Transitional Housing of Pittsburgh

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Emergency Shelters Business Plan

Market Analysis Summary

Transitional Housing has identified two distinct market segments of customers based on age; those who are under 30 and those who are 30 and over. The distinction is important because of the high percentage of clients with children, and those in the younger market segment having far younger children. The under 30 age group is growing annually at 9%, and the 30 and over age group growing at 8%. The two groups respectively have 165,454 and 158,745 potential clients. The overwhelming majority of clients come from lower socio-economic population groups. These segments can be difficult to communicate with, yet their use of Transitional Housing's services would give them some profound benefits. The good news is if the people are willing to accept help from Transitional Housing they are far more likely to be able to get out of the dire circumstances that they currently face.

The other service providers are temporary shelters that only allow stays of less than 30 days. These service providers are only housing shelters, they do not offer the in-depth self empowerment programs. Some alternative service providers take the form of religious service organizations that assist clients, but on a much smaller scale. The lack of true competition makes Transitional Housing the premier source of interim housing and life skill training. Other agencies would like to offer the comprehensive services that Transitional Housing offers but are unable to because of organizational design constraints or economic restraints. The following sections provide demographic detail regarding the target market.

4.1 Market Segmentation

Transitional Housing has segmented the market into two distinct categories: women under 30 years old and those 30 and older. This is a significant distinction since the children of the younger group will be younger as well. Some demographic information that is relevant to both groups:

  • 95% are or were chemically dependent.
  • 17% have undergraduate coursework.
  • 85% are African-American.
  • 80% have children (but generally no custody).
  • 6% are H.I.V. positive- generally a result of their drug addiction.
  • 7% are Hepatitis C positive- generally a result of their drug addiction.
  • 22% were at one time prostitutes.
  • 20% have been in prison.
Market Analysis
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Potential Customers Growth CAGR
Under 30 years old 9% 165,454 180,345 196,576 214,268 233,552 9.00%
30 years or older 8% 158,745 171,445 185,161 199,974 215,972 8.00%
Total 8.51% 324,199 351,790 381,737 414,242 449,524 8.51%

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

Transitional Housing has chosen to target their services to these two market segments because they are the segments that are in the most need of the services. Because of a variety of factors including: time in prison, abusive relationships, alcohol and drug dependencies, and exposure/participation to prostitution, these women have nowhere else to go, no one to turn to. They are in desperate need of transitional housing as well as life skills to empower them to self sufficiency.

Transitional Housing has chosen to serve only women because women who are homeless are far more vulnerable than homeless men. They need more protection because of the increased risk of sexual abuse.

4.3 Service Providers Analysis

The services provided within this industry are typically broken down into two segments: transitional housing and life skills.

  • Housing- These services are provided by shelters that offer temporary shelters.
  • Life skills- Skills to help empower the individual are offered through daytime programs, but are never (at least in Pittsburgh) part of a transitional housing program where the skills training is part of a comprehensive program.

The following section, 4.3 offers an analysis of the alternative service providers.

4.3.1 Alternatives and Usage Patterns

Housing
Please note that the shelters are only housing and do not offer any type of life skills.

  • Womenspace: This is a temporary shelter with an emphasis on women. The maximum stay is 30 days. It is first-come first-served with the prerequisite that the client does not have any other alternatives. This shelter has space for 25 clients with a central cooking area that is staffed. Children are not allowed.
  • The 42nd Street Shelter: This is also a temporary shelter with a maximum of 10 clients, also with a central kitchen area. This shelter allows at most two children under the age of 18 to stay with the parent. This facility is typically full, it is difficult to get a room in it.
  • The Refuge Shelter: This is a Catholic Church operated temporary shelter that has two main rooms with bunk beds that supports 16 people per male and female room.

Life skills
There are several service providers that teach these skills. They are typically religious based organizations or community based organizations. The courses are generally one hour long and span a few weeks. They are far less comprehensive than Transitional Housing's and many people miss several sessions because they are taught over a longer period of time.