COLUMBUS, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With officials expecting dramatic increases in homelessness due to COVID-19’s economic fallout and the expiration of the federal eviction moratorium two weeks ago, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation has granted $100,000 to Community Shelter Board. The grant will accelerate CSB’s rapid re-housing efforts in Central Ohio and is part of a $2 million overall commitment from Anthem Foundation to support Ohio communities through COVID-19.
Since the start of COVID-19, more than 2,000 families have faced eviction in Greater Columbus and experts are expecting that number to dramatically increase by the end of the year.
“Helping families find a place to call home as quickly as possible is the best way to keep them healthy and safe during a pandemic,” said Michelle Heritage, executive director for Community Shelter Board. “We have an effective model to address homelessness and we know what works. The Anthem Foundation’s investment will help us reach even more families facing homelessness.”
Rapid rehousing has emerged as an effective solution to homelessness in cities across the country. At Community Shelter Board, the model involves three key steps:
- Immediate Shelter and Case Management: CSB oversees two shelters to provide a safe and secure place for families. Here, case managers begin working with people to address short-term needs and quickly move toward longer-term housing
- Re-housing: CSB works with local landlords to quickly secure safe, affordable, stable housing for people experiencing homelessness. The program also offers participants short-term assistance with rent, moving costs and other challenges.
- Counseling and Case Management for Long-Term Success: Once people are in safe housing, CSB provides continued case management to address barriers to long-term independent living. This assistance is customized to the family or individual case, but often includes assistance with employment, child care, medical and behavioral health care, education and other community-based services.
Rapid re-housing has proven remarkably successful in breaking the cycle of homelessness. Of the 8,000 households CSB has re-housed and stabilized in the last five years, 80 percent achieved independent stable housing. The model is far more cost effective than short-term shelters and greatly reduces the harmful effects on children, where the impact of life without a home is particularly devastating. Kids experiencing homelessness are four times more likely to have developmental delays, twice as likely to repeat a grade in school, and almost three times as likely to suffer from anxiety, depression or withdrawal.
“Targeted investments in rapid re-housing, and other programs that break down barriers to health and equality, are the key to helping our communities recover from the pandemic,” said Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio Medical Director Tiffany Inglis, M.D. “We know it’s hard right now for so many people and Anthem always has and always will support our communities. We’ll get through this together.”
About Community Shelter Board
Community Shelter Board leads a coordinated, community effort to make sure everyone has a place to call home. We drive strategy, accountability, collaboration, and resources to achieve the best outcomes for people facing homelessness in Columbus and Franklin County, Ohio. Their system of care serves approximately 15,000 people every year with homelessness prevention, street outreach, emergency shelter, rapid re-housing, and permanent supportive housing programs.
About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation
Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Anthem’s commitment to improving lives and communities. Through strategic partnerships and programs, the Foundation addresses the social drivers that will help create a healthier generation of Americans in communities that the company serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on critical initiatives that make up its Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets: maternal health, diabetes prevention, cancer prevention, heart health and healthy, active lifestyles, behavioral health efforts and programs that benefit people with disabilities. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Dollars for Dollars program which provides a 100 percent match of associates’ donations, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. To learn more about the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, please visit http://www.anthem.foundation and its blog at https://medium.com/anthemfoundation.