HAPHousing Programs and Services:
Growing Assistance for Homeless Families
Unfortunately, in these tough economic times, the number of local homeless families continues to climb. At HAPHousing, we understand that many families live on the brink of homelessness every day, and that to avoid permanent or recurring homelessness, they need more than just a place to sleep. That is why HAPHousing offers specialized and comprehensive assistance for families, including paths to permanent housing, programs for young pregnant or parenting women, and support services for survivors of domestic violence.
For information on programs that can help families avoid becoming homeless, including the program known as RAFT, click here.
In 2011 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts implemented a new approach to assisting families at risk of becoming homeless. HomeBASE offers an alternative to shelter and provides time-limited assistance designed to provide a housing solution for families who are at serious risk of homelessness rather than going into a shelter or motel. HAPHousing is the primary HomeBASE provider in Hampden and Hampshire Counties and has contracts with the state to provide prevention, temporary accommodations, re-housing and stabilization services. For more information on eligibility, click here.
Rapid Re-Housing Program: HAPHousing leases 46 scattered site apartments that are used as temporary housing for homeless families. In line with state policy, HAPHousing's approach emphasizes permanent housing and support instead of shelter. HAPHousing's rapid re-housing initiatives move families from shelter units and motels into affordable permanent housing as soon as possible, and then provides 18 months of follow-up support.
Prospect House Shelter for Families: After serving as a congregate shelter for homeless families for more than 25 years, Prospect House in Springfield is now part of HAPHousing's Rapid Re-Housing Program.
To access emergency shelter, Prospect House, HomeBASE or the Rapid Re-Housing Program, all families must be referred by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development through the local offices of the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA).
For more information on DTA office locations, click here.
HAPHousing’s goal is to help homeless families obtain appropriate permanent housing as quickly as possible. Homeless families may receive direct financial assistance such as help with a security deposit, first and last month's rent and/or a time-limited minimal rental stipend. They also receive comprehensive supportive services to help them maximize their income and overcome any barriers to successful housing search. Stabilization services help ensure that they transition to permanent housing with the skills and supports they need to avoid future homelessness.
In transitional housing, families who have been homeless continue to receive supportive services while living in their own apartments for 18 to 24 months. HAPHousing has two transitional housing programs described below. For more information on transitional housing or to make a referral to one of these programs, contact Janette Vigo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-233-1635.
Turning Point: This program serves nine pregnant and/or parenting young women (generally 18 to 22) in Holyoke. Referrals come from a variety of partner agencies, including the Care Center, DTA and DCF.
Safe Step: Safe Step serves survivors of domestic violence in various locations. Families are referred by a variety of partner agencies, including domestic violence shelters, the Massachusetts Department of Families and Children and DTA. If you are experiencing domestic violence, please call 911 police emergency or 413-733-7100 for the YWCA Abuse & Rape Crisis Hotline immediately, day or night.