As The Way Home strives to end chronic homelessness in Houston, strong partnerships bring us closer to our goal. Chronic homelessness requires a strategic response and most often, the work of multiple agencies to help our most vulnerable clients reach that final step: moving into Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH).
On Tuesday, March 28, The Way Home brought staff members from more than 20 partner agencies together at The Beacon in downtown Houston to help nearly 100 chronically homeless individuals fast-track through the housing process at a Navigation Event.
The Way Home chronic homelessness workgroup (led by the Coalition for the Homeless as lead agency to The Way Home), is keenly focused on three things: securing more housing, refining Coordinated Access (the system-wide housing intake process), and accelerating move-in. To support faster move-ins, the workgroup brought clients and providers together in one place to complete a process that can currently take more than 60 days – in just one day.
The approximately 100 homeless individuals who attended the Navigation Event are the most vulnerable homeless people in the system who qualify for housing services but have not yet moved in because of missing documentation. These individuals have been on the streets the longest and often suffer from mental and/or physical disabilities – sometimes even living with life-threatening conditions.
The event offered stations where homeless individuals could complete each of the six steps that need to be completed before enrollment in PSH: documentation of homelessness, disability verification, identification, income verification, referral (to both a Coordinated Access Navigator and to a PSH provider), and the beginning of the application process. Before leaving the event, homeless individuals had their documents scanned into the local Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) database (in case the original documents got lost). The Navigators assigned to these clients are already following up with them, ensuring that they have everything they need, and that they find housing and sign a lease soon.
Since 2012, The Way Home has housed more than 8,000 chronically homeless individuals, Veterans, and families in permanent housing. How can you help?
- Encourage property owners and landlords to join the many others who are already working with The Way Home clients, like Angela and Denise.
- Contribue to The Way Home’s “Welcome Home Fund” which helps augment costs for newly-housed homeless individuals and families at www.thewayhomehouston.org/give.