Strategic Initiative: Ending Chronic Homelessness
People who are chronically homeless have been on the streets or in shelter for at least 12 months and have a disability. The longer people are homeless, the more complex their needs become: they develop chronic medical conditions that don’t get treated, their mental health deteriorates and substance use increases, and they often experience severe trauma because they don’t have a safe place to live. Additionally, their public costs are high because they use emergency medical services and are frequently incarcerated, often for misdemeanors related to living outside.
People who’ve become chronically homeless are the most vulnerable members of our community. They have the greatest need for permanent housing but the least opportunity to access it.
Based on our current programs, we know that people who’ve been chronically homeless can be successful in housing, when we provide the right supports that meet their needs.
Chronically homeless people are core to our mission of ending homelessness: they’ve experienced the most time homeless and have the greatest barriers to getting themselves back into housing. Ending chronic homelessness means we’ll house everyone who’s currently experiencing it, and we’ll build a system to house people at risk of chronic homelessness in the future.
By being data-driven and following proven practices, we will:
- Create and maintain a by-name list of every identified chronically homeless person in Asheville and Buncombe County
- Create a housing plan for each person on that list: what housing program will permanently end their homelessness? Do they need scattered-site or congregate housing? Do they need on-site services? Do they need short or long-term assistance?
- Identify gaps in resources: who on our list can we not make a housing plan for, either because we don’t have enough capacity in existing housing programs or because they need a program that doesn’t exist in our community?
- Fill the gaps: expand capacity and develop new housing programs to fully meet the need
Between July 2017 and June 2018, we’re looking to raise $100,000 for this work.