The COMMUNITY MISSION


"Being the Change"

PATHWAYS TO STABILITY

PATHWAYS TO STABILITY is the newest and "most comprehensive" Housing Program that we have ever offered. This program culminates over 10 years of work. 


What Housing First Really Means


No two people experience homelessness the same way. Some have a mental health diagnosis, some do not. Some are living with addiction, others are not. Some spend each night in shelter, while others sleep in doorways, cars, or encampments.

 

Yet, everyone experiencing homelessness shares one thing in common: they do not have a safe or appropriate place to live.

 

Similarly, it is unlikely that any two people have the same path out of homelessness. Some will find long term stability by reconnecting with family or friends. Others will find new housing, get a new job, or connect with benefits that quickly allow them to exit homelessness on their own. Some will need more intensive supports like rapid re-housing or permanent supportive housing to help them find housing, pay for it, and maintain it.

 

Yet, there is one thing that can resolve anyone’s homelessness crisis: reconnecting with permanent housing.

 

Housing First (Not Housing Only)


This is what we mean by Housing First: that homelessness is a problem with a solution, and that the solution is housing. For everyone. Whether you follow the rules or not. Whether you are “compliant” with treatment or not. Whether you have a criminal record or not. Whether you have been on the streets for one day or ten years. Permanent housing is what ends homelessness. It is the platform from which people can continue to grow and thrive in their communities.

 

Housing First is a philosophy that values flexibility, individualized supports, client choice, and autonomy. It never has been housing only, and it never should be.

 

Supportive Services are part of the Housing First model. That might include formal support services, like a doctor, therapist, or social worker. It might involve informal supports, like connecting with family, friends, or faith groups.

But, in Housing First, these supports are not prescribed; people have the agency to select the supportive services they need and want, tailoring their supports to their own unique situation.

 

One Size Does Not Fit All

However, in communities across the country, many service providers, politicians and concerned citizens continue to dismiss Housing First as a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Oddly enough, the alternatives recommended frequently include approaches like transitional housing, or drug and alcohol treatment programs. By their very nature, these approaches assume people experiencing homelessness have a predictable set of needs and must complete a prescribed process in order to be “ready” for housing.

 

The Housing First approach is the polar opposite of a one-size-fits-all approach. Nothing in the Housing First philosophy precludes someone from pursuing the services, supports and housing that they need and want. If those services include mental health or addiction treatment, they are connected to it. If the housing they want is sober living, they are free to select it. Nobody is required to participate in a service that they do not want in order to receive or retain housing. In fact, requirements like these would assume a singular, “one-size-fits-all” path from homelessness to housing.

 

PATHWAYS to STABILITY

In the past 6 years, I have personally seen and experienced homelessness and its many faces. "To say that there is one path to homelessness is narrow-minded and misguided." PATHWAYS to STABILITY is an attempt to resolve and improve communication between those at risk or experiencing homelessness and quickly implement cost-effective strategies to resolve and prevent future occurances by using existing services and resources.

 

 

The 3 I's

1. Identifying- Starts with an intake and referral system to connect anyone in a housing crisis with the services they need most. It’s a “no wrong door” system that gets the person to the right place no matter where they first turn for help. Homeowners whose homes have been condemned or whose utilities have recently been turned off can be referred when they final receive shutoff notices.

2.Intervention-getting to these people asap to assess WHY they got to this point,then we address their underlying issues around mental health, addiction, medical care, income, and education to help integrate and welcome them back into our community.

3. Interaction By working with town officials, who issue ordinance violations, we can offer services to rectify current problems before they escalate into bigger problems.

 

The Fuller Center for Housing, promotes collaborative and innovative partnerships with individuals and organizations in an unrelenting quest to provide adequate shelter for all people in need worldwide.

 

According to local and national advocates, providing the homeless with access to housing reduces the money government or community agencies spend on emergency shelter, emergency room care, long-term hospitalizations and imprisonment for such individuals, according to information from the National Alliance to End Homelessness (https://bit.ly/2AdGyKq). According to the alliance, one study found that providing services to an individual in a Housing First program produced an average cost savings of $31,545 per person over a two-year period, while another showed that a Housing First program could cost up to $23,000 less annually per person vs. housing in a shelter.

 

Housing First is a philosophy that values flexibility, individualized supports, client choice, and autonomy. It never has been housing only, and it never should be.


 

 

FUTURE PLANS

1. We have Implemented The  HOUSING FIRST PROGRAM Principles and now have Trained Case managers to Assess ans Implement its principles in every phase of our programming.




2. Utilize Rapid Rehousing Principles(seek funding-in Process)


3. Integrate Existing City,Town and municipal Authority Protocols with an "Incentive Based Referral System"that will incentivise all that are involved.


4. Keep people in their existing homes using Fuller Center and Other County Resources