In 2017, a collaboration of nonprofit providers in Marin, with support from the County of Marin, Marin Community Foundation, and the City of San Rafael, launched a Housing First approach to homelessness in Marin. Housing First is an evidence-based practice that treats housing as the solution for homelessness and focuses on removing the system and personal barriers that prevent a person from being housed. Studies have shown that Housing First is significantly more effective in the short and long term over other approaches. Over the last two years, we have housed over 170 chronically homeless individuals with a 93% retention rate.
Marin County’s service coalition and the County have joined over 80 other communities around the country in prioritizing an end to chronic and veteran homelessness. Utilizing practices that are working in communities like Marin’s, we have created a new coordinated approach (“coordinated entry”) that identifies the most vulnerable persons in the homeless community. Working together, we help remove the system barriers and work to get those individuals directly into permanent supportive housing, where they are supported with intensive wraparound services. The results so far speak for themselves.