The work we do sometimes takes us to the darker side of a homeless help system which officially presents itself as functioning according to a much happier and healthier script for those it’s intended to serve.
Two weeks ago we were led, via a contact with a homeless woman who had been referred to a local halfway house upon her release from a local psychiatric hospital, to one such place. It is a halfway house whose name must now remain anonymous as an investigative piece by a local reporter exposing this institution is now in the works. Another story on failures in the Housing First system also is in the works from another local journalist.
Housing First is a federally funded program intended to provide permanent supportive housing plus vital services for the most at-risk chronically homeless individuals to be found on our streets. It was implemented two years ago in the city of Fort Lauderdale with much fanfare. Recently it was exposed that the program’s housing provider, the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Lauderdale, had been overcharging the funding provider, the County, on rents. Subsequently, the city had to repay over $60K to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which agency also called out the county for its serious oversight failure. The rent overcharges are but part of that story, all of which will soon be revealed.
For now, we’ll simply note that serious failures in Broward County’s discharge planning and Housing First systems are about to have their covers pulled. October 22nd Alliance was instrumental in making both of these exposures. Stay tuned!