Homelessness is a difficult, complex and often-misunderstood economic situation, which affects over 21,000 Iowans. Primary reasons for homelessness include lack of income, lack of affordable housing and incidents of domestic violence. Homelessness affects:
- People of all ages and family status where
- 61% of homeless adults had not experienced poverty as children, and
- 78% of the homeless family leaders had a high school diploma or some college education.
- Two-thirds of Iowa homeless people are women and children.
- In 2005 the Linn County Continuum of Care reported that
- 58% of surveyed homeless households were lead by women,
- 29% of homeless men over 40 were veterans, and
- 10% of the homeless population were 55 years or older.
There is no single face to homelessness. The causes of this economic hardship vary with each individual, but there is a successful exit strategy that involves three primary steps, moving people from the homelessness:
- To emergency shelters where crisis concerns are remedied,
- To transitional housing where residents implement a long-term strategy for personal success, and
- Finally to affordable housing where individuals or families return to a life of economic stability.
Since 1988 HACAP has provided the middle component of this process for success, giving local families an opportunity to stabilize their housing situation and work toward self-sufficiency..
Currently, we provide transitional housing units in four counties:
- Linn and
The HACAP transitional is a compliance-based program. Participants of the program pay rent on a sliding fee scale. They are required to be employed or working toward an educational degree.
Consumer education/life skills classes are offered on a monthly basis. These classes cover a wide subject matter. Some examples of class topics include financial management, tenant/landlord law, conflict management, communication skills, parenting among other topics and socialization activities.
It is the intent of the program that while meeting the compliance requirements the participants are learning valuable skills leading them toward self-sufficiency and safe, secure permanent housing for themselves and their families.
Family Support Workers are assigned to each family. These certified staff members offer support services for residents to work toward their goals of self-sufficiency and establishment of permanent housing. Family Support Workers assist them in solving issues associated with
- Personal finance management,
- Interpersonal relationship skills,
- Job research skills,
- Childcare procurement, and
- Permanent housing opportunities.
Solutions for homeless require a community of dedicated people. Local emergency shelters
and transitional housing providers
network to provide the opportunity for local homeless to overcome this economic condition. Together with other government, private and public organizations, HACAP is making the communities in our service area better places to live.