Field Guide to Ending Homelessness by GRACE Marketplace

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field guide

to ending homelessness by GRACE Marketplace

this guide belongs to:

field guide to ending homelessness

how to use this guide By now, we all know that homelessness, in all its forms, can be ended when we set up programs and policies designed to fit the needs of the people who need them most. The evidence is there - a 47% reduction in local homelessness since 2014, a 69% decrease in the number of people living on the street and in the woods, and record numbers of people being moved into housing every day. The species presented in this guide outreach teams, low-barrier shelter, permanent housing programs, volunteers, and more - comprise the ecosystem of GRACE’s respectful, effective model of service delivery, all shown in their natural habitats. Since 2014, we’ve worked to help our community - housed and unhoused alike - thrive, despite a critical shortage of affordable housing and a global pandemic. This guide is designed to show you how we do what we do, and how you can support GRACE’s impact and our mission to end homelessness. Together, we can keep this momentum and move toward a more just world, one where everyone has a safe place to call home.

Jon DeCarmine Executive Director

P.S. Thanks in advance for your generous support. We can't end homelessness without YOU! Your donation ensures we continue getting people off the street and back into housing.

field guide to ending homelessness

partner agencies

low-barrier shelter volunteers

community care team + housing programs


TH 39




street outreach

animal welfare E CH AR




ary ge shows the prim the map on each pa found ese species can be location where th


café 131

2021 impact since January 2021: 425 people housed

105,000 meals served

3,127 people served

2021 plac ements by programs: 171 GRACE land shel ter 21 Veter an shelter 164 Diver sion prog ram 42 Stree t outreach 27 Digni ty Villag e+ housing p rograms

10,871 volunteer hours

117,763 services provided

since 2014:


reduction in homelessness


one-year housing retention rate

1,960 859,640 17,376

people housed meals served people served


street outreach habitat:

Downtown Gainesville, surrounding areas, overpasses, streets, camps

supplies: focus:

Backpacks, coffee, toiletries, tablets

Housing placement + relationship building


42 people housed in 2021; Dignity Village and fire station camps closed with no arrests and 160+ people moved into housing; 69% reduction in unsheltered homelessness from 2014-2021

STREET OUTREACH brings the best of GRACE services to people who can't, or won't, use other services. Out on the streets six days a week, this team uses best practices to deliver services to people where they are and connect them to housing by building rapport, exploring options, and providing much-needed services and supplies. This year, our team has connected with 206 people on the street and in the woods. Of these, 42 have been moved into permanent housing. Another 30 have left downtown and moved into shelter programs. Overall, that's a 35% reduction in downtown homelessness in less than a year. We've also established a referral process with local law enforcement to ensure that homelessness is treated like a housing issue, and not a criminal issue.

it costs On average, d someone's $1,500 to en s when they homelessnes downtown, are living rst + last including fi ty t and securi month's ren



street outreach Doug & Marty Doug and his dog, Marty, had been living on the corner of University Avenue and Main Street for over a year when members of our outreach team met them in early May. The home Doug had lived in had become uninhabitable due to mold, and he ended up on the street after repeated attempts to get the landlord to address the issue. Doug had income, but he used most of his money trying to help other people on the street survive. He knew he didn’t want to be on the street anymore, but wasn’t sure how to move forward. GRACE was able to take Doug around to look at apartments and find one he liked, then paid the move-in costs and a small past-due utility balance. After more than a year on the street, Doug moved into housing seven days after the outreach team first met him. His story shows that while the solutions may be simple, they often require a team of advocates to help navigate the complexity of issues people without housing face every day. And in the end, we found that the financial piece was just a part of the solution. The real work was finding ways to motivate Doug by helping him believe that he deserved housing and a better life.

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community care team habitat: Apartments throughout Alachua County

supplies: Moving van, cleaning supplies, toilet paper

focus: Housing stability

outcomes: In the first six months of this program, 98% of the 63 people working with this team remain stably housed, compared to 90% of people living without this support

THE COMMUNITY CARE TEAM blends housing support and case management services to make sure newly housed people have the tools and resources they need to keep their housing. They meet regularly with people to make sure small problems don’t become big ones, and extend the support someone receives in shelter to the first 12-18 months in housing.

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housing programs habitat: Apartments throughout Alachua County

supplies: Case notes, best practices, affordable housing

focus: Housing stability

outcomes: Our permanent housing programs help more than 60 people end their homelessness every year

HOUSING PROGRAMS support at least 60 of the most vulnerable members of the homeless community through our rapid- and permanent housing units throughout the County every year. The Housing Team works with participants to take them from the street or the shelter and move them directly into housing, then provides the social and financial support needed to keep them from becoming homeless again. Programs like this save the community $25,000 per year, per person, by eliminating public costs of incarceration and hospitalization often associated with long-term homelessness. Grants cov er the upfr ont costs to move peo ple into th ese programs, but it cost s another $250 to mak e a house i n to a home, and another $250 for ba sic furniture. Our "House warming Baskets" in clude clea ning supplies, sh ower curta ins, pots and pans, si lverware, and more


low-barrier shelter habitat:

GRACE Campus, NE Gainesville

supplies: focus:

146 beds, blankets, toiletries, case management

Housing placement


GRACE's shelter programs (for men, women, couples, and veterans) have ended homelessness for 171 people so far this year. On average, it takes 43 days from the time someone arrives to get them into housing. Only one of every 10 people housed returns to homelessness within a year. Our veteran shelter is one of the highest-performing shelters in North Florida and South Georgia LOW-BARRIER SHELTERS eliminate the requirements for entry that keep people from getting the help they need. We don’t require ID, a perfect background, income, sobriety, or participation in services that aren’t related to housing. Instead, these issues become the first things we focus on when someone enters the shelter. Local residents are prioritized for beds, but at the end of the day, anyone can get the help they need, when and how they need it. Low-barrier doesn’t mean “no rules.” Instead, our campus expectations align with our core values: safety, impact, and respect. We encourage, but don’t require, participation in supportive services. The only true requirement is that guests work with us to end their homelessness as quickly as possible.


café 131 habitat: GRACE Campus, NE Gainesville

supplies: Pots, pans, spatulas, volunteers

focus: Providing warm, healthy meals

outcomes: Café 131 provides about 135,000 meals a year to people with nowhere else to eat, and trains 50 people a year to work in local restaurants through our culinary training program

CAFÉ 131 is the heartbeat of our one-stop service campus, providing more than 135,000 meals a year on campus and stocking the pantries of the 500 people we move into housing each year. Our culinary training program has helped more than 30 people get - and keep - jobs, with 75% of graduates holding on to those jobs for at least nine months. The café is also the centerpiece of our volunteer program. Volunteers have provided more than $2.5 million of time to prepare and serve almost a million meals since 2014. We can’t wait to welcome our meal groups back in early 2022!

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animal services habitat:

GRACE Campus, NE Gainesville

supplies: focus:

Pet food, leashes, veterinary care, pet deposits

Maintaining the human-animal connection


In the first two years of this program, 75 animal owners (and 55 dogs, 18 cats, one bird, and one rabbit) have entered shelter together. 30 pet owners have been housed, and 97% remain housed a year later. Spay/neuter services have been provided to 45 animals through project partners

GRACE'S ANIMAL SERVICES guarantee that no one has to choose between staying with their pets or getting the help they need. This demonstration project, funded by the Wagmore Foundation, ensures animals and their owners can access shelter, veterinary care, and housing services. Participants receive specialized case management and accommodation in an effort that has received national recognition from the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Project components include fenced dog runs, a dog park, a kennel, and a cat room.


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partner agencies habitat: GRACE Campus, gardens, medical clinic, pharmacy

supplies: Computers, shovels, vaccines

focus: Supportive services

outcomes: Improved physical and mental health, overall wellbeing, and access to supportive services

PARTNER AGENCIES work with GRACE to provide nearly 10,000 services a year to our guests. From physical and mental healthcare to help with food stamps, identification, and birth certificates, folks can get what they need at the GRACE campus. Partner agencies provide free medical care, legal assistance, veteran services, crisis counseling, women's health services, and more! Together, these partner agencies support our marketplace model by making GRACE a true one-stop center while allowing our team to focus on what we do best: housing!

: ices offered Other serv ntial t (free esse Hygiene Hu s) hygiene item othing) que (free cl GRACE Bouti ices Laundry serv b la Computer Space Women's Safe er shelter Severe weath care Veterinary


volunteers habitat: Café 131, GRACE boutique, hygiene hut, donation center

supplies: Bedding, linens, blankets, meals, toiletries

focus: Connecting with, and supporting, our guests

outcomes: More than 1,000 volunteers each year donate over $600,000 of time every year



are where some of the best people in the community go to help. Kind, humble, and passionate (and a bit of a motley crew), you can find our volunteers in the Cafe, in the gardens, or working behind the scenes as the unsung heroes of the GRACE community. Whether they are preparing and serving meals, baking cookies for our outreach team to deliver, restocking supplies, or sorting donations, you can find volunteers at the heart of all of our programs.


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ENDANGERED SPECIES ALERT: AFFORDABLE HOUSING For these programs to succeed, they need strong leadership, adequate resources, and trauma-informed approaches to service delivery. But to truly thrive, they require a resource that is in short supply in our community: affordable housing. Homelessness is a housing problem, but it’s also a math problem: If wages or other income don’t add up to more than the cost of housing, people become homeless. Florida’s minimum wage is $10/hour, or just over $20,000 annually for a full-time worker. In general, renters should pay no more than 30% of their income for housing to be considered affordable. But for people making less than 30% of our area median income, they pay more than twice that - about 62% of total income goes toward housing costs.

Beyond that, many affordable housing programs fail to help the people who need them most. First-time homebuyer programs typically target people making $50,000-$60,000 a year, but minimum wage earners would have to work almost three full-time jobs just to meet that criteria. Only housing ends homelessness. But as we try to get more and more people into fewer and fewer affordable units, we’re running out of places where people can actually afford to live. Help us protect this critical habitat by ensuring elected officials know that you support affordable housing in our community, targeting the people who need it most.

The Shimberg Ce nter for Housing Studies at the University of Fl orida reports that ther e are 116 available, afford able housing units fo r every 100 people making 80 % of area median income (ab out $37,000). But for people making only 30% of area median income, th ere are only about 30 af fordable units available for every 100 renters