One Roof’s Accomplishments and Upcoming Projects

As many of you know, One Roof’s mission is equipping and empowering our community to prevent and end homelessness through advocacy, education, and coordination of services. This year, One Roof has resolved to further our mission by publicizing our accomplishments and increasing awareness of our goals and upcoming projects.

2013 was a busy year for One Roof and we’re quite proud of what we accomplished:

  • We successfully competed for and secured the nearly $9 million Continuum of Care grant that funds many of the supportive housing programs in our area, equipping agencies in central Alabama to prevent and end homelessness. Since 2005, we have seen a nearly 40% reduction in people experiencing homelessness on any given night due to housing initiatives like the supportive housing projects funded through the Continuum of Care grant.
  • In addition to our regularly scheduled Homelessness 101 workshops, we offered a Transgender 101 workshop to answer the call of case workers, social workers, and other representatives from our member agencies who’ve repeatedly expressed that they want to know more about the issues facing transgender individuals experiencing homelessness. To read more about this workshop and One Roof’s efforts to ensure safe spaces for all persons experiencing homelessness in our area, click here.
  • We partnered with YouthServe to launch Birmingham’s first ever Cardboard Connect.  This overnight event raised young people’s awareness of homelessness in Birmingham and benefitted Project Homeless Connect. Youth who attended played awareness games, gained knowledge of the barriers to housing stability, learned about the good work of homeless service providers in Birmingham, collected hygiene products to give at Project Homeless Connect, and were empowered to share this experience with their community. Be sure to like us on Facebook and check out photos from this event.
  • We collaborated with the City of Birmingham, Hands on Birmingham, and the United Way of Central Alabama for our city’s 6th annual Project Homeless Connect. In 2013, PHC provided more than 780 clients with legal, medical, vision, dental, state ID, Social Security card, and other services, all free of charge. Many of our guests at PHC were clients of member agencies, and we are proud that we can provide this service that takes place on one day, in one place, to make permanent housing attainable for so many in our area.
  • We improved how we conduct Point in Time, our annual census of persons experiencing homelessness in our area. We performed a complete grid search of the downtown area, visiting every single street on the Northside and Southside. We also expanded into neighborhoods not previously covered by the Point in Time survey. This work allowed us to better understand our homeless population and the information gathered will help us better serve persons experiencing homelessness in our area.
  • We partnered with students from UAB’s Inter-professional Global Health Service Learning program to pilot a vulnerability survey in our emergency shelters: Firehouse, First Light, and Salvation Army. We surveyed over 150 persons seeking emergency shelter about physical and mental health conditions. The information we gathered will allow us to better identify gaps in services and better serve those experiencing homelessness in our area.

One Roof has planned some very exciting goals and projects to help us further our mission in 2014:

  • In this year’s Point-in-Time Count (January 22-23, 2014), we will incorporate questions related to medical vulnerability that will help us to better understand and plan for the health needs of those experiencing homelessness in our community. We’ll also pass out I Count! stickers to show persons experiencing homelessness in our area that they are seen and heard, that their experiences matter and we are working to better serve them. The stickers will help make the survey a more positive experience, minimizing repeated interviews and reducing duplication of data. Learn more about this event and volunteer here.
  • We will continue our collaboration with YouthServe, the City of Birmingham, HandsOn Birmingham, and the United Way to host our 2nd annual Cardboard Connect (March 8-9, 2014) and our 7th annual Project Homeless Connect (April 5, 2014).
  • One Roof will partner with the Alabama Department of Corrections to incorporate the SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach Access and Recovery) principles in the prison re-entry process. We are confident that this effort can help to prevent homelessness after release and reduce recidivism for those inmates that become participants with One Roof’s SOAR program. In our 2013 Point in Time count, we found that 86 of 1,259 homeless individuals in our area have a disability and reported recent incarceration. Of those 86, 36 (42%) became homeless within one week of their release, and 48 (60%) became homeless within six months. Our efforts will lessen these numbers and prevent and end homelessness for an entire subpopulation.
  • We will complete a set of Continuum of Care Policies and Procedures. Developing CoC Policies and Procedures will improve the utilization of best practices, allow One Roof to practice utmost transparency in everything we do as a CoC, and give us a governing document that assures our funders that we use their money to the best benefit of the client.

We at One Roof have an exciting and busy year ahead of us. Please consider making a donation here to support our efforts to prevent and end homelessness in our area, and be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and keep up with our blog.

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