The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009 (HEARTH Act), enacted into law on May 20, 2009, expands the Emergency Shelter Grants program by adding rapid re-housing, more robust homelessness prevention, and HMIS as eligible activities, and renames it as the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program. The change in the program’s name reflects the change in the program’s focus from addressing the needs of homeless persons in emergency or transitional shelter, to assisting people to quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis and/or homelessness. A percentage of Delaware County’s annual grant may also be used for traditional homeless activities such as rehabilitation or conversion of buildings for use as emergency shelters, essential services, and shelter operations.
OHCD is an active partner in the County’s Homeless Services Coalition consisting of over ninety (90) Delaware County individuals and organizations dedicated to assisting homeless individuals and families. The HSC meets quarterly and has eleven working committees whose objective is to ensure that the homeless population in Delaware County has barrier-free access to the services they need in order to achieve self-sufficiency.
Additionally, OHCD serves on the board of Delaware County’s Homeless Continuum of Care which is the formal, year-round county-wide assessment and planning process to address the needs of the homeless and near homeless, as well collaboration within the homeless services system. Services funded directly through OHCD include case management, emergency shelter, and rental and financial assistance under the rapid rehousing and homeless prevention programs.