Congress provided $8 million annually in FY 2003, 2004 and 2005 directing SSA to conduct outreach to "homeless and other under-served populations." SSA used this earmarked funding to establish the Homeless Outreach Projects and Evaluation (HOPE) in support of the President's Initiative to end chronic homelessness within 10 years. The HOPE initiative was focused on assisting eligible, homeless individuals in applying for SSI and SSDI benefits. The HOPE projects helped SSA demonstrate the effectiveness of using skilled medical and social service providers to identify and engage homeless individuals with disabilities as well as assist them with the application process.
What States/Locations are involved?Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin
How does it work?
Grantees were required to provide outreach, supportive services and benefit application assistance to homeless adults and children. In addition, HOPE grantees may perform optional activities that included presumptive disability screening for supplemental security income (SSI) applicants; pre-release assistance for institutionalized individuals with disabilities; representative payee services; employment interventions, and the use of electronic services to file for benefits.
SSA provided program orientation for the HOPE projects which details information on eligibility requirements and application processes for the SSI and Social Security programs.
The HOPE projects helped SSA demonstrate the effectiveness of training skilled medical and social service providers to identify and assist homeless individuals with SSA’s disability application process.
The evaluation component of HOPE helped SSA determine whether the training and training materials provided to the social service agencies improve the quality of disability applications submitted to SSA on behalf of homeless individuals. The evaluation assessed variables such as processing time and decision accuracy.