The National Alliance to End Homelessness explains the housing first approach as one that “is guided by the belief that people need basic necessities like food and a place to live before attending to anything less critical, such as getting a job, budgeting properly, or attending to substance use issues.”
In 2015, we introduced a program that would do just that.
Housing first is an evidence-based approach to ending homelessness. It means just that: housing comes first. Shortly after arriving at our emergency shelter, clients are paired with one of our skilled Housing Case Managers for housing-focused case management under the Housing First-aligned Rapid Rehousing model.
Housing case managers work with our network of dedicated community landlords to identify affordable housing options that suit our clients’ needs
Financial assistance is provided as needed for rental application fees, security deposits, and first month’s rent.
Move-in day is always thrilling. It’s hard to describe the mix of joy and relief we see in our client’s eyes when they first receive the keys to their new home. But rapid-rehousing is just one part of our housing first program.
Throughout the process prior to and after securing permanent housing, clients are offered the wrap-around, supportive services they need to maintain their housing and become healthy, productive members of the community.
Barriers to employment are intentionally and strategically addressed. We provide resources to help clients prepare for success in the workplace and coordinate with our partners to identify and apply to local job opportunities. We also connect clients with mainstream resources, such as public benefits, physical and behavioral health care, and other agencies’ services.