient activities include contracts with qualified non-profits for the activities of outreach, mental health stabilization and case management, navigation, and connection to benefits and housing, and shelter management. Subrecipients will be responsible for implementing services, upholding the eligibility requirements, maintaining equitable practices, protecting collected data, reporting outcomes, and managing grievance and appeal processes.