10:45 AM – 12 PM

Salon 7/8

Operating a Low Barrier Crisis Response System

Federal as well as state and local dollars are now shifting to a low barrier philosophy with the goal of making homelessness rare, brief, and one-time; resolving a person’s homeless episode as quickly as possible. However, non-HUD funded interventions may be late implementing these best practices. Transitioning to a low barrier system is now a common requirement for direct service providers within Homeless Continuum of Care networks, and this service and engagement strategy has enhanced how we serve all people experiencing homelessness. Removing housing readiness requirements and providing immediate access to shelter or housing without preconditions creates a foundation for a person to begin recovering from the trauma that accompanies homelessness and allows consumers to identify their own next steps. Many times, housing and service providers put up barriers and mandate services that end up slowing down the system and screening out the most vulnerable. In this session, we discuss HUD’s shift to a low-barrier, housing focused strategy, and the challenges that arise when all homeless system interventions fail to align with low barrier philosophies.