Since October, 2009 a little known federal program, the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP), has assisted an estimated 600,000 Americans in avoiding homelessness. The micro-funds provided by HPRP are used to cover expenses such as rent checks, security deposits, utility bills, and moving expenses.
According to a recent Time Magazine article, struggling families have been especially hard hit in the recession:
Meanwhile, unemployment and foreclosure have sent tens of thousands of families into financial free fall. At the beginning of 2009, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities projected that the severe recession and the growth of long-term unemployment would push an additional 1.5 million people into the streets. Asks Roman: “Why should we think that people can get their lives together, get a job, keep their kids in school, when they live in a van or a shelter? It is not reasonable. People need the stability of a home. You need housing to be employed. It’s the platform for everything else.” With long-term unemployment at record highs, Congress is considering providing an additional $1 billion in funding for HPRP as part of a forthcoming jobs bill.
Micro-funds to keep people off the streets and on the road back to self sufficiency. Now THIS is the kind of stimulus we could get behind.
We’d love to hear from folks on the front lines – what do you think of this program? Do you think providing these types of funds to qualifying individuals works?