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This fundraiser ended on 03/15/11

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Housing Authorities of the City and County of Fresno are raising funds to benefit First Steps Home. Ending the cycle of homelessness, one individual at a time.

“Housing First” provides immediate housing to individuals for more stability and then wraps services and support around them for long-term success.

Rapid Re-Housing - Works with homeless individuals and families — those who are residing in emergency or transitional shelters or on the street — by providing temporary financial assistance and services for an immediate housing solution.

Pilot Project: Tent City - Over the course of 30 days in the summer of 2009, 103 homeless individuals who were living in Fresno’s largest encampment, Tent City, were moved directly into transitional housing.
As of March 2010, seven months later, 80% of the individuals remain off the street and are well on their way to independence and self-sufficiency.

Implementing the 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness.
The crisis of homelessness is complex, but it can be tackled with a single, coordinated plan of action. Fresno First Steps Home is taking active steps to help implement Fresno’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness, which uses a proven methodology that’s based on national best practices. To learn more about the Plan download the full Plan (PDF, 3.5MB).

Making an Impact with Partner Collaboration.
Breaking the cycle of homelessness requires commitment from the entire community. Recently, the City of Fresno along with many government and community partners completed a pilot project for re-housing homeless individuals from the largest encampments on H Street. The team first assessed who was there, provided transitional housing and contacts for support, and then monitored the progress of the new residents over the next several months. By understanding each individual’s unique situation, case managers were able to develop a custom solution or action plan that provided a greater chance in resulting in long-term success.
 

Focusing on the Components for Success
• Permanent and Transitional Housing
Fundamental to Fresno First Steps Home is an approach that ensures the homeless are provided housing and services while being held accountable for self-sufficiency and personal growth.
• Shelter System
Shelters provide homeless individuals with an alternative to the streets, but they are not the long-term solution. The 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness emphasizes housing first as a means of reducing over-reliance on shelter services as everyday housing.
• Prevention
The loss of a job or a health care crisis can cause financial disaster and is a common cause of homelessness. Assisting families or individuals with rent, utility or rental payments before they become homeless is much less expensive than providing emergency services once they are on the streets.
• Services
Fresno First Steps Home gives people a chance to get off the street and regain their independence. The goal is to grant funds to organizations that provide an umbrella of services, including substance abuse and mental-health programs, healthcare, benefits acquisition and medical treatment. However, many homeless individuals are denied the services they desperately need because they lack access to mainstream benefits.Providing the homeless with non-emergency services and housing makes economic sense for Fresno. The chronically homeless use expensive city, county and state-funded services such as public safety personnel, substance abuse treatment and emergency rooms. Additionally, if effective, cost savings can be seen through reductions in incarcerations, emergency health care, shelter costs and other services.
• Public Safety and Outreach
Increased outreach is successfully moving people off the streets and into services, and it’s reducing panhandling and other loitering. 
2-1-1 Phone Number
2-1-1 is a toll-free number provided by the United Way. Individuals can dial 2-1-1 or 1-866-559-4211 anytime — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year — from anywhere in Fresno County to quickly get connected to community resources if they are homeless or are facing homelessness. The call is free and confidential. Operators are trained specialists with multiple language skills: English, Spanish, Lao, Thai, Khmer, and over 140 other languages.
 2-1-1 Cards
Donating a dollar to someone on the street corner often extends homelessness. Donating that same dollar to Fresno First Steps Home helps end homelessness. We provide an alternative to giving cash by providing 2-1-1 cards to residents via businesses and online. The card provides information to homeless individuals to help them on the path back to a stable home.
• Education, Training, and Employment
Fresno First Steps Home is committed to helping people who are homeless obtain the skills and knowledge necessary to participate in the workforce. Employment assistance also helps create self-sufficiency among the chronically homeless.
 

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