(a) There is established within the Department of Human Services (“Department”) a Homeless Prevention Program (“Program”) to conduct community outreach and provide services to families at risk of becoming homeless.
(b) The Department may contract or enter into a grant agreement with a qualified community-based nonprofit corporation, organization, or consortia of organizations, with offices located in the District, to operate the Program. The Department shall establish the criteria that an entity must meet to be selected to operate the Program. If the Department is unable to contract or enter into a grant agreement with an outside entity that meets the specified criteria, or determines it to not be in the best interest of the District, the Department shall operate the Program.
(c) The Program shall be administered by the Department in consultation with the Interagency Council on Homelessness.
(d) The Program shall:
(1) Use an evidence-based assessment and evaluation method to target and identify families most at risk of becoming homeless;
(2) Connect individuals and families at risk of becoming homeless with housing and financial assistance programs that provide short- and long-term assistance to allow households to remain in their current housing situation, if appropriate;
(3) Have multiple locations in communities identified as being at-risk of homelessness;
(4) Conduct educational campaigns and outreach to inform District residents about the services available to prevent homelessness;
(5) Conduct family or tenant-landlord mediation to assist families in remaining in their current housing situation or provide referrals to other organizations that can provide this assistance, if appropriate;
(6) Provide classes in skills critical to maintaining housing, including household budgeting, financial management, and financial literacy, or provide referrals to other organizations that can provide this assistance;
(7) Provide job training and placement referrals to employment services or provide referrals to other organizations that can provide this assistance, including connecting families with resources available at District agencies;
(8) Assist families in applying for public benefits, including child care, SNAP, tax credits, and Medicaid or provide referrals to other organizations that can provide this assistance; and
(9) Provide other counseling, case management, or services, including mental or behavioral health services or referrals to mental or behavioral health programs, to assist families in preventing homelessness.
(e) No later than January 1, 2016, and annually thereafter, the Program shall submit a report to the Council on the operations and services of the Program during the preceding fiscal year.
For temporary (90 days) addition of this chapter, see § 5122 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).
For temporary (90 days) addition of this chapter, see § 5112 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).
For temporary (90 days) addition of this chapter, see § 5112 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).