Housing First Program
The Housing First Program at PLACES provides permanent housing and on-site supportive services for adults diagnosed with mental health disorders who are homeless. We serve the immediate needs of the homeless by providing “housing first” – and offering supportive services second. PLACES currently provides independent, furnished apartments to 26 formerly homeless adults in three locations throughout Montgomery County. All locations are convenient to commercial areas and public transportation.
The goal of Housing First is to provide a safe, stable residence that allows tenants – many with substance abuse problems, criminal records and no income – to start planning for their futures. Transformation can begin as soon as a tenant moves in. Within the first hour, some tenants shave and shower. Others begin their laundry or cook for themselves. Some enjoy a first night of sleep in their own beds.
Individual Plans and Progress
All three Housing First locations are staffed 24/7 by trained, professional PLACES staff who can help tenants acquire skills to maintain their housing and secure an income. Tenants can receive these services by working with a case manager to create an individual plan.
They can learn how to:
- Cook, launder and keep house again
- Obtain social services and medical care
- Access recovery programs
Tenants may decide to:
- Enter treatment
- Find job training or employment
- Reconnect with their families
- Make other long-deferred plans
Transforming and Saving Lives
The occupancy rate for our three Housing First facilities exceeds 99 percent. That’s because most homeless individuals are eager for a permanent home and want to stay. Without PLACES providing permanent supportive housing to these individuals – who were sick and living with little food and no medication – it’s likely some of them would have died on the streets.
We will open our fourth Housing First facility, which will house 12 men and women, in 2013.