By Deborah De Santis, President and CEO of CSH (Corporation for Supportive Housing)
Our highly successful CSH Summit: Supportive Housing Innovations has come to a close. After three intense and inspirational days in Chicago, we are convinced we are even better positioned to bring supportive housing to many more people who need it.
It is clear supportive housing will continue to grow and adapt. It is enlightening to learn just how far our partners are going to transform the traditional view of supportive housing, pushing envelopes to ensure housing and services meet the needs of our most vulnerable populations.
Here are some of the highlights and main takeaways:
• There is very high enthusiasm for supportive housing among the nearly 700 leaders attending the Summit. They have a strong sense most decision-makers know about supportive housing, what it is, and its effectiveness as a solution to ending and preventing chronic homelessness and addressing the needs of other vulnerable populations.
• To ensure the future success of supportive housing, participants at the Summit felt more federal and state funding; coordination and streamlining of new and existing resources; and promoting quality and consistency in supportive housing models should be priorities.
• There is substantial interest in Social Impact Bond/ Pay for Success financing to fund the creation of supportive housing. Participants viewed this as a promising tool with the potential to generate investment flexibility for communities and providers creating supportive housing.
• The integration of housing and healthcare services will continue to dominate discussions as we look for ways to maximize supportive housing since housing is a social determinant of health.
• A growing body of evidence is suggesting fragile and struggling families can benefit from supportive housing.
• The challenge now is not only to convince others of the efficacy of supportive housing, but to bring it to scale.