By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
Earlier this year Humility Homes & Services, Inc. (HHSI) received a $100,000 grant from the Quad Cities Community Foundation to establish a supportive housing program for vulnerable individuals. A grant match of $100,000 from The Ryan Foundation of Omaha will allow HHSI to fund this program for the next three years.
HHSI’s Supportive Housing Pilot Project aims to assist 10 individuals experiencing chronic homelessness who have a history of arrests and who needed emergency treatment for a behavioral health disorder. HHSI administrators say they created this program to reduce hospitalizations and emergency department usage, reduce criminal justice interactions among persons with histories of law enforcement involvement, and to improve health and mental health for these individuals. Furthermore, HHSI seeks to eliminate the need for emergency shelter, even among tenants with long histories of homelessness and the most severe psychiatric, substance abuse and health challenges.
“This grant allows our organization the ability to house some of the most vulnerable people in our community,” said Ryan Bobst,” HHSI’s Strategic Initiatives and Grants manager. “Providing supportive housing will ensure these individuals have the stability they need and remove barriers to permanent housing,” he added.
In January, Bobst said the 10 individuals chosen for the program were “frequently in and out of our shelter and winter shelter.” HHSI will use the grant money to pay for rent/utilities, case management services and stability funds for the participants. Through this program, they will focus on addressing the root causes of their chronic homelessness. “Intensive case management includes daily living skills, connection to needed services, transportation, employment search/assistance, and relationship/connection to the community,” Bobst said.
The individuals chosen for the HHSI program would otherwise require non-housing systems such as emergency shelters, hospitals and jails at a cost of nearly $1.8 million over three years, based on information from the Corporation for Supportive Housing. Supportive housing would stably house these same individuals for three years at a cost of around $200,000. “This is better for the individuals and for the other systems to make room for those who need those community services,” Bobst said.