Rapid Rehousing program aims to quickly get clients back on their feet

Rapid Rehousing Case Manager Beth Kulpinski loves to see clients like Montario succeed. Beth, who has worked at BEDS for almost two years, helped Montario get back on his feet after he experienced homelessness due to losing his job during the pandemic.

Montario was housed about a year ago and has been thriving since. "Montario was someone who we believed could achieve independence within 12 months and that is generally the scope of Rapid Rehousing," Beth said. "Montario had income and was working. We felt he was likely to achieve independence in 12 months."

Our Rapid Rehousing program aims to expedite and assist individuals who have recently become homeless. They have access to income and potential for income. The program helps to bridge individuals and families to independence and stability.

Rapid Rehousing, made possible through a partnership with the Cook County Department of Economic Development, offers medium-term assistance. Unlike short term, which is, for example, a security deposit and few months rent, but 12 to 24 months of medium support where our case managers progressively acclimate the client to independence with education and case management as well as medium financial support.

Beth said the Rapid Rehousing program assists clients with rent on a decreasing scale until the person is able to handle the rent on their own. The reason the program offers assistance for a limited time, Beth said, is because BEDS has identified those clients case managers believe can achieve independence and just need that little bump.

"We talk with them about their short-term and long-term goals and we work on budget and money management. All those things help them going forward to achieve independence," she said.

The assistance BEDS provides to clients in the Rapid Rehousing program doesn't end there. Montario had been commuting four hours each day on a bus to get to work. But after BEDS connected him with Employment Specialist Bill Burke, he was able to find a job close to his apartment. Montario now often bikes or walks to work.

"I can tell how much happier Montario is, not having that commute and being able to come home and not be exhausted," Beth said. "He has been riding his bike to and from work and has told me how much better he feels about his physical health. And just having that extra time at home, he has been able to establish some better routines that help him again be more healthful."