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100-Day Challenge Homes In On Homeless

by Thomas MacMillan | May 23, 2014 11:21 am

(7) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Housing, Social Services

Thomas MacMillan Photo An army of volunteers surveying over 500 homeless people found—alarmingly—that almost half wrestle with a triple threat: a chronic health condition, mental health trouble, and substance abuse.

That statistic emerged at this week at status update meeting on the city’s “100-day challenge” to tackle chronic homelessness in New Haven.

Area social-services agencies have teamed up on an ambitious effort to house about 107 homeless people, those who are most at risk because of their lack of housing.

The effort has three parts: Assessing who is most in danger, assisting those people to gather the documents needed to find housing, and assigning them to new homes.

Homelessness service providers last week tackled the first step: a region-wide assessment of homeless people and families. Volunteers searched out homeless people and administered a detailed survey, gathering information about age, time spent homeless, medical and mental health challenges, and problems with drugs and alcohol.

Wednesday morning’s “brief back” presented the data gleaned from that exercise.

Leigh Shields-Church, team leader for the 100-day challenge, presented some stats:

• 182 volunteers administered the survey in 17 towns and at six shelters.
• 556 surveys were completed, comprising 50 families and 506 individuals.

The survey tracked a number of mortality risks—factors that increase vulnerability. Of the people assessed:

• 55 were over 60 years old
• 53 had liver disease
• 31 had kidney disease
• 29 had HIV/AIDs
• 39 had some type of injury related to cold or wet weather
•181 had been to the emergency room in the last six months
• 246 had tri-morbidity indicators: a chronic health problem, mental health condiion, substance abuse.

Shields-Church highlighted the final statistic as particularly alarming, indicating that a large percentage of the area’s homeless face significant and persistent personal challenges.

The average length of time homeless was three to six years.

Finally, the assessment revealed that of the 556 individuals and families surveyed,

• 25 percent need permanent supportive housing—a home with supportive care.
• 56 percent need rapid rehousing—they’re ready to move into a regular apartment.
• 19 percent need support services but not housing resources.

Housing First

The next step in the 100-day challenge will be to work with the most vulnerable homeless people. Each will be assigned a “liaison,” someone who will work with them to get ready for housing by pulling together their personal documents: IDs, social security cards, income verification, disability papers. 

Then, where will all the housing come from?

Shields-Church said people are already working on that question. The 100-day challenge has identified 45 slots of funded housing and $60,000 in funding for rapid rehousing.

Some people will be ready to move into shared apartments, Shields-Church said. Others will need more support.

The challenge operates on the “housing first” model, in which putting people in homes takes priority over most everything else, including requiring people to be sober or drug-free. People put in housing first are more likely and more able to seek help for other problems, the theory goes. And the practice saves money, since housing and supporting people is cheaper than giving them emergency care.

The housing first model has a 90 percent success rate, said Lisa Tepper Bates (pictured above), head of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness.

As the brief back wrapped up amid thank-yous, Columbus House head Alison Cunningham (pictured) commented on the “palpable” feelings of “hope and inspiration” in the room.

“Something different is happening,” she said. “We are going to help improve the lives of so many people.”

Previous stories about the 100-Day Challenge

100-Day Homelessness Challenge Kicks Off
100-Day Homelessness Crusade Hits The Streets

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posted by: Threefifths on May 23, 2014  11:46am

Why not just do this.If you want to help the homeless.Robert Hayes e filed a lawsuit on behalf of a man experiencing homelessness in New York City. The lawsuit was settled out of court, and people experiencing homelessness won the right to shelter in New York City.

The Callahan Legacy:  Callahan v. Carey and the Legal Right to Shelter.

http://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/pages/the-callahan-legacy-callahan-v.-carey-and-the-legal-right-to-shelter


Robert Hayes: Anatomy of a Crusader
By SUZANNE DALEY

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/10/02/nyregion/robert-hayes-anatomy-of-a-crusader.html


Robert Hayes also form The National Coalition for the Homeless.


http://nationalhomeless.org/about-us/who-we-are/

posted by: RhyminTyman on May 23, 2014  1:42pm

3/5 you understand that the NYS constitution states that NYS must provide its resident aid. I don’t believe CT’s does or at least in that manner.

posted by: RhyminTyman on May 23, 2014  1:44pm

So 44 percent can’t live on their own. This goes back to the state of mental health treatment in this country. You can’t just walk into a ER for bi-polar disorder.

posted by: Gretchen Pritchard on May 23, 2014  2:23pm

And how effective has that ruling actually been in ending homelessness in New York State?  I don’t remember hearing or reading anywhere that there are no longer any homeless people on the streets of New York City, or living in its parks and subway stations and under its bridges.

posted by: Threefifths on May 23, 2014  4:01pm

posted by: Gretchen Pritchard on May 23, 2014 2:23pm

And how effective has that ruling actually been in ending homelessness in New York State?  I don’t remember hearing or reading anywhere that there are no longer any homeless people on the streets of New York City, or living in its parks and subway stations and under its bridges.

New York can not force you to live in the shelter.But In 2008, after more than 20 years of litigation, the City agreed to a settlement guaranteeing the legal right to shelter and that shelters must be decent and habitable.So New York City created the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) in 1993 and made it a Mayoral agency in 1999. DHS directly operates or contracts with providers of shelter for families with children, adult families, as well as single adults.Also New york city has it’s own shelters.The DHS shelters are funded by City, State and federal tax levy dollars.

Feel free to read there website.

http://benefitsplus.cssny.org/pbm/housing-programs-services/nyc-shelter-system/197382

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dhs/html/faq/faq.shtml

My bad.To answer your question on I don’t remember hearing or reading anywhere that there are no longer any homeless people on the streets of New York City, or living in its parks and subway stations and under its bridges.

New York is geting being sue again.

Homeless youths sue city for not providing enough shelter.
By Selim Algar

http://nypost.com/2014/01/01/homeless-youths-sue-city-for-not-providing-enough-shelter/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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January 1, 2014

posted by: Threefifths on May 23, 2014  4:02pm

posted by: RhyminTyman on May 23, 2014 1:42pm

3/5 you understand that the NYS constitution states that NYS must provide its resident aid. I don’t believe CT’s does or at least in that manner.

You told me this before.I say still try it in court.

posted by: Bill Saunders on May 25, 2014  2:21am

From what I have seen, this ‘initiative’ has it’s work cut out.

We are facing a crisis this summer—that is my real report from the street.  Many people with no place to go, and racks luggage falling apart on flimsy carriers.

This is a sad, and simple to assuage. 

So Humans…..

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