The Rapid Rehousing program is a collaborative effort between three homeless family shelters: The Salvation Army, The Road Home, and the YWCA- Madison. The project is funded through a special grant written and administered by the United Way of Dane County.
The Rapid Rehousing program provides housing for 45 homeless families annually. Households accepted into the program will receive first month rent and security deposit paid by the program, shallow rental subsidy of about 30% of market rent for the next 11 months and 12 months of intensive, broad-based case management services.
There are two goals for families accepted into the program:
“Ella”, her husband “Bill”, and their 3 children, “Laura” (19), “Chris” (9) and “Nate” (6) were homeless and living with family members prior to being referred to the Rapid Rehousing Program. Ella and Bill lost their previous apartment when Ella experienced a re-occurrence of breast cancer and was no longer able to work. Bill was unable to keep up with all of the family's bills on his single income. Ella, Bill and their children had no choice but to stay with family for four months. This was a big strain on everyone as they were staying with an older couple who were not used to having active children in the household.
Ella and Bill's family was referred to Rapid Rehousing by a partner agency, Joining Forces for Families (JFF). Upon entering the program, Ella and Bill met with Rapid Rehousing coordinators and completed an intensive housing search. With Rapid Rehousing case management and a small rental subsidy, the family was able to obtain a beautiful apartment which they have made into their home.
Since moving into housing, Ella has gained employment and is presently medically stable. She does advocacy work speaking to survivors of breast cancer. Bill has maintained employment despite the stressors of the past year. Chris and Nate are doing well with school and have been hooked up with additional supports. Laura has been able to access health care for the first time in over a year.
Ella states that case management has provided "help for the mind, body and soul. The program did not only help with rent, but it helped my family as a whole." Ella also thinks the shallow rent subsidy provided each month gives their family peace of mind. "The Road Home has given us the moral support and stability to stand alone on our own two feet when the time comes and the program ends."