A Long-Term Solution to End Homelessness
Homelessness is not an identity, it’s a circumstance. Just ask Odessa, a mother with two sets of twins who found herself in a shelter after experiencing domestic violence. Odessa was determined to be stable again and not let the experience define her. Or, talk to Jeff, a former U.S. Marine who endured a lay off and piling medical bills that left him, his wife and son without a home. Channeling his military background, he refused to give up. Today, Odessa and Jeff and hundreds of other individuals have left homelessness behind them and are thriving with full time employment and housing for their families through Shelters to Shutters.
Innovative Private Industry Partnership:
Shelters to Shutters (S2S) works with individuals experiencing situational homelessness to provide them with full time employment and housing opportunities with apartment companies. The National Apartment Association (NAA) estimates that the United States needs to increase its number of apartments by at least 4.6 million by 2030 in order to meet the growing populations’ needs. But there is a gap in the industry workforce—a massive shortage of skilled individuals is causing a high demand for quality employees. S2S identified this gap and the untapped potential in so many people who are ready for work but overlooked by typical hiring agencies due to the stigma associated with homelessness. S2S currently partners with 37 apartment companies to fill their open positions with high-quality, motivated employees. Once hired, S2S participants move to an affordable discounted apartment on-site and receive case management services to provide additional support on their path back to economic self-sufficiency.
Since its founding in 2014, S2S and its apartment industry partners have moved more than 260 people out of homelessness in markets throughout the South, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, and Northeast. 87 percent of S2S's participants retain employment and 89 percent go on to receive wage increases and promotions. Homelessness ultimately disappears as lives are changed: a whopping 93 percent of S2S participants never re-enter homeless services again.