More than a Dream: Willie’s Success Story

“Today is a blessed day,” Willie said as he climbed into the Star of Hope van. It was move-in day for him after six years of homelessness, most of them spent on the street. Willie had left his bag containing important paperwork at the shelter – it was evident the reality of what was happening hadn’t completely sunk in yet. Kenneth, a Star of Hope Outreach Case Manager, turned the van around to make one last trip back to the shelter for Willie’s belongings.

“You’re not coming back to the shelter,” said Kenneth. “Today is the day, Willie!”

“Today is a blessed day,” Willie repeated.

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You’re Invited: Come and See Our Successes

Written by Cynthia Brannon, Executive Director
Houston COMPASS, Inc. (COMPASS)

During a recent meeting about the current efforts to end homelessness in Houston, someone remarked, “People only see the problems. They don’t see the successes.” That made sense to me, because how could the average observer see anything but the problems? There isn’t an intersection in Houston that doesn’t scream at us that someone is homeless, hungry, or in need of a job. And I’ve yet to see a cardboard sign that reads, “I used to be homeless, but Miss Lori at COMPASS in partnership with The Way Home helped me move into a nice apartment up the street.”

If I didn’t have the inside information that comes from working in homeless services for over 17 years, I wonder how this daily visual assault of desperation and cardboard would affect me. I suppose I would be heartbroken, judgmental, and sick of it all at once. I’d give money to some, but not to others. Would I figure out that some of these folks are not actually homeless? I might wonder, Gosh, why don’t the social workers get to work?

And I get that. Because it’s absolutely true that most of our successes are invisible. Continue Reading

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The Way Home Partners Featured on National Blog

June 1, 2017

The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) has featured The Way Home on its blog with two posts guest-authored by Houston-area service provider staff members.

Senior Research Project Manager Ana Rausch wrote a blog post titled “Coordinating Your Way Home in Houston,” about the creation and implementation of Coordinated Access. Ana writes, “The unprecedented collaboration of The Way Home partners has helped change the path toward ending homelessness for our community and it is something that we are all incredibly proud of.”

The second post featured on the USICH blog, “Houston Pilots Coordinated Entry for Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence,” was co-authored by James Gonzalez, LMSW (Coalition for the Homeless) and Barbie Brashear, MSW (Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council). The pilot underway has been working on how to observe privacy laws under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) yet still ensure that Intimate Partner Violence survivors are connected to homeless resources when appropriate.

The Way Home continues to lead the nation on solving homelessness and we thank USICH for featuring our innovative work!

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