In 2014, the Weinberg Foundation’s Board approved an investment of $1.2 million over three years to expand Rapid Re-Housing for families in Baltimore City and conduct an evaluation of the program. Rapid Re-Housing is a short to medium-term intervention that combines case management with financial assistance. It is targeted to homeless households with moderate barriers who are unlikely to succeed in securing market-rate housing without this assistance.

St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP) has been the Foundation’s partner for this program, concluding Year Three on June 30, 2017. The SVDP program, called “Front Door,” was designed to serve 65 families per year with a team of five staff: program director, two case managers, a housing specialist, and an employment specialist. As a result of the Foundation’s investment and the ability of SVDP to increase its capacity, a grant of more than $1 million was awarded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to increase the number of families served annually to 110. SVDP is partnering with House of Ruth on this expansion.

Abt Associates completed an evaluation report, which includes the following key findings:

  • 73 percent of families were still in permanent housing that they rented after six months (another 14 percent were staying with family or friends).
  • 93 percent of families did not return to homelessness after one year.
  • 64 percent of participants improved employment status between program entry and exit, by either securing employment or moving from part-time to full-time employment.
  • 57 percent of participants improved their monthly income over the course of the program; the average increase in monthly income was 27 percent.

Click here to see the full report.

The results of the study are largely positive, particularly returns to homelessness lower than the national average and a significant increase in income and employment. As a next step, the Board approved a grant of $550,000 over two years in July 2017 to continue building out the employment navigation component of Rapid Re-Housing.