Homelessness could look quite different in the Fredericksburg Region in the next few months. 

      A large flow of CoVid-19 relief funds has equipped local homeless service providers with the resources to stabilize most of the current homeless population in permanent housing. 

      This does not mean that homelessness will become non-existent, but the state funding announcement issued Friday will help move approximately 95 households in a short amount of time.  
      Since 2008, the Fredericksburg Regional Continuum of Care has been housing people out of shelters and off the street using a model called rapid re-housing. Rapid re-housing means finding an available apartment and proving financial assistance and case management until the household can reach independence. A shared housing locator helps find units on behalf of Micah, Hope House, Empowerhouse and Thurman Brisben. 

       With the volume of resources historically available to Fredericksburg service providers, our community moves an average of 78 households per year from homelessness to permanent housing. This approach has a demonstrated success rate of 81% not returning to homelessness within two years of exiting the program. 

       While the latest infusion of resources will allow our community to serve more people, there is concern among homeless service providers that we will not be able to find enough units to move everyone quickly enough. 

      Many of the units in the target price range ($1100 or less) and owned by landlords with a tolerance for the unique needs of the homeless population are still full with many of the people our community has housed over the years. This speaks to the huge success of housing efforts in our community, but it doesn’t give us a lot of answers in finding new units in a short period of time. We need new landlords and housing options to place homeless households in the next several months. 

      If our community can move people out of homelessness as quickly as we are now resourced to do so, it will be an incredible win for those experiencing housing crisis; and our region will be an example across the state and possibly the country of how a community can care for its neighbors.

     If you are a landlord or know someone who is, please consider connecting them with our housing locator to discuss partnership opportunities. 

Josie Ramos serves as Housing Locator for the Fredericksburg Regional Continuum of Care. That means when people become homeless in our community, no matter which agency is caring for them, she helps them find a willing landlord and an available apartment. If you or someone you know owns rental property and would like to learn more about the stable homes partnership, contact Josie. Tenants come with community support, pay fair market rent and have an 81% success rate

Josie Ramos, [email protected]