Transitional housing is temporary housing for certain segments of the homeless population, including working homeless people who are earning too little money to afford long-term housing. Transitional housing is set up to transition residents into permanent home owners.
It is not in an emergency homeless shelter, but usually a room or apartment in a residence with support services. The transitional time can be short, for example one or two years, and in that time the person must file for and get permanent housing and usually some gainful employment or income, even if Social Security or assistance.
Please note that if you intend starting this type of business, it is advisable to first look at the existing laws and zonal regulations in the United States of America or the city you reside in to know what is expected of you.
Note that you need to pay a visit to the regulatory bodies in your city to get all the information you need before you can legally launch a transitional housing program for veterans in the United States of America. You can start your transitional housing program for veterans from a small town in the United States of America and if you are good at what you do, it won’t be too long before your brand becomes a nationally recognized brand.
20 Steps to Starting a Transitional Housing Program for Veterans
Table of Content
- Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
- Know Your Major Competitors in the industry
- Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
- Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
- Protect your Intellectual Property with Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
- Get the Necessary Professional Certification
- Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
- Raise the Needed Startup Capital
- Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
- Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
- Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
- Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
- Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
- Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
- Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
Understand the Industry
Sometimes, the transitional housing residence program charges a room and board fee, maybe 30 percent of an individual’s income, which is sometimes partially or fully refunded after the person procures a permanent place to live in. In the USA, federal funding for transitional housing programs was originally allocated in the McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1986.
Transitional housing business is part of the community housing and homeless shelter industry and this industry provides a variety of community housing services.
These services include short-term emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or child abuse; temporary residential shelter for the homeless, runaway youths and families caught in medical crises; transitional housing and assisted living for low-income individuals and families; and volunteer construction or repair of low-cost housing.
The Community Housing & Homeless Shelter Industry is indeed a large industry and pretty much active in most developed countries of the world. Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 12,323 registered and licensed community housing and homeless shelters responsible for directly employing about 132,874 people and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $12 billion annually.
The industry is projected to grow at – 0.7 percent annual growth within 2014 and 2019. It is important to state that no company can boast of having an available market share in the industry. According to the 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, in any given night during 2018, there were 549,494 homeless individuals.
This number has been decreasing significantly over the five years to 2019 due to a concerted effort from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and its federal partners. The report also states that the homeless population has increased less than 1.0 percent between 2017 and 2018. The homeless population has grown at this slow pace because of falling unemployment and poverty.
According to the 2018 State of Homelessness in America report, the largest drops in unemployment and poverty rate have come in 2014 and 2015, suggesting that demand for Community Housing and Homeless Shelters industry services will continue to grow.
Lastly, if you are going into the construction of transitional housing, it is very important to be creative, to be able to use your ideas to meet the rapidly changing needs of the society when it comes to housing.
Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who patronize transitional housing program for veterans are of course veterans. Please note that a veteran is a former member of the Armed Forces of the United States (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard) who served on active duty and was discharged under conditions which were other than dishonorable.
Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
It is safe to say that there is no niche area in the transitional housing program for veterans. This is because transitional housing program for veterans is a niche idea in the community housing & homeless shelter industry.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The competition that exists in this line of business goes beyond competition amongst transitional housing programs in your location; you are expected to compete with other community housing & homeless shelters who are also into accommodating veterans. So, it will be right to say the competition in the transitional housing program for veterans line of business is tough.
The truth is that, no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your service or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure that you invest in attractive properties with good return on investment (ROI), you can deliver excellent customer care services and you know how to attract and reach out to your target market – veterans.
Know Your Major Competitors in the industry
Here are some of the most popular transitional housing programs for veterans in the United States of America;
- Volunteers of America Transitional Housing
- VA Programs For Homeless Veterans – Veterans Affairs
- Housing Help for Veterans
If you are planning towards successfully launching a business and maximizing profits, then you need to ensure that you get your economic and cost analysis right and try as much as possible to adopt international best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in.
Transitional housing program for veterans is not a green business, as a matter of fact; you will come across several transitional housing programs for veterans when you drive through town, search through directories and browse through the internet.
So, if you are mapping out your economic and cost analysis, you should carry out thorough market survey and costing of what is required for renting or leasing a facility where you are expected to open your transitional housing program, the capital to start building and furnishing apartments and also the cost to successfully run the business.
Over and above, if you are considering starting a transitional housing program for veterans, then your concern should not be limited to the cost of renting an office space, securing your license, and the working capital et al but also on branding and on how to build a robust clientele base. The truth is that if you are able to build a robust clientele base, you are sure going to maximize profits in the business.
Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to choosing how you intend starting a business. Basically, you should be guided by your overall business vision and mission statement. If you are looking towards starting a transitional housing program for veterans in the United States of America, you would have to start from the very scratch because you can hardly find this business franchise.
Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to start your transitional housing program for veterans today in the United States of America, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of other transitional housing program, and of course other players in the community housing & homeless shelters industry in your target market location.
The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market; concentrate on veterans within your location and veterans that you personally know or have prior relationship with.
Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
When starting transitional housing program for veterans, the best choice for legal structure is to form a nonprofit corporation at the state level and to apply for 501(c)(3) tax exemption at the federal level. Please note that on the state level, you can file a nonprofit LLC for your transitional housing program for veterans.
Technically, you can apply for an exemption with an LLC, but you would need to be an LLC taxed as a corporation; then, you ask the federal government to treat your transitional housing program for veterans as a nonprofit or tax-exempt organization.
In the United States of America, several states allow a nonprofit LLC, including California, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota and Tennessee. Texas allows the formation of an LLC with a nonprofit purpose. In Delaware, the LLC Act permits the organization of an LLC with not-for-profit purposes.
Choose a Catchy Business Name from the Ideas Below
When it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. Typically, it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.
If you are considering starting your own transitional housing program for veterans in the United States of America, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Golden Castle© Transitional Housing Programs
- Noble Veterans® Transitional Housing Programs
- Veterans Abode© Transitional Housing Programs.
- Royal Courts® Transitional Housing Programs
- Green Tower™ Transitional Housing Programs
- Hero Now™ Transitional Housing Programs
- Veteran Cover© Transitional Housing Programs
- The Sanctuary® Transitional Housing Programs.
- Texas Veterans© Transitional Housing Programs.
- Veterans Connect© Transitional Housing Programs
Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United Kingdom and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policies that are required by the industry you want to operate from. Thus, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your business.
Here are some of the basic insurance policies that you should consider purchasing if you want to start a transitional housing program for veterans business in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Risk Insurance
- Workers compensation
- Building/Property insurance
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
You can contact the following leading insurance companies in the United States of America to purchase the needed insurance policies for your transitional housing program.
- Allstate Insurance Group
- Liberty Mutual
- Progressive Insurance Group (PGR)
- Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC)
- New York Life Insurance Company
- Lincoln National Life Insurance Company
- MassMutual (Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company)
- Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
Protect your Intellectual Property with Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting a transitional housing program for veterans, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection / trademark. This is because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
On the other hand, if you want to leverage on this business opportunities within the industry and also to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even operation concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO. The final approval of your trademark is subjected to the review of attorneys as required by USPTO.
Get the Necessary Professional Certification
Aside from the results you produce as it relates to running a transitional housing program for veterans, professional certification is one of the main reasons why some transitional housing program stand out. If you want to make impact in the community housing & homeless shelters industry, you should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization.
Certification validates your competency and shows that you are highly skilled, committed to your career, and up-to-date in this competitive market. These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own transitional housing program for veterans;
- Community and Social Worker Certifications
- Caregiver Certification
- Assisted Living Administrators License/Assisted Living Administrator Certification
Please note that you cannot successfully run a transitional housing program for veterans in the United States of America without necessarily acquiring professional certifications even if you have adequate experience cum background in the industry.
Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States of America without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hands of the law catch up with you. These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own business in the United States of America;
- Business and liability insurance
- Federal Tax Payer’s ID
- State Permit
- Building License
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Health inspection Certificate
- Copy of license for the service support facility and/or a recent inspection report
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a transitional housing program for veterans business is capital intensive even if you choose to start on a small scale. Securing a standard office space in a business district, and raising working capital et al are part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital.
If you choose to start the business on a large scale, you would need to go source for fund to finance the business. No doubt when it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan.
If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business. Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your transitional housing program for veterans business;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell shares to interested investors
- Applying for loan from your bank
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
Starting a transitional housing program for veterans comes with its own challenges; it is a business that cannot be started in any location. As a matter of fact, you need approval the from local council and other regulating authorities in your city.
Generally, in business, it cannot be overemphasized that the location you chose to start your business is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consist of the right demography.
It is important to note that a business facility in good location does not come cheap hence you should be able to allocate enough fund for leasing/renting in your budget. If you are new to the dynamics of choosing a location for the business, then you should feel free to talk to a business consultant or a realtor.
Most importantly, before choosing a location for your transitional housing program for veterans facility business, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out.
Which is why it is very important to gather as much facts and figures before choosing a location to set – up your own transitional housing program for veterans facility. Having said that, these are some of the cities in the United States of America where you can locate your transitional housing program for veterans;
- San Diego, California
- Albany, New York
- Nevada, Las Vegas
- Miami, Florida
- Chicago, Illinois
- Dallas, Texas
- Ohio, Ohio
- Boston, Massachusetts
Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
When it comes to starting a transitional housing program for veterans, you will need a public address system, first aid kits and other related equipment that will aid you in carrying out your job. In setting up a small office for your facility, you will need a computer, printer, home healthcare software, telephones, pager, photocopier, scanner, fax machine, first aid kit, gloves and uniform.
When it comes to choosing between renting and leasing a facility for your transitional housing program, the size of the facility you want to own, and your entire budget for the business should influence your choice. Besides, you will need a facility that is in serene environment, a facility that is big enough to accommodate the number of residents and staff working for you.
As regards the number of employees you are expected to kick start the transitional housing program for veterans with, you would need to consider your finance before making the decision. Averagely, when it comes to starting a standard transitional housing program for veterans on a large scale, you would need the services of the following professionals;
Chief Operating Officer (you can occupy this position), Fund Raisers, Accountant, Program Coordinator, Home Administrator (Human Resources and Admin Manager), Front Desk Officer, Cooks, Security Guards and Cleaners.
Over and above, you would need a minimum of 10 to 15 key staff members to effectively run a medium scale but standard transitional housing program for veterans and these key roles can be occupied by volunteers.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
The service delivery as it relates to transitional housing program for veterans to a large extent depends on the organization and what they stand to achieve. Basically, transitional housing program for veterans sources for veterans who are homeless, provide accommodation for them and always engage them in programs that will help them transit from the temp accommodation to their own permanent housing.
They may always train them on skills that will help them stay healthy and perhaps earn a little income. In order to generate money to take care of the veterans, they apply for grants and donations in cash and kind from donor agencies, government agencies, NGOs, religious organizations and philanthropists et al.
It is important to state that a transitional housing program for veterans may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated transitional housing program for veterans process is not cast on stone.
Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
Generally, running a business requires that you should be proactive when it comes to marketing your goods or services. If you choose to launch a transitional housing program for veterans, then you must employ strategies that will help you attract veterans or else you will likely struggle with the business because there are well – known brands that determine the market direction for the business.
So, when you are drafting your marketing plans, make sure that you create a compelling company profile. Aside from your qualifications and experience in the community housing & homeless shelters industry, it is important to clearly state what you have been able to achieve in time past. This will help boost your chances in the market place.
Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your transitional housing program for veterans;
- Introduce your transitional housing program for veterans by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to veterans in and around your city.
- Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
- Create a basic website for your business so as to give your business an online presence
- Directly market your services
- Join local chambers of commerce and industry with the aim of marketing your services
- Advertise our business in community – based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Encourage the use of word of mouth marketing (referrals)
Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
One key factor that will help you rent or lease your apartments at a price that is highly attractive is to ensure that you source your startup capital from sources that won’t put pressure on you or give you high interest rate. So also, it is important that you purchase your stock directly from the owners of the property as against buying from a third-party dealer.
When it comes to building materials and electronics or house household gadgets, it is advisable that you also purchase them directly from the manufacturers or from wholesalers. Another strategy that will help you get the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum and channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name.
Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
The availability of a huge working capital base, your business process and of course your pricing model are part of what you need to stay competitive in the industry.
Another possible competitive strategy for winning your competitors in this particular industry is to build a robust clientele base and business network. Over and above, ensure that your organization is well positioned, key members of your team are highly qualified and your facilities and offers to veterans can favorably compete with some of the best in the industry.
Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
When it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customer retention and perhaps attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always. If your customers are satisfied with your products and service delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service providers.
Part of what you need to do to achieve this is to track progress, results or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands. When it comes to managing your customers and building a loyal clientele base, you should purchase a customized CRM software.
With a customized CRM system, you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick surveys, you can introduce new things to them without any hitch, you can felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, you can keep track of their progress, you can send bulk sms and customized e – mails and above all, you can easily receive compliant and feedback from them).
Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not conscious about boosting your brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portrays your business to be.
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand and create a corporate identity for your transitional housing program for veterans;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and real estate related magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community – based events / programs
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your transitional housing program for veterans
- Install your Billboards in strategic locations all around the locations where you operate
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- List your transitional housing program for veterans in local directories / yellow pages
- Advertise your transitional housing program for veterans in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
- Position your Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the locations where your transitional housing program for veterans operates.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and vans are well branded with your company logo et al.