Our Goal here at Hope Outreach and the goal of the Marion County Florida COC is the following:
• To make occurrences of homelessness rare and brief
• To help people who experience homelessness obtain permanent housing quickly
• help people access the care and support needed to maintain their housing and achieve a better quality of life.
Consider these the “Triple Aim” of ending homelessness.
Achieving these aims is impossible for one program alone. Rather, it requires a variety of programs and services including homeless outreach, emergency shelter, permanent supportive housing, affordable housing, rapid re-housing, along with case management supports, healthcare, income supports, employment services, and more.
But it’s also not enough for these programs to simply exist; they need to work as part of a whole system to help people achieve these aims. That means that the focus of all programs must be to help people obtain permanent housing quickly and without conditions and contingencies.
Programs will empower people to overcome barriers to obtaining permanent housing, access the right kinds of supports and care to keep their housing, and improve their quality of life.
Housing someone first is an approach that emphasizes services that focus on housing stability, then using that housing as a platform for connecting people to the types of services and care that they seek and want. It’s based on the basic premise that if people have a stable home, they are in a better position to achieve other goals, including health, recovery and well-being than when they are homeless.
This is true for many reasons. It’s hard to comply with any kind of health care or treatment regimen when you have no certainty about where you are going to sleep. A person infected with TB_will have a hard time completing a course of antibiotic treatment when they are bouncing from one shelter to another. It’s also hard to focus on recovery from addiction when you don’t have the certainty that you have a permanent place where you can stay each day, surrounded by supportive people. And for people who’ve experienced trauma, it can be impossible to shift away from a “ﬁght-or-ﬂight” mindset that comes with PTSD when they continue to live a rough life on the streets.
Housing them first is about recovery. And connecting people to substance abuse or mental health treatment is entirely consistent. The difference is that we recognize that health and recovery are so much more attainable when people have a safe and stable home.
This is our goal together with the COC and all our COC partners.
If you are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless, contact me today 352-502-1495 I can help.