Homeless Crisis Response

In Salt Lake City, Utah, the expansion of Rapid Re-housing has allowed The Road Home to meet an increased demand for assistance without expanding their shelter capacity or turning families away. By connecting families quickly to income and employment support provided by the local TANF agency, the program is also helping to shore up supports that families will require after they are housed. 

In some communties, HUD's Continuum of Care funding is used as a linear model where people experiencing homelessness are expected to progress through levels of care and demonstrate "readiness" for permanent housing. However, over the last decade, many communities have begun to adopt an approach that focuses on preventing and ending homelessness and rapidly returning people who have become homeless to housing. Despite the documented success of this model over the traditional Continuum of Care model, implementation varies markedly in each community. To end homelessness in this country, communities must restructure their homeless service system into effective and rapid crisis response systems.

Guidance from USICH on building better crisis response systems

5 program profiles on programs paving the way around the country

Below users can find information and resources on the following topics:

  • Centralized/Coordinated Intake and Assessment
  • Strategic Targeting
  • Homelessness Prevention Programs
  • Shelter Diversion and Rapid Re-Housing
  • Reducing Shelter Stays
  • Housing First/High Cost Users

Additional Resources

A Closer Look: Opening Doors, As Amended in 2015 - Spotlight on Crisis Response Systems

Opening Doors, as amended in 2015

Early Childhood and HUD Working Together to End Family Homelessness

Positive Outcomes for Victims of Domestic Violence and Families through Housing First Pilot Program


#NAEH15 Begins Tomorrow

Youth Homelessness and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act

Veteran Homelessness in Virginia: The Ending of a Story Just Beginning

At White House, Mayors Strategize on Efforts to End Veteran Homelessness

Optimizing Community Efforts to End Veteran Homelessness

The President’s 2016 Budget Invests in What Works to End Homelessness

New Orleans Ends Veteran Homelessness One Year Ahead of Goal

Our Chief Labor Is the Building of Homes

Lessons Learned from Developing Coordinated Entry Systems: Richmond and Los Angeles

We STILL Believe in Human Rights

We STILL Believe in Human Rights

In Utah, a History of Progress Inspires Greater Action

That Person on the Street Could Be You

Good News from New Orleans: Federal and Community Collaboration Helped Transform This Veteran’s Life

Ending Youth Homelessness: A Call to Action Forty Years in the Making

Partnering with Landlords to End Homelessness

Meeting the Unique Needs of Families

Building Systems to End to Homelessness: HUD’s FY 2014 Continuum of Care Program Competition

How Our Shelter Began Focusing on Permanent Housing, And Started Ending Homelessness for Our Clients.

A Sea Change in Fresno’s Homelessness Crisis Response

Hear from Two Community Partners about How They Are Ending Family Homelessness through Our Sept. 10 Webinar

Responding to the Crisis of Homelessness

DESC to Create More Supportive Housing to Serve Seattle’s Most Vulnerable

Connect with USICH at the NAEH Conference

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu Announces Ambitious Plan to End Veteran Homelessness

Supportive Services for Veteran Families: A Powerful Tool to Keep Veterans and Their Families Home

Successful Partnerships through Aligned Missions and Empathetic Relationships

Ensuring that Homelessness Never Follows Foster Care

Baltimore Takes Steps Forward to End Youth Homelessness

Communities Come Together to Discuss Coordinated Entry

Your Input Is Essential to the Ongoing Success of Opening Doors

Four Clarifications about Housing First

101,628 People Are Now in Safe and Stable Homes!

Houston Drives Down Homelessness 37% through Community Collaboration and Housing First Approach

Your Questions Answered - Webinar on Ending Family Homelessness - Part One

In One Year, New Orleans Reduced Veteran Homelessness by 43%, Chronic Homelessness by 30%

The True Cost of Doing Nothing

Starting Is the Starting Point for Coordinated Assessment

Finding Hope, a Home, and a Future

Proving It’s Possible: How Phoenix Ended Chronic Veteran Homelessness

Partnerships and Innovation: The Role of Housing Authorities in Ending Homelessness

Wichita Police Department: Making a Difference for People Experiencing Homelessness

Houston Partners Dedicated to Ending Chronic Homelessness

How Coordinated Entry is Working on Skid Row

Peer Mentors and Navigators are What We Need

Atlanta Hosts Mobile Fair to Help Veterans Find Housing

Emerging research indicates rapid re-housing sets up for success

How Do We End Youth Homelessness?

Ending Family Homelessness: A Message to Continuum of Care & Ten-Year Plan Leaders from Barbara Poppe

HUD SNAPS Issues New NoFA Communications

Mayor Nutter Addresses Homelessness in Speech to the US Conference of Mayors

Ending Chronic Homelessness: A Message to Continuum of Care & Ten-Year Plan Leaders from Barbara Poppe

Reflections from the Streets of Hollywood

What We’re Talking About: The Week at USICH - October 8-12

Rapid Results Boot Camp: The 100 Day Challenge

Transitioning to stability: VA provides incentive for Transition in Place model

Local United Ways Playing a Leading Role

Housing First: a movement goes mainstream

USICH Releases 2015 Amendment to Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness

June 22, 2015                             ...

National Alliance Issues Brief on Using ESG Program to Fund Rapid Re-Housing

The Alliance has published the first in a series of briefs that are meant to...

National Alliance to End Homelessness Wants Input from Rapid Re-Housing Providers

The National Alliance to End Homelessness published a toolkit, "Rapid Re-Housing Tools," that provides...

Federal Resources That Can Fund Rapid Re-Housing

The crisis of homelessness among families largely stems from the shortage of affordable housing across...

The President’s 2016 Budget: Fact Sheet on Homelessness Assistance

President Obama’s 2016 Budget demonstrates his deep commitment to ending homelessness. The Budget makes...

Opening Doors: Preventing Homelessness

It isn’t enough to move people out of homelessness; we must keep people...

SAMHSA Homelessness Prevention Panel - Guiding Principles and Strategies

In April 2011, leaders from USICH, SAMHSA, and ASPE (Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning...

Testing a Typology of Family Homelessness

Dennis P. Culhane, Stephen Metraux, Jung Min Park, Maryanne Schretzman and Jesse Valente May 2007 This...

A Prevention-Centered Approach to Homelessness Assistance: A Paradigm Shift?

Dennis Culhane, Stephen Metraux and Thomas Byrne May 2011 Prevention has long been cited as an...

Adopting Best Practices: Lessons Learned in the Collaborative Initiative to Help End Chronic Homelessness (CICH)

Sarah A. McGraw, Mary Jo Larson, Susan E. Foster, Marilyn Kresky-Wolff, Elizabeth M. Botelho, Emily...

A Paradigm Shift in Housing and Homeless Services: Applying the Population and High-Risk Framework to Preventing Homelessness

Jocelyn Apicello September 2009 Unfortunately, the practice of homelessness prevention is still in its infancy and...

Housing Stability among Homeless Individuals with Serious Mental Illness Participating in Housing First Programs

Carol Pearson, Ann Elizabeth Montgomery and Gretchen Locke April 2009 This article presents findings from an...

Rearranging the Deck Chairs or Reallocating the Lifeboats? Homelessness Assistance and Its Alternatives

Dennis P. Culhane and Stephen Metraux December 2008 At present, homelessness in the United States is...

Critical Time Intervention: An Empirically Supported Model for Preventing Homelessness in High Risk Groups

Daniel Herman, Sarah Conover, Alan Felix, Aman Nakagawa and Danika Mills July 2007 Critical Time Intervention ...

Housing First for Long-Term Shelter Dwellers with Psychiatric Disabilities in a Suburban County: A Four-Year Study of Housing Access and Retention

Ana Stefancic and Sam Tsemberis July 2007 Housing First is an effective intervention that ends and...

The Applicability of Housing First Models to Homeless Persons with Serious Mental Illness.

Carol L. Pearson, Gretchen Locke,  Ann Elizabeth Montgomery, and Larry Buron July 2008 In recent...

Community-Wide Strategies for Preventing Homelessness: Recent Evidence

Martha R. Burt, Carol Pearson and Ann Elizabeth Montgomery June 2007 This article summarizes the findings...

Characteristics of Transitional Housing for Homeless Families

Martha R. Burt September 7, 2006 This report was written in preparation for a larger study sponsored...

Evaluability Assessment of Discharge Planning and the Prevention of Homelessness: Final Report

Garrett Moran, Rafael Semansky, Elizabeth Quinn, Rebecca Noftsinger and Teresa Koenig September 22, 2005 Past research has...

Strategies For Preventing Homelessness

Martha R. Burt and Carol L. Pearson May 2005 Homelessness prevention is an essential element of...

Strategies for reducing chronic street homelessness

Martha R. Burt 2004 This is an experimental time for programs to reduce chronic street homelessness....

Housing first, consumer choice, harm reduction for homeless individuals with a dual diagnosis

Sam Tsemberis 2004 This study examined the longitudinal effects of a Housing First program for homeless,...

The prevention of homelessness revisited

Marybeth Shinn 2004 Conceptual and methodological problems plague efforts to prevent homelessness. Attempts to identify individuals...

Housing Characteristics and Adequacy of the Physical Care of Children: An Exploratory Analysis

Joy Swanson Ernst 2004 This study explored the relationship between housing conditions and the adequacy of...

Examining Policies to Reduce Homelessness Using a General Equilibrium Model of the Housing Market

Erin T. Mansura, John M. Quigley, Steven Raphael and Eugene Smolensky September 2002 In this study...

Towards a comprehensive homeless-prevention strategy

Eric N. Lindblom 1991 Because of the misery and deprivation suffered by homeless persons, the initial...

Health Care and Public Service Use and Costs Before and After Provision of Housing for Chronically Homeless Persons With Severe Alcohol Problems

Mary E. Larimer, Daniel K. Malone, Michelle D. Garner, David C. Atkins, Bonnie Burlingham, Heather...

Denver Housing First Collaborative Cost Benefit Analysis and Program Outcomes Report

Jennifer Perlman and John Parvensky December 11, 2006 The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless created the Denver...

Risk Factors For Long-Term Homelessness

Carol L. M. Caton, Boanerges Dominguez, Bella Schanzer,  Deborah S. Hasin, Patrick E. Shrout,...

Community Development Block Grants

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s  Community Development Block...

Emergency Food and Shelter Program

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) was created to supplement and expand the work...

Emergency Solutions Grants

The Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program provides funding to engage individuals and families living on...

Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program

The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) was authorized in 2009 under the American Recovery...

Housing Counseling Program

The Housing Counseling Program delivers a wide variety of housing counseling services to homebuyers, homeowners,...

National Runaway Switchboard

The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) serves runaway and homeless youth by funding the...

Street Outreach Program

The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) serves runaway and homeless youth by funding the...

Supportive Housing Program

The Supportive Housing Program (SHP) is designed to promote the development of housing and supportive...

Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) Program

The Supportive Services for Veterans Families Program works with nonprofit organizations to provide social services...

We Need to be Smarter about how We Understand and Meet the Needs of Youth

Remarks delivered by Laura Green Zeilinger, USICH Executive Director, at the End Youth Homelessness Call...

We’ve entered a new era of homelessness policy: the era of local problem-solving systems

Remarks delivered by Richard Cho, USICH Senior Policy Director, at the Arizona Coalition to End...

Coordinated Assessment: Putting the Key Pieces in Place

Remarks by Eric Grumdahl at a gathering of community stakeholders focused on ending Veteran and...

Identifying & Referring Veterans Experiencing Homelessness

The Obama Administration is committed to achieving an end to homelessness among Veterans, and...

HEARTH and Your Community

As providers and stakeholders across the country, we are all aware that the HEARTH Act...

Retooling Crisis Response Systems

In some communities, HUD's Continuum of Care funding is used as a linear model...

Homeless Crisis Response

In Salt Lake City, Utah, the expansion of Rapid Re-housing has allowed The Road Home...