Mr. Q had been homeless for 13 years after being released from prison in 2004. Most often, he slept on the street downtown near The Beacon, rarely accessing shelter. He began working with Otha and Fernando at Avenue 360 Health & Wellness about four years ago, but getting into housing was still a struggle, in large part due to his criminal background and struggles with substance abuse. Continue Reading
In March, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced his continued support for The Way Home, the collaborative model to prevent and end homelessness in our area. The Mayor outlined steps the city would take to support The Way Home, including a push to house 500 chronically homeless individuals by September through increased outreach, Housing Navigation, landlord partnership, and more. Continue Reading
“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.
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
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!
Angela and her two young children were living in a vehicle in a local Wal-Mart parking lot; not only was Angela wary of her and her children’s safety at local shelters, but she was working and faced conflicts with the shelter hours, her job, and childcare. Denise and her three-year old son had the odds stacked against them: Denise was a sexual assault survivor, had a dual diagnosis of Depression and Bipolar Disorder, and was having trouble finding emergency shelter. Continue Reading
Co-Authored by Loretta Randolph, The Beacon
Bill had worked for most of his life and worked hard; he didn’t know any other way. However, everything changed when he was injured on the job, working in a warehouse unloading large deliveries. After more than a year of tests, screenings, scans, and more, doctors told Bill he would never be able to work again; he had fractured a disc in his lower back. Continue Reading
October 20, 2016
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner today announced a $1 million grant from JPMorgan Chase to support Houston’s ambitious efforts to end chronic homelessness through The Way Home, the collaborative model to prevent and end homelessness in Houston, Pasadena, Conroe; and Harris, Fort Bend, and Montgomery Counties. The award makes JPMorgan Chase the first corporate donor to support The Way Home’s development of Permanent Supportive Housing for homeless Houstonians.
The Way Home has now raised $7 million toward its $15 million goal to finish creating 2,500 units of housing for chronically homeless individuals. Chronically homeless individuals are those who have been homeless for a year or more and have a disabling condition.
“JPMorgan Chase’s support is more than just a grant, and it’s more than just about getting the homeless off our streets. It’s an investment in solving homelessness and changing the lives of homeless Houstonians,” said Mayor Turner. “The Houston region is on track to end chronic homelessness, but we need the community’s support to cross the finish line.”
Click here to read the full press release.
Authors: Jonathan Danforth and Michael Garcia, Houston Area Community Services
*Client’s name changed to protect privacy.
JN* is a wheelchair-bound, 55 year-old, African American man. He struggled in the midst of poverty and homelessness for most of his life and had found it difficult to find food and a safe and secure place to sleep for the past several years. His physical disability made traveling difficult and he was frequently an easy target for thieves and predators. Continue Reading