“This grant from the Florida Blue Foundation is a significant boon to The Solution That Saves,” said Shannon Nazworth, executive director of Ability Housing. “It is being leveraged with several other sources to fund a three-year state pilot that will provide critical data necessary to inform state policy. The Solution That Saves could result in significant systems changes that will enable more people to exit homelessness and others to live independently within the community.”
Nazworth says the pilot will evaluate the health and quality of life consequences on the individuals served as well as the utilization of publicly funded systems of care.
The Solution That Saves will serve an estimated 70 to 90 homeless adults in Duval County who have very low incomes, chronic behavioral and/or physical health problems, and are frequent users of crisis health services.
Pilot participants will receive access to stable housing, adequate healthcare and public benefits (like Social Security and Medicaid), along with case management services and transportation to access care. Because of their access to affordable and nontraditional health services, it’s hoped those served will be able to avoid preventable hospitalizations, reduce their use of emergency room and crisis services, maintain stable housing, and become productive.
Ability Housing’s model combines affordable housing and individualized supportive services, and is a widely recognized national best practice for ending homelessness and helping adults with disabilities to live independently.
No word on where the homeless adults will be housed. Ability Housing has received strong pushback for another initiative to house disabled and homeless veterans in Springfield.
Florida, meanwhile, is making headlines this week as one of the least affordable states in the nation for rental housing, demonstrating the need for these types of programs, Nazworth says.