Destination: Home serves as a convener, working with partners to develop and fund strategies for homelessness reduction, and promote outcomes-driven housing and services models in our community.
Research and Policy
In 2014, Destination: Home developed a county-wide community plan to end homelessness by convening over 200 stakeholders in a year-long process. The resulting Community Plan is now the roadmap for how Santa Clara County will end homelessness.
The Lived Experience Advisory Board is a leadership development body consisting of members with current or past experience of homelessness. Members use the platform to evaluate the system of care and make recommendations for improvement.
In 2019, Destination: Home partnered with SPARC (Supporting Partnerships for Anti-Racist Communities) to examine how issues of race and homelessness intersect in our community. This report highlighted how Santa Clara County is characterized by many of the same racial and ethnic disparities seen in communities across the country, and that much work is needed to begin to reverse the underlying causes that disproportionately push people of color into homelessness.
This unprecedented in-depth look at the cost of homelessness in Santa Clara County points to myriad possibilities and moves us towards ending homelessness while also saving the community money.
The Silicon Valley Triage Tool is a new, accurate screening tool capable of predicting high cost users in our public safety net system, thereby allowing communities to prioritize them for supportive housing. Using the tool means communities can spend less resources while achieving better outcomes.
In collaboration with the Santa Clara County Housing Authority, and led by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and County of Santa Clara Supervisor Dave Cortese, the All the Way Home campaign aims to end veteran homelessness.
The majority of homeless men and women can — and want to — work. To meet this demand, Destination: Home is forging new pathways to employment.
The Community Plan to End Homelessness contains a clear call to action, “Prevent homelessness before it happens”. Destination: Home has raised millions of dollars to rethink the way family homelessness is prevented in our community.
The Housing Ready Communities initiative brings together neighbors, community groups, nonprofits, government and housing developers to take action and support approval of new supportive housing and extremely low income affordable housing in Santa Clara County. Join us!
The Supportive Housing and Innovation Fund is our principal means of channeling philanthropic investments toward solutions to increase the supply of supportive housing, improve data and technology utilization for the system of care, and act as a catalyst for expediting and scaling proven and innovative approaches to preventing and ending homelessness.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded, it has become clear that the most severe impacts would fall upon the poorest residents in our community, particularly those currently experiencing homelessness or living paycheck-to-paycheck. So, at Destination: Home, we have been focused on doing everything we can to support these vulnerable households during the crisis.
Continuum of Care Board
From 2013 to 2018, Destination: Home served as the local Continuum of Care Board, a designation mandated by the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009 (federal legislation). In this role Destination: Home worked with local and federal governments, and homelessness service providers to coordinate approximately $16 million in annual funding from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), set community priorities and goals, and lead efforts to implement and maintain coordinated assessment and homeless management information systems (HMIS), and performance outcomes. Destination: Home continues to work closely with the Continuum of Care and the County of Santa Clara Office of Supportive Housing.
A partner in the national 100,000 Homes campaign, Housing 1000 was a three-year campaign to house 1,000 of our community’s most vulnerable chronically homeless men, women and families. Destination: Home served as the backbone organization for this collective impact model, bringing together homelessness service providers, public funders and strategic partners around a set of common metrics and outcomes. When the campaign ended in 2014, our community had housed 850 homeless men, women, and their families, with approximately 83 percent remaining stably housed.
The success of the initiative led to formal adoption of the Housing First approach by the Continuum of Care and throughout the community, more than $1 billion in new funding commitments, including the County of Santa Clara 2016 Measure A Affordable Housing Bond, rapid re-housing funds from the City of San Jose, “Housing Choice” vouchers from the Santa Clara County Housing Authority, and creation of a County of Santa Clara permanent supportive housing fund.
Destination: Home launched the Housing Stability and Wellness Grants Program in February 2016 to encourage service providers to implement programs that embrace the Housing First approach and increase housing stability, wellness, and meaningful daily activity for clients participating in permanent supportive housing programs.
In Santa Clara County, approximately 7,500 people are without a home on any given night. Of those, 2,500 are considered chronically homeless. The solution is simple: permanent, sustainable housing with resources designed to ensure people are able to stay in their homes. This approach is called “Housing First”.
Housing First is a nationally recognized, evidence-based approach. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the Housing First approach ends homelessness by providing people experiencing homelessness with housing as quickly as possible, and then providing supportive services to meet individual needs. The Housing First approach includes: helping individuals and families access and sustain permanent housing as quickly as possible, and without time limits; and services to promote housing stability and individual well-being on an as-needed basis.
The Santa Clara County Continuum of Care (CoC) funds two types of permanent housing: permanent supportive housing (PSH) for persons with disabilities and rapid re-housing (RRH). Permanent supportive housing provides permanent, ongoing housing support paired with supportive services to assist formerly homeless persons with a disability (including families with an adult or child member with a disability) achieve housing stability. For long-term stability and quality of life, supportive services help increase housing stability, wellness, and promote meaningful daily activities.
Rapid re-housing is a critical part of a community’s effective homelessness crisis response system. Rapid re-housing connects families and individuals experiencing homelessness to permanent housing through an individualized package of assistance that may include the use of time-limited financial assistance and targeted supportive services, including paths to employment. Rapid re-housing programs help families and individuals living on the streets or in emergency shelters solve the practical and immediate challenges to obtaining permanent housing while reducing the amount of time they experience homelessness, avoiding a near-term return to homelessness, and linking to community resources that enable them to achieve housing stability in the long-term.
For more information about supportive housing, the Housing First approach and other elements of our community’s work to prevent and end homelessness, read the Community Plan, check out the County of Santa Clara Housing Ready Community’s Toolkit, and sign-up and take action with our own Housing Ready Communities initiative.