CASE MANAGEMENT: KEY TO HOUSING
You may have heard the term “case management” in the stories we have
shared with you of successful clients, and how they followed their case plan
and were able to move into permanent housing. Occasionally we are asked,
“Just what is a case plan and how do you use them at Fourth & Hope?”
When a guest enters Fourth & Hope emergency shelter and after staying
for three days, they must sit down with their case manager and develop a
personal plan to work on specific things that will support moving from
homelessness to housing. The plan is developed after a needs
assessment is conducted to evaluate what services are available to meet
specific needs, and create a workable housing strategy meeting specific
These strategies may include cleaning up credit or past eviction issues;
accessing income through gaining employment or accessing benefits,
such as veteran benefits; or reaching out to family members for
assistance; and saving money to make the required deposit and first and
last month rent for a house or apartment.
It is always a cause for celebration when a client works through their case
plan and ultimately finds housing – like Louis did earlier this month after
staying with us since January. He began his stay at our extended shelters,
and ultimately moved into the Fourth & Hope permanent supportive
housing program, and is now living independently in an apartment.
The most significant challenge our clients face continues to be the lack
of affordable housing. Almost 30% of the clients at the main and
extended shelters are working, or have income, but cannot find a place
to live that is affordable.
Homeless services manager Charlotte Baur states that “having access to
housing that people can afford” is a big part of the solution to
homelessness in Woodland.