Innovation

  1. Combining Multiple Funding Sources – Traditionally, housing and service funding are not offered together. In order for Hearth Connection to deliver supportive housing, we gather a complex variety of housing and service grants, then create a simple funding package for agencies to work with and house participants.lightbulb

  2. Services Without Borders – Normally, people can only access services if they stay within a certain geography--specific cities, counties, etc. Hearth Connection's projects serve people across county and COC (HUD Continuum of Care) lines in Minnesota to prevent a return to homelessness.

  3. “All Hands on Deck”– Without collaboration, Hearth Connection would not succeed. In order for us to end long-term homelessness, we need to partner with local nonprofits, tribal bands, counties, state agencies, federal programs, hospitals, health plans, and legislative representatives.

  4. Sticky Services - Before enrolling in the Hearth Connection program, many participants cycled in and out of shelters and housing programs. Hearth Connection’s service model ensures that providers will continue to work with the participant through challenging situations, including loss of housing.

  5. Co-Pilot – Hearth Connection began as a pilot program testing a new intervention for chronic homelessness. In order to measure and improve our effectiveness, we created an online database to gather data on participant demographics, housing, income and functionality.

  6. Flexible Caseloads - Hearth Connection started with an intensive service model where providers were expected to meet with participants at least once a week. As participants stabilized and improved their functioning, providers were finding that participants didn’t need to meet as often. In response, Hearth Connection developed a tiered service level system to better meet participant needs and maximize efficiency of services.

  7. Supported Independence – Some participants improve functionality to a point where they only need services if crises arise. Hearth Connection created the “Supported Independence” (SI) service level, where participants can contact case managers if they need them, but they still have housing assistance and quarterly data gathering appointments. Learn more about SI on our blog.

  8. Connecting systems - People experiencing homelessness come in contact with many public systems (shelters, hospitals, social services), and the effectiveness of these services relies on them working together.  By bridging these systems and breaking down the silos of housing, supportive services, and health care, this integrated approach improves outcomes for public systems and the people they serve.