This Toolkit highlights some of the most promising practices for ending long-term homelessness today. The projects and programs represented here are making real strides toward ending homelessness in our country by serving those who have been historically underserved. In addition to key lessons learned by supportive housing projects and programs across the country, the Toolkit includes profiles of systems-wide strategies for working with this population, photo tours of supportive housing projects from around the country, sample documents from supportive housing service teams and property managers, and a listing of key additional tools.
CSH hopes that this Toolkit is a significant contribution to the resources available to help end long-term homelessness. Over the last few years, CSH, its partners around the country, many community-based organizations, and cities, states, and the federal government have committed to and invested in ending long-term homelessness. Closer to Home, a recent report by Sue Barrow of the New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, offers some important keys to understanding this population:
- People who are homeless for the long term tend to be estranged from mainstream supports. At the same time, they can and do access services and can and do achieve housing retention.
- Key barriers to housing included an admission process that is often too complex, daunting, and stigmatizing, as well as too many entry requirements.
- While low-demand housing seems to work for many, there is no single best form of housing for this population.
Closer to Home shows that the recent emphasis on serving those who have been homeless for the long term does not require a new or different type of supportive housing. Rather, small changes in program structure can greatly help many homeless people in our country who have not been well-served by past efforts.
Explore, learn, and question. Whether you’re ready to take action or still pondering, the examples included here are intended to help supportive housing developers, service providers, and property managers strengthen their capacity to serve individuals and families who have been homeless for the long term. (Author).