HHSI collaborating to build short and long term strategy to increase housing opportunities

Quad Cities making progress to end winter homelessness!

Following a November 2018 emergency meeting called by HHSI to ensure the Quad Cities winter emergency shelter opens on time, the QC Housing Cluster (QCHC) convened a visioning meeting in January 2019. HHSI managed the winter emergency shelter serving 386 persons - - in addition to the 70 plus persons who sought emergency shelter on a daily basis at the year round HHSI shelter.

Over 70 community leaders representing local government agencies, community organizations, QC Chamber members and faith leaders participated in the QCHC visioning meeting. We were challenged to answer the question, "What are the opportunities and challenges to eliminate the shortage of affordable housing in the Quad Cities and ensure all residents have access to safe and decent housing without being cost-burdened?"  There are approximately 16,500 QC households* earning extremely low incomes - - $21,970.00 and less - -  who are either cost - burdened or severely cost - burdened - - paying more than 50% of their income on housing. No household of any income level should spend more than 30% of their monthly income on their housing.

Ideas, goals and dreams were put on paper. From that meeting two smaller working groups developed. Christie Adamson, HHSI Assistant Director, is chairing the short-term working group to ensure the winter emergency shelter opens this year. They are also working on a 5 year plan to improve homeless services and expand affordable housing units in order to eliminate the need for the winter emergency shelter in 5 years. Ashley Velez, HHSI Executive Director and Ryan Bobst, HHSI Grants Manager, are serving on the long term planning group with a different set of community leaders. 

The long range planning group is exploring a comprehensive and holistic approach to preserving and expanding affordable housing options for QC residents with extremely low incomes. The group is considering a combination of policy recommendations, expanding services, and innovative options to increase affordable housing units throughout the greater Quad Cities area. 

HHSI believes housing is a human right. For thirty years (1990 – 2020) Humility Homes and Services has been helping shape community-based solutions to end homelessness in the Quad Cities. This particular initiative is very exciting in that it includes multiple sectors of our community! We know families are stronger, neighborhoods are safer, and communities are more vibrant when everyone has a place to call home. Stay tuned!

(2015 Rock Island County and Scott County, National Low Income Housing Coalition)