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Homelessness Prevention

To truly end homelessness in our community, we must address the problem upstream and take steps to prevent homelessness before it begins.

In 2017, Destination: Home helped launch the Santa Clara County Homelessness Prevention System - a unique partnership between public agencies, private funders, and non-profit organizations to help at-risk families and individuals maintain their housing and avoid falling into homelessness.

From July 2017 to December 2020, the Homelessness Prevention System has served 7,399 individuals (2,437 households) at-risk of falling into homelessness - 96% of whom remained stably housed while enrolled in the program. And based on these promising results, we are continuing to refine and expand this system to meet the growing need in our community.

Today, the Homelessness Prevention System is playing a key role in helping deploy rent relief to extremely low income residents who’ve been financially-impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about this effort, please visit our COVID-19 webpage

If you’re in need of rental assistance, please visit SCCRentHelp.org, or call 2-1-1 to learn which rental assistance programs you may qualify for.

Read on to learn more about the Santa Clara County Homelessness Prevention System

Overarching system goal:
Prevent all instances of family homelessness.

Outcomes: July 1, 2017 — December 30, 2020
We have helped 7,399 individuals from 2,437 households at imminent risk of homelessness
96% of families have remained stably housed while receiving prevention services
One year after leaving the program, only 2% of households became homeless.
$4,907Average amount of assistance per family
55% of families received financial aid within 72 hours of application

Reasons for Assistance

51%Income Loss/Reduction
10%Change in family composition (i.e., separation, death, etc.)
8%Must leave current living situation (i.e., overcrowded, asked to leave etc.)
8%Medical emergency
7%Unexpected major expense
4%Fleeing domestic violence

Download the latest system performance report

How do we prevent homelessness?

Destination: Home is committed to making homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring. The 2015-2020 Community Plan to End Homelessness contains a clear call to action, “Prevent homelessness before it happens”. Through the combined resources of Packard Foundation, Sunlight Giving, Google.org, City of San Jose, City of Santa Clara, City of Morgan Hill, and County of Santa Clara, $4.2 Million has been raised to rethink the way family homelessness is prevented in our community. Destination: Home is facilitating a 27-month pilot program with the goal of implementing a countywide homelessness prevention system and preventing all instances of family homelessness.

AppleCiscoThe David Lucile Packard FoundationGoogle.orgJody & Curtis ChangKaiser PermanenteLinkedInMorgan HillCity of San JoseCounty of Santa ClaraSanta Clara CitySilverLakeStanford Health CareState of CaliforniaSunlight GivingTargetTechnology Credit UnionThomas & Elizabeth Laffont

Sacred Heart Community Services, an experienced advocacy and emergency support organization for thousands of families, is coordinating these homelessness prevention efforts in partnership with community-based organizations across Santa Clara County.

Sacred Heart Community ServiceWest Valley Community ServiceSalvation ArmyCommunity Services AgencySunnyvale Community ServicesSt. Joseph’s Family CenterLifeMovesLaw Foundation of Silicon ValleyFamily Supportive HousingAmigos De GuadalupeAACICommunity SolutionsMaitriNext DoorYWCA Silicon Valley

family-photoPrior to July 1, 2017, families at risk of homelessness were served through Santa Clara County’s CALWORKS program and/or through the Emergency Assistance Network (EAN). Our goal is to expand families’ ability to become quickly connected to prevention services throughout our community, streamline and standardize service delivery, and measure the collective impact of homelessness prevention.

Under the new system, families can access help at any of the partner organizations regardless of zip code, and needs will be addressed to stabilize the household and prevent homelessness. Community-based partners have increased dedicated staff support and resources to realistically address the need and connect family members to support services, including rent assistance, employment services, child care, and transportation. Through this work we will develop, implement and scale a countywide prevention model and system of care that is focused on outcomes and best practices in preventing family homelessness. This homelessness prevention program is being independently evaluated by the University of Notre Dame’s Lab for Economic Opportunity.