»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
Housing Services

What Is Supportive Housing?

Permanent supportive housing gives a person more than a place to stay. It also includes services to help the customer live independently and grow. For some tenants that means stopping by once in a while to see how they are managing. For others it means gentle reminders – to pay rent, to take medication, etc.

For the community it means offering a compassionate solution to homelessness. It costs much less to provide supportive housing than to warehouse people in jails, homeless shelters or psychiatric hospitals. Shuffling people from place to place is destabilizing to the individual and costly to the community.

What other benefits come with supportive housing? When individuals are housed, they can recover, rejoin the community and work to improve the world around them. If they achieve paid employment, their spending and tax revenues benefit the community.

Finally, there is environmental value in improving the housing stock of neighborhoods. When NPI purchases a property, we clean it up, rehabilitate and add landscaping. When you improve one site, you increase its value and the whole area benefits. When one property is upgraded, neighbors are more inclined to take care of their properties as well. Purchasers are more likely to invest in the street, and the cycle of growth unfolds. That is why we believe so strongly in our mission at NPI. With community support we can fight homelessness, reclaim neighborhoods and support the local economy.

Supportive Housing: A Comparison of Costs per Day per Person

The following data was collected from Columbus, Ohio. It was reported in the Cost of Serving Homeless Individuals in Nine Cities, a report prepared by the Lewin Group for the Partnership to End Long-Term Homelessness, in 2004.

Homeless Outreach

Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH)

How do you reach out to someone who lives on the street and does not trust people? Along with the standard barriers, there is mental illness. Many self-medicate with street drugs. One man who was homeless in Toledo in the early 1990’s explains why he did not get help from his family:

“They were in denial – they thought I was on drugs. I was in denial – I thought everyone was hearing the same voices I was.”

PATH (Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness) works to build rapport with these vulnerable individuals, encouraging them to get help. The PATH team does outreach in the streets, under bridges, in wooded areas’s, wherever they can find homeless persons with mental illness. Once contact is made, they offer practical assistance:

  • Food
  • Blankets
  • Clothing
  • “Street corner” assessments
  • Hygiene supplies
  • Crisis intervention
  • Peer support
  • Transportation to intake appointments

Once a person accepts help, s/he needs intensive support throughout recovery, learning basic living skills and building healthy relationships. PATH facilitates access to core services:

  • Emergency shelter
  • Transitional housing
  • Mental healthcare
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Case management

PATH is funded in part by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and the Ohio Department of Development via the Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Lucas County.

Homeless Families

In a given year, the homeless population in the United States amounts to 3.5 million people. Forty percent of those are in families with children, according to the 2004 U.S. Conference of Mayors. This program makes a dent in the problem locally. NPI offers permanent housing for homeless families with children in which one member lives with mental illness. The program serves 30 families per year on average, allowing them to stabilize and begin healing.

“NPI was great,” said a former tenant who now works full time and supports her children. “They have a lot of services for people with mental health issues. Everything was right there when I needed it. Instead of knocking on 12 doors to get support, I could knock on one.

NPI also makes sure the family’s basic needs are met while they get started. Mental health agencies treat the individual with mental illness, and work with family members to help build a new, healthier life. The apartments are located near parks, schools and commercial areas for shopping and possible employment. Clients who need additional services will be linked with local resources:

  • Substance use treatment
  • General healthcare
  • Education
  • Job training
  • Social services for children

This program is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.

A Fresh Start for Single Mothers

This program offers a wonderful new start for homeless women and their children. Single mothers can rebuild their lives in this attractive brick facility in South Toledo. NPI offers group trainings on-site to assist with various challenges:

  • Using public transportation
  • Dealing with banks and lenders
  • Finances and credit management
  • Parenting skills
  • Mental health and raising children

Tenants are encouraged to become self-sufficient or increase their independence, complete any needed alcohol or drug rehab programs and enhance their job and life skills. Thanks largely to the Toledo Community Foundation, the Children’s Learning Center is available after school and all summer long to offer academic support to students in grades K through 12.

This program is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.

Young Adults

This NPI program serves 14 young adults between the ages of 18 and 23. As consumers of mental health services, they need help transitioning into the adult mental health system and building independent living skills. Customers receive case management services and are strongly encouraged to stay in school. They also focus on the following areas:

  • Self esteem/relationships
  • Job training
  • Mental wellness
  • Coping with stress

All of these customers live with serious and persistent mental illness, and all have incomes below the federal poverty line. Almost one-third have dual diagnoses (mental health and substance use issues).

This program is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.

Help for Young Adults with Criminal Justice Involvement

First Avenue serves young adults coming out of the criminal justice system. These customers live with severe mental illness and have nowhere to go. NPI helps them reintegrate into the community. Goals include increasing income and fostering independence while avoiding involvement with the courts. The program is housed in northwest Toledo and offers 12 furnished apartment homes, a community room and laundry facilities. Resident managers are on-site 24/7 to offer assistance and support.

This program is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development and the State of Ohio.

Homeless Veterans

NPI has a program in South Toledo for homeless veterans with mental illness. There are 20 apartment homes with on-site support 24/7, giving tenants the opportunity to stabilize and rebuild their lives. Referrals and mental healthcare are provided by the Toledo Community Based Outpatient Clinic program for homeless veterans. Services are based on individual needs and personal recovery plans. Referrals are made to the Veterans Association and local agencies for medication and general healthcare. Training is offered in the area of life skills:

  • On-site substance abuse support groups
  • Food preparation
  • Personal hygiene
  • Housekeeping
  • Financial management
  • Computer basics
  • Transportation to appointments

This project is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Safe Haven

A Better Program for Chronically Homeless Persons

NPI’s newest program, Safe Haven has offered housing for chronically homeless individuals with mental illness since fall 2007. When a person has been homeless for a year or more, or has had a pattern of homelessness for several years, recovery may have special requirements. The Safe Haven philosophy brings a customer into housing first, and then encourages him or her to pursue needed services. Individuals move forward on their own terms, following their own plan toward their goals. Staff is on-site 24/7 for assistance and support. This facility of 12 apartment homes is located in the central city just west of downtown Toledo.

Substance Abuse

Road to Recovery

Many people turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with life pressures, which can lead to dependency and loss of job, home and family. In other words, life becomes unmanageable. That’s why there are so many homeless persons with chemical dependency issues, many of whom live with mental illness as well. The first step in recovery is overcoming addiction and achieving sobriety. However, that is not the only step. Road to Recovery offers transitional housing and a chance to build a strong foundation while learning an independent and sober lifestyle.

Road to Recovery houses 17 adults, providing a safe and sober environment with on-site support 24/7. Program staff links tenants with community services to help them achieve their goals, which may include:

  • GED, technical, college study
  • Transportation to school or work
  • Job training and placement
  • Resume and interview coaching

NPI provides this program in partnership with the Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Lucas County, COMPASS and the Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority.

Page managed by Vanguard Technologies