Celebrating Bridges to Housing

On Monday, July 9, we celebrated the release of the Final Evaluation Report from Portland State University’s Regional Research Institute for Bridges to Housing. We met together to celebrate this momentous occasion with the Regional Steering Committee, as well as many other partners including service and housing providers, Coordinating Team members, jurisdictional staff, and elected officials at the NW Natural headquarters, thanks to our NP Board Member, Bruce Dobbs.

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When we began the project, the goal was always to raise private Foundation dollars to implement the Bridges to Housing model, evaluate the model for success, and if it was successful with families, work to incorporate the model into County services for homeless families. The Bridges to Housing model includes permanently affordable housing, intensive case management, and a focus on the children as well as the adults.

Over the years, Portland State University has conducted a thorough evaluation of the project and its success, and on July 9, the final evaluation report was issued. Some highlights include helping families make progress in housing stability, safety, child well being, and progress towards stability. You can read the latest evaluation report here, or view previous evaluation reports here.

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Bridges to Housing has also received much national interest and recognition. In 2012, the project was named a “Promising Practice” for homeless families by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The report is available here.

As Bridges to Housing moves into the future, each of the Counties involved in the project – Clackamas, Clark, Multnomah and Washington – have made ongoing commitments to include this program in its continuum of services for homeless families.

It’s not quite goodbye for us, though. Neighborhood Partnerships will be continuing to administer some of the County funds involved with the project through June, 2013. We also continue to work on many of the issues that impact families in Bridges to Housing, including strengthening family support services such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and employment and child care supports to help parents return to work.