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

  1. 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.

Do you want to start a transitional housing program for veterans? If YES, here is a 20-step guide on how to open a transitional housing with no money or experience. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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
Economic Analysis

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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
  1. 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;

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
  1. 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.

  1. 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;

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.

  1. 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;

  1. 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;

  1. 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
  1. 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.

  1. 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)
  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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).

  1. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do you start a transitional housing business?
  • Determine the Target Population
  • Seek and Acquire Funding
  • Obtain Community Support
  • Find a Transitional Homes Facility
  • Purchase Supplies and Inventory
  • Establish Rules and Guidelines
  • Start Admitting Residents
  • Teach Life Skills
  1. What is residential reentry management?

A Residential Reentry Management facility, is the term used by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons for a halfway house. RRCs are transitional housing that provide safe, structured, and supervised environments for residents and offer various programs and services. RRCs can help residents develop tools they need to better themselves and rebuild their ties to the community.

  1. What is a transitional living facility?

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, transitional housing. It is not in an emergency homeless shelter, but usually a room or apartment in a residence with support services.

  1. What is the difference between supportive housing and transitional housing?

Supportive housing is a highly effective strategy that combines affordable housing with intensive coordinated services to help people struggling with chronic physical and mental health issues maintain stable housing and receive appropriate health care. Supportive housing features permanence and affordability.

While, 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, transitional housing. It is not in an emergency homeless shelter, but usually a room or apartment in a residence with support services.

  1. How do you get funding for a sober living home?

You can actually get funding for a sober living home from the government (at local, state and federal level), from charity organizations and from individual donors. Please note that Medicaid and Medicare can reimburse operators of sober living homes for some, even all, of the treatment offered by drug and alcohol recovery centers.

  1. What are the rules of home confinement?

The most serious level of house arrest is “home confinement”, under which an offender is restricted to their residence 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except for court-approved treatment programs, court appearances, and medical appointments.

  1. What is a sober living home?

Sober living homes are group homes for people who are recovering from addiction issues. People who live in sober homes have to follow certain laid down rules and of course contribute to the home by doing their allocated chores. Many drug and alcohol addicts use sober housing to help them transit from rehab to living independently without using drugs or alcohol.

  1. What is the purpose of halfway houses?

The purpose of halfway houses is to provide access to community resources and offer transitional opportunities for individuals who are attempting to return to society as healthy, law-abiding, and productive members of the community after they have been found guilty of some crime. In essence, the concept of the halfway house is predicated upon the ideals of humanitarianism, rehabilitation, and reintegration.

  1. What is the goal of Transitional Education Programs?

The goal of Transitional Education Program is to teach independent living skills, including vocational skills, to students aged 18 to 22, receiving special education services. So also, the goal of the Transition Education Program is to help students become as independent as possible, including securing competitive integrated employment.

  1. How long can you stay in transitional housing?

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.

  1. How much do sober living homes cost?

The cost of a sober living home may vary depending on location, living arrangements, and program offerings. Generally, the cost is about the same as living in a modest apartment or home and rent can range between $450 and $750 a month.

  1. Is owning a halfway house profitable?

Yes, owning a halfway house is a profitable business. For example, on the average, when the house is full, the owner can net over $10,000 a month.

  1. Are sober living homes nonprofit?

A sober living home can be a non-profit or private venture, a sober living home is a fully operational organization with customers, personnel, regulations, financial transactions and more.

  1. What should be included in a transition plan?

Factors to be included in a transition plan are: academic preparation, community experience, development of vocational and independent living objectives, and, if applicable, a functional vocational evaluation. The agreed upon plans must then be documented in the student’s IEP.

But the four principal components of a Transition Planning Project Plan are: 1) Task Identification and Schedule Development; 2) Transition Committee Deployment and Support; 3) Occupancy and Activation Planning; and 4) Move Planning.

  1. Should I get an LLC?

The kind of business you want to build will go a long way to determine if an LLC will be the most suitable legal business structure or you. Getting an LLC anyway is just the way to go. This is because, an LLC limits your personal liability because an LLC is legally separate from its owners. LLCs are responsible for their own debts and obligations, and although you can lose the money you have invested in the company, personal assets such as your home and bank account can’t be used to collect on business debts.

  1. What is job readiness training?

Job Readiness Training is a training a participant receives to prepare them to seek or obtain employment, and to keep their jobs once they are hired. Training/instruction could be: Preparing a resume or job application.

  1. What is a release program?

In prison systems, work release programs allow a prisoner who is sufficiently trusted or can be sufficiently monitored to go outside the prison and work at a place of employment, returning to prison when their shift is complete.

  1. How long do inmates stay in a halfway house?

In practice, the most time any prisoner can get in a halfway house is a year (12 months).

  1. How much does it cost to stay at an Oxford house?

Monthly costs range for staying in an Oxford house is from $300 to $450 per person, depending on the house and area. A non-refundable application fee is required when you are accepted (the average fee is $150). Please note that equally sharing expenses keeps the cost of Oxford Houses low.

  1. How much does it cost to house a homeless person?

The amount needed to house a homeless person varies greatly and it depends on how much the management of the facility is willing to spare. But on the average, it will cost anything from $100.

  1. How do you apply for oxford house?

To apply to an Oxford House a person must be in recovery from alcoholism and/or drug addiction. A recovering individual must complete a standard Application for Membership in Oxford House and be interviewed by the residents of the house he or she hopes to live in.

Joy Nwokoro