About At-Risk Populations

About At-Risk Populations

With housing prices on the rise, housing insecurity has never been more important. At risk populations refer to those being at-risk of becoming homeless. The at-risk population includes families living at the edge of their economic needs, formerly homeless, single parent families, people with health problems, and the elderly. It can be your child's best friend from school, a family friend, or the neighborly elderly man who greets you with a smile at the local supermarket. Being at-risk acts as a precursor to homelessness. 
 
For those who may have been homeless, or those who were in imminent danger of becoming homeless, transitional housing is an affordable alternative housing situation that allows people the opportunity to get back on their feet. It is generaly considered to be temporary housing, with periods lasting generally around two years. Extensive supportive services are also provided such as case management, resource coordination, life skills workshops, youth programs, technology based education, and financial literacy workshops. Hence, they are often referred to as "transitional living programs". These services provide transitional residents with the skills and confidence they need to find jobs, increase their independence, and help them make lasting changes in their lives.
 
The mentors in the LIHI/WWU Mentoring Project work primarily with transitional housing residents, tutoring them in the aformentioned skills, and also provide mentoring to the residents if the residents ask for added support.

Potential Triggers of Homelessness

In order to prevent homelessness and address the at-risk population it is imperative to provide supportive services prior to homelessness which is where LIHI comes in to provide transitional housing. Homelessness can be triggered by events large and small. Relationship based issues such as divorce, fleeing domestic violence, family dispute, or the loss of a loved one can strip away someone's support networks leaving them without a place to go. Extra ordinary financial obligations can serve as the tipping point pushing people over their point of self-sufficiency. This can be as small as an increase in rent to as significant as a vehicle repair, healthcare emergency, natural disaster or loss of a job. 

To find out more about the Low INcome Housing Institute of Seattle, visit http://www.lihi.org/.

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