Utilizing the Housing First model Bartlett Housing Solutions staff arrange for emergency, bridge, or supportive housing for homeless individuals who have insufficient resources to provide for these necessities. We believe there is a solution to homelessness – and it is affordable, sustainable housing!
Bartlett Housing Solutions has been facing the challenge of homelessness for more than three decades. Yes, there will continue to be people who must leave home because of eviction, emergencies, as well as those who simply face individual challenges that make the transition to independent living difficult. But, actually ending homelessness means something different – it means ensuring housing stability so that everyone has access to affordable, safe, accessible, and appropriate housing. Ending homelessness means doing things differently than we have been when it comes to addressing the problem of homelessness in our community.
Housing First does not mean” Housing Only.” While a Housing First approach prioritizes housing as a solution, it is only achieved with the appropriate blend of services and supports that make it possible for each individual to succeed, on a case-by-case basis. In the end, Housing first is the only evidence-based, proven practice endorsed by the Housing and Urban Development Fund for providers who work in the field of homelessness. To succeed, we must all get on the same page and work together.
Want to learn more? Here are some great resources:
Housing First in Permanent Supportive Brief
This brief provides an overview of the principles and core components of the Housing First model. It also provides information to permanent supportive housing providers about how they can implement a Housing First approach if they are not already doing so. Housing First is an approach to quickly and successfully connect individuals and families experiencing homelessness to permanent housing without preconditions and barriers to entry, such as sobriety, treatment, or service participation requirements. Supportive services are offered to maximize housing stability and prevent returns to homelessness as opposed to addressing predetermined treatment goals before permanent housing entry.
USICH Housing First Checklist
This checklist was designed to help you make a quick assessment of whether and to what degree housing programs — and entire systems — are employing a Housing First approach. Robust tools and instruments are available elsewhere to quantitatively measure program quality and fidelity to Housing First. This tool is not meant to take the place of those more rigorous assessments, but is intended to help Continuums of Care, private housing and services providers, funders, and other stakeholders to communicate about, and quickly assess, alignment with crucial Housing First approaches.
OrgCode works around the world to help end homelessness. They are located throughout the United States and Canada. They see firsthand and influence firsthand hundreds of communities each year. To learn more about homelessness from some of the best in the field on a vast range of handing topics on homelessness, go to: https://www.orgcode.com/learn
The goal of the WV Coalition to End Homelessness is to end homelessness in our state, and their focus is on communities. They can provide the tools to arm communities with strategies to get this accomplished.
Please visit: The West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness
U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, coordinates and catalyzes the federal response to homelessness, by working in close partnership with senior leaders across 19 federal member agencies. By organizing and supporting leaders such as Governors, Mayors, Continuum of Care leaders, and other local officials, they drive action to achieve the goals of the federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness—and ensure that homelessness in America is ended once and for all.
Download Files at: https://www.usich.gov/solutions/
Here’s a great article on Solutions to Homelessness by USICH: https://www.usich.gov/solutions/
National Alliance to End Homelessness Resources and Facts
The Alliance has developed a series of fact sheets, Fact Checkers and Explainers, to answer common and frequent questions about homelessness policy and research. All fact sheets draw on the best expertise, data, and research available.
Institute for Children and Poverty
An independent research and policy think tank that conducts national research on the causes of family homelessness, the demographics of this growing population, and the programs most effective in assisting homeless families to transition to stability and self-sufficiency.
National Center for Homeless Education
Provides numerous resources on homeless children and youth, resources for advocates, etc.
National Center on Family Homelessness
A non-profit organization working towards long-term solutions that help homeless families become self-supporting and active participants in community life.
National Coalition for the Homeless
A national advocacy network of homeless persons, activities, service providers and others committed to ending homelessness through public education, policy advocacy, grassroots organizing, and technical assistance.
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
(NCHV) – provides legislative advocacy, public education and technical assistance for service providers of homeless veterans.
National Student Campaign Against Hunger & Homelessness
A coalition of students and community members across the country working to end hunger and homelessness through service projects and action.
Coalition on Human Needs
The Coalition on Human Needs is an alliance of national organizations working together to promote public policies that address the needs of low-income and other vulnerable people.
Follow OrgCodes blog on a wide variety of topics at: https://www.orgcode.com/blog
When you suspect abuse or neglect, you should report your concerns to us and to the county office of the Department of Health and Human Resources where you live. Reports can also be made to the Abuse and Neglect Hotline ( 1-800-352-6513 ) 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
For more information: Visit Here
West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources
State Capitol Complex, Building 3 Room 206
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: (304) 558-0684
Fax: (304) 558-1130
Bartlett Housing Solutions is fortunate to be located in such a community-focused location like Morgantown, West Virginia, that has a number of organizations working to ensure no one goes hungry in our community. The following is a list and schedule of free meals.
Trinity Episcopal Church “Red Doors”
Schedule: Monday – Friday, 11am – 12:15pm
Located at: 247 Willey Street, Morgantown, WV
Schedule: Monday – Friday, 4pm – 5pm
Located at: 1246 University Avenue, Morgantown, WV
First Presbyterian Church
Schedule: Sunday – 8am – 9:30am
Located at: 456 Spruce Street, Morgantown, WV
St. John’s Catholic Church “Sara’s Table”
Schedule: Sunday – 11:30am
Located at: 1481 University Avenue, Morgantown, WV
Circle of Friends – (see locations below)
Schedule: Saturday & Sunday, 4pm – 5:30pm
1st & 3rd weekend: Foundry Church
432 High Street, Morgantown, WV
2nd & 5th weekend: Wesley UMC
503 North High Street, Morgantown, WV
4th weekend: The Cue
222 High Street, Morgantown, WV
There is a large and growing evidence base demonstrating that Housing-First is an effective solution to homelessness. Consumers in a Housing-First model access housing faster and are more likely to remain stably housed. This is true for both PSH (Permanent Supportive Housing) and rapid re-housing programs. PSH has a long-term housing retention rate of up to 98 percent. Studies have shown that rapid re-housing helps people exit homelessness quickly—in one study, an average of two months—and remain housed. A variety of studies have shown that between 75 percent and 91 percent of households remain housed a year after being rapidly re-housed.
More extensive studies have been completed on PSH finding that clients report an increase in perceived levels of autonomy, choice, and control in Housing-First programs. A majority of clients are found to participate in the optional supportive services provided, often resulting in greater housing stability. Clients using supportive services are more likely to participate in job training programs, attend school, discontinue substance use, have fewer instances of domestic violence, and spend fewer days hospitalized than those not participating.
Finally, permanent supportive housing has been found to be cost-efficient. Providing access to housing generally results in cost savings for communities because housed people are less likely to use emergency services, including hospitals, jails, and emergency shelter than those who are homeless. One study found an average cost saving on emergency services of $31,545 per person housed in a Housing-First program over the course of two years. Another study showed that a Housing-First program could cost up to $23,000 less per consumer per year than a shelter program.
At Bartlett Housing Solutions, we have implemented the ‘Housing-First’ initiative in our efforts to end homelessness. Since 2017, when our organization first incorporated this initiative into our operations, we have seen an improvement in results across the board. But there are still questions as to ‘What is Housing-First?’. The following information is provided courtesy of the National Alliance To End Homelessness.
What is Housing-First?
Housing-First is a homeless assistance approach that prioritizes providing permanent housing to people experiencing homelessness, thus ending their homelessness and serving as a platform from which they can pursue personal goals and improve their quality of life. This approach is guided by the belief that people need basic necessities like food and a place to live before attending to anything less critical, such as getting a job, budgeting properly, or attending to substance use issues. Additionally, Housing-First is based on the theory that client choice is valuable in housing selection and supportive service participation, and that exercising that choice is likely to make a client more successful in remaining housed and improving their life.
How is Housing-First different from other approaches?
Housing-First does not require people experiencing homelessness to address all of their problems including behavioral health problems or to graduate through a series of services programs before they can access housing. Housing-First does not mandate participation in services either before obtaining housing or in order to retain housing. The Housing-First approach views housing as the foundation for life improvement and enables access to permanent housing without prerequisites or conditions beyond those of a typical renter. Supportive services are offered to support people with housing stability and individual well-being, but participation is not required as services have been found to be more effective when a person chooses to engage. Other approaches do make such requirements in order for a person to obtain and retain housing.
Who can be helped by Housing-First?
A Housing-First approach can benefit both homeless families and individuals with any degree of service needs. The flexible and responsive nature of a Housing-First approach allows it to be tailored to help anyone. As such, a Housing-First approach can be applied to help end homelessness for a household who became homeless due to a temporary personal or financial crisis and has limited service needs, only needing help accessing and securing permanent housing. At the same time, Housing-First has been found to be a particularly effective approach to ending homelessness for high need populations, such as chronically homeless individuals.
What are the elements of a Housing-First program? Housing-First programs often provide rental assistance that varies in duration depending on the household’s needs. Consumers sign a standard lease and are able to access supportive services as necessary to help them do so. A variety of voluntary services may be used to promote housing stability and well-being during and following housing placement.
Two common program models follow the Housing-First approach but differ in implementation. Permanent supportive housing (PSH) is targeted to individuals and families with chronic illnesses, disabilities, mental health issues, or substance use disorders who have experienced long-term or repeated homelessness. It provides long-term rental assistance and supportive services.
A second program model, rapid re-housing, is employed for a wide variety of individuals and families. It provides short-term rental assistance and services. The goals are to help people obtain housing quickly, increase self-sufficiency, and remain housed. The Core Components of rapid re-housing—housing identification, rent and move-in assistance, and case management and services—operationalize Housing-First principals.
Bartlett Housing Solutions works hard to provide as many support services and resources for our clients as possible. In order to do this, we must follow the various rules and regulations set by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
As one of the main governing organizations for regulating and supporting the fight against homelessness, HUD provides the organization a standard for determining if an individual is homeless.
The following is HUD’s current definition of Homeless:
People who are living in a place not meant for human habitation, in emergency shelter, in transitional housing, or are exiting an institution where they temporarily resided. The only significant change from existing practice is that people will be considered homeless if they are exiting an institution where they resided for up to 90 days (it was previously 30 days), and was in the shelter or a place not meant for human habitation immediately prior to entering that institution.
Imminent Risk of Homelessness
People who are losing their primary nighttime residence, which may include a motel or hotel or a doubled-up situation, within 14 days and lack resources or support networks to remain in housing. HUD had previously allowed people who were being displaced within 7 days to be considered homeless. The proposed regulation also describes specific documentation requirements for this category.
Homeless under other Federal statutes
Families with children or unaccompanied youth who are unstably housed and likely to continue in that state. This is a new category of homelessness, and it applies to families with children or unaccompanied youth who have not had a lease or ownership interest in a housing unit in the last 60 or more days, have had two or more moves in the last 60 days, and who are likely to continue to be unstably housed because of disability or multiple barriers to employment.
Fleeing/Attempting to Flee Domestic Violence
People who are fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, have no other residence and lack the resources or support networks to obtain other permanent housing. This category is similar to the current practice regarding people who are fleeing domestic violence.
If you have any questions regarding the definition of homelessness, or if you qualify for one of these categories, please do not hesitate to contact our team at Bartlett Housing Solutions.
To learn more about the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), please visit www.HUD.gov.
Bartlett Housing Solutions, in conjunction with the West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness, has worked to provide a five-step program when looking for housing. Those steps include:
If you have any questions regarding your search for housing in the Morgantown area, be sure to talk to one of the Bartlett Housing Solutions team members, or visit the website for West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness at https://www.wvceh.org/.
Bartlett Housing Solutions understands that for many of us, our pets are more than just animals, they are family. Often, these companions are the reason our clients are able to push through a tough night or challenging time. Because of this, we have taken the steps to be a pet-friendly organization and therefore allow pets in our programs.
However, our team still holds the safety and comfort of our clients as our top priority. We need to ensure that there are no issues or safety concerns for others as a result of the temperament or aggressiveness of your animal.
Therefore, if you are homeless and have a pet; we recommend that you contact us before checking in so that we can plan accordingly.
Additionally, participants with pets are required to show proof of current vaccination records, keep their pets on a leash, take proper care of and clean up after their pet and be willing to follow our Pet Policy while staying in our programs.