Supportive Housing helps people meet their goals
Each year, the Haven helps many people who have experienced chronic homelessness find housing. That’s great. But can they stay housed? What if they have trouble holding down a job or have never budgeted their money to plan for rent? What if they’ve been living outside and aren’t used to neighbors?
This is where Supportive Housing at the Haven comes in. “We help guests make progress on goals they may have, whether it’s securing benefits, working on their mental health, or paying bills,” explains Adult Clinical Supervisor Becky Hadley who leads the team who have worked with single adults living at Parkhurst in Lebanon. The affordable apartment complex, made up of 18 one-bedroom units, is a partnership between the Haven and Twin Pines Housing Trust. “It’s optional to participate in service coordination but most residents do. Once housed, people often find they can address challenges with their mental health or substance use in new ways.”
“I like connecting with guests and getting to know their stories,” adds Service Coordinator Ellen Hender, who works with families in our Family Supportive Housing program. Ellen notes that for the 15 to 16 families she works with at any given time, there is no set limit on Supportive Housing. “It might be a few months or a few years,” she says.
What difference do services and support make? “It’s a three-legged stool,” Ellen continues. “Research shows that when you pair cost assistance and housing with supportive services, success is so much greater. People are able to keep housing and make progress on their goals.” She thinks of one family, who had experienced multiple instances of homelessness. For a variety of reasons, “it wasn’t an easy process for them to maintain housing.” Working with Ellen, they found an apartment big enough for their growing family, with a landlord who took care of the property. “Over a year, they paid rent every single month on time. It reduced stress and created stability. One of the most exciting things for them is that their youngest child has never experienced homelessness, which is huge.”
“It’s rewarding to walk alongside families and see them create opportunities for themselves,” Ellen concludes. “To see that is truly awesome.”