Governor McKee, EOHHS Announce Funding for Home Stabilization Service Providers

Published on Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Funding allows providers to make investments in staffing, professional development, and technology

Cranston, Rhode Island - Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health & Human Services (EOHHS) today announced the awarding of approximately $650,000, via two grant programs, for home stabilization service providers.

Home stabilization programs provide an array of time-limited services to eligible Medicaid members, including home tenancy support, life skills training, and other modeling and teaching services for individuals who require support in maintaining a home, and home finder services to individuals who require support in securing and transitioning to housing.

“Homelessness and housing insecurity in Rhode Island must be addressed using a multitude of strategies as our administration works towards our Rhode Island 2030 Plan,” said Governor Dan McKee. “One of those strategies is ensuring supportive services that focus on finding homes or rental units, keeping individuals housed, and providing the wraparound services to address health needs. To do this, strengthening the home stabilization services workforce by recruiting, retaining and training staff within organizations that serve people experiencing homelessness is critical.”

Grant recipients will be able to utilize the funding on retention bonuses for staff, recruitment bonuses for new employees, professional development, or consultant services. All funds must be spent within one year.

Staff recruitment and retention has been cited as a challenge across industries, especially in the health and human services sector. The activities conducted from the first portion of this mini-grant offering are intended to improve staff capacity to increase delivery of home stabilization services to Medicaid clients and allow for more meaningful engagement with clients in need of housing navigation and home stabilization services. 

Grantees for this $200,000 opportunity include:

  • Crossroads Rhode Island - $33,532.93
  • The Providence Center - $64,670.66
  • Newport Mental Health - $79,041.92
  • Rhode Island Coalition to End Homelessness - $22,754.49

“I’d like to thank the community organizations who are working hard every day to address the needs of Rhode Islanders experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity,” said EOHHS Secretary Richard Charest.  “Research has shown that having a stable and safe place to live improves health outcomes, reduces stress, and provides a foundation for individuals to achieve better health outcomes. Our hope is that these funds will allow partners to broaden their reach to additional Medicaid clients and populations in need by strengthening their service delivery capacity so Rhode Islanders can access housing supports when they need it.”

The goal of the second grant program is to strengthen and sustain each organization’s capacity to obtain Medicaid reimbursement for covered services and staff to support sustaining critical benefits such as home stabilization services in Rhode Island. 

Through this opportunity, EOHHS intends to supplement funding to grow the workforce, specifically focusing on Rhode Island’s home stabilization service providers, community health workers, peer recovery specialists, and clinical providers who deliver medical, behavioral health, and social services in community-based settings such as shelters, encampments, and related venues.

Awardees for this opportunity agree to work towards establishing or strengthening their partnerships with the State’s Medicaid system and to improve their electronic records and technology systems. To maximize the integration of healthcare and housing as a social determinant of health, grantees must strive to sustain at least a portion of their services through Medicaid billing and partnership in the future.

“At EOHHS, we understand that housing is a social determinant of health and absolutely critical for our Medicaid population to maintain wellness and thrive,” said Rhode Island Medicaid Director Kristin Sousa. “This grant opportunity allows us to strengthen the relationship between the Medicaid program and housing stabilization service providers, which in turn will improve and expand the delivery of home stabilization services for some of our most vulnerable Rhode Islanders.”

Grantees for this opportunity include:

  • Crossroads RI - $9,500.00
  • Newport Mental Health - $110,814.98
  • Rhode Island Coalition to End Homelessness - $19,620.00
  • Child and Family Services of Rhode Island - $35,000.00
  • Communities for People - $12,000.00
  • House of Hope - $50,412.00
  • Project Weber Renew - $93,650.00
  • Sojourner House - $35,200.00
  • Wood River Health Services- $59,603.21

“This grant opportunity will allow us to expand our Home Stabilization services to provide home finder and housing stabilization to more households,” said Jenna Nutting, Vice President of Support Services at Crossroads Rhode Island. “Additionally, this opportunity will allow us to incentivize staff to continue the great work that they do and increase their professional development and knowledge.”

“Everyone deserves a home and a community,” said Dayna Gladstein, LICSW, Executive Vice President of Newport Mental Health. “Newport Mental Health (NMH) is a recovery focused behavioral health organization that embraces Housing First. NMH understands the importance of stable housing as essential in behavioral health recovery planning. For every person we house, we can prevent even more from falling into homelessness. Building more housing is essential, but it's not the only solution to homelessness. We must use all housing solutions. It is critical that we also focus on preventing people from losing their homes in the first place. This essential funding will allow us to increase wages for our dedicated staff, ensuring they can afford their own housing and thrive while supporting our clients. With higher salaries and incentives, we can attract more staff, reduce caseloads, and provide even better care to those we serve."

Grantees will also be eligible to apply for a second round of funding totaling $150,000 in August 2024.