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Housing first manual: the pathways model to end homelessness for people with mental illness and addic - Housing First Manual: The Pathways Model to End.


Pathways to Housing PA (PTHPA) was founded to positively transform the lives of people experiencing mental health challenges and chronic homelessness by supporting self-directed recovery and community integration. As an alternative to a system of emergency shelter/ transitional housing progressions, PTHPA’s model is simple: provide housing first, and then combine that housing with supportive treatment services in the areas of mental and physical health, substance abuse, education, and employment.

Housing First means there are no conditions that have to be met before the person moves in.  He or she does not need to agree to psychiatric treatment or be clean and sober. The new tenant needs to abide by the same laws and rules that we all live by, they need to pay 30% of their income toward rent and utilities (whatever the income - 30% of 0 is 0) and they need to agree to let us visit them in their home at least twice per month. Some people require much more service time and we have the flexibility to provide the level of care needed for each individual.

At this point, even though the program participant is housed in his or her own apartment, stabilization in their new home can be a very difficult process. Many obstacles often impede a person's recovery and housing maintenance: psychosis, depression, loneliness, acute and chronic health problems, dysfunctional families and social relationships, hospitalization, incarcerations, failure to reduce drug use and its related harmful behaviors, poor medication adherence, and/or the inability to manage finances. Fortunately, PTHPA’s Treatment Teams have the robust competencies and skills required to meet the multiple treatment, rehabilitation, and support needs of the people we serve.

Many survivors of domestic violence find that they have to move out of their homes in order to start a new, safe life. Unfortunately, not all survivors have a safe place to go or the means with which to rent or buy a new home. Domestic violence is one of the leading causes of homelessness for women and children. [1] A 2010 report showed that, of mothers with children who were homeless, more than 80 percent had been in a domestic violence situation previously. [2]

Luckily, an innovative program was developed in the early ’90s that aims to help people in this situation. Called “Housing First,” the approach focuses on helping homeless individuals, or those in the shelter system, find permanent rental housing as quickly as possible and then providing other services as needed. [3]

Instead of moving individuals through different levels of housing—such as from a public shelter to a transitional housing program to their own place, or, what’s called the Continuum of Care—the idea behind Housing First is to move those who need a home directly into one and then address the issues that led to the homelessness. These issues can range from poverty to mental illness to drug addiction, but domestic violence is also a cause.

Pathways to Housing PA (PTHPA) was founded to positively transform the lives of people experiencing mental health challenges and chronic homelessness by supporting self-directed recovery and community integration. As an alternative to a system of emergency shelter/ transitional housing progressions, PTHPA’s model is simple: provide housing first, and then combine that housing with supportive treatment services in the areas of mental and physical health, substance abuse, education, and employment.

Housing First means there are no conditions that have to be met before the person moves in.  He or she does not need to agree to psychiatric treatment or be clean and sober. The new tenant needs to abide by the same laws and rules that we all live by, they need to pay 30% of their income toward rent and utilities (whatever the income - 30% of 0 is 0) and they need to agree to let us visit them in their home at least twice per month. Some people require much more service time and we have the flexibility to provide the level of care needed for each individual.

At this point, even though the program participant is housed in his or her own apartment, stabilization in their new home can be a very difficult process. Many obstacles often impede a person's recovery and housing maintenance: psychosis, depression, loneliness, acute and chronic health problems, dysfunctional families and social relationships, hospitalization, incarcerations, failure to reduce drug use and its related harmful behaviors, poor medication adherence, and/or the inability to manage finances. Fortunately, PTHPA’s Treatment Teams have the robust competencies and skills required to meet the multiple treatment, rehabilitation, and support needs of the people we serve.




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