Working Together to End Homelessness
Working Together to End Homelessness
What We Do
The purpose of the Housing Link collaborative is to provide a single, coordinated, inclusive housing crisis assistance system that works toward preventing and ending homelessness within Bucks County. This coordination extends across programs, services, and procedures followed by Housing Link members.
The Housing Link Helpline is the starting point for families and individuals experiencing a housing crisis in Bucks County. After a brief screening with our helpline staff, families and individuals are referred to services based on vulnerability and need. Services available through the Housing Link Include:
Street Outreach Teams are dedicated to engaging and supporting those experiencing unsheltered homelessness. Upon receiving a referral from the Housing Link Helpline, Street Outreach will attempt to meet households who are unsheltered. Street Outreach performs the following core functions:
- Provides ongoing engagement and support as needed and requested
- Makes appropriate referrals to housing programs and services as well as referrals to other systems that can be of assistance
- Assists households to get “document-ready” to move into housing, which includes getting a driver’s license or photo ID, birth certificate, and social security card.
There are three street outreach teams in Bucks County
Housing Planning, including Eviction Prevention
Housing Planning targets households who are experiencing a housing crisis but are not currently unsheltered. This includes working with households facing eviction as well as those who are doubled-up with other households and can no longer remain in their current housing situation. Housing Stability Coaches work with clients to discuss their specific situation and problem solve what resources are available both from the client’s own support networks, other supports, and from the Housing Link. The goal is for clients to maintain their current housing if it is safe.
*Eviction Prevention and Foreclosure Prevention Assistance are available to eligible households. For Eviction Prevention, the Bucks Emergency Rental Assistance (BERA) Program is currently accepting applications.
Bucks County has three year-round shelters:
- Bucks County Emergency Homeless Shelter, owned and operated by Family Service Association, is located in Lower Bucks and serves all of Bucks County including individuals and families with children.
- Valley Youth House Shelter serves runaway and homeless youth age 24 and under.
- A Woman’s Place serves those fleeing from an environment where they are experiencing physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.
Individuals and families experiencing homelessness may be eligible for one of the following types of housing programs, based on availability and need:
- Rapid Re-housing (RRH): RRH is the core Housing Program of the Housing Link and a national best practice. RRH aims to quickly move households into permanent housing (in their own name) and provides rental assistance and supportive services to achieve housing stability.
- Transitional Housing: Housing Link has time-limited housing programs available for households meeting specific eligibility criteria.
- Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH): PSH focuses on the highest-need individuals who will benefit from long-term housing supports and intensive case management services.
Housing Locators focus on assisting families and individuals experiencing homelessness to locate safe and affordable housing within the County. In addition to helping find appropriate units, they also assist households with understanding their lease agreements and their responsibilities as a tenant.
For landlords, Housing Locators serve as a point of contact to ensure satisfaction when renting to Housing Link households. They can assist with connecting households to resources as needed to ensure the households’ successful residency in their home. Locators also perform inspections to ensure units meet habitability standards. The Locators continue to be available to landlords to assist in addressing any issues that may come up during the term of the lease – thus providing an extra layer of support to landlords.
Information & Referral is provided for households not experiencing a housing crisis that may lead to homelessness.
Last Updated on March 11, 2021 by bchousinglink