Homelessness in Oklahoma City
Permanent Supportive Housing
A small percentage of homeless individuals and families with significant disabilities will require some form of assistance indefinitely. Frequent housing relocation is not helpful to building either stability or gaining any steps toward self sufficiency. OKC has emphasized the need for adding additional units of decent housing with appropriate wrap-around services to best meet the needs of those with life-long disabilities. As a community, we have more than doubled the number of permanent supportive housing units in the last five years. We have also moved toward the best practice of the “housing first” model and have been successful in quickly moving people to housing.
Homeless Assistance Programs
The largest and only federally competitive grant is the Continuum of Care (CoC).
The Application for this grant details all of the required elements. The Department of Housing and Urban Development issues a Notice of Funding Availability in the fall which provides the guidance for applying. In 2009, the City was awarded $2.2 million for 11 projects. In 2010, the City applied for $2.4 million to fund 18 projects.
- The Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) is currently a non-competitive grant funded by a formula based on population. Eligible activities include homeless prevention, shelter operations and essential services such as transportation and healthcare.
- The City Social Services Grant (SSG) is not limited to serving the needs of the homeless although a majority of the funding is directed toward those needs.
- Even though Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) is not considered to be a homeless assistance program, the grant does provide funding for emergency housing to prevent homelessness or temporary residence in traditional shelters.
- The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing funding is a one-time three-year grant expiring in July, 2012. This grant has provided the community with the means to establish a coordinated intake process; significant funding for prevention and re-housing; legal services; a housing locater; and case management to coordinate services matched to the family’s needs.