Housing Services

Housing First Model

What is Housing First?

Housing First is an approach to quickly and successfully connect individuals and families experiencing homelessness to permanent housing without preconditions and barriers to entry, such as sobriety, treatment or service participation requirements. Supportive services are offered to maximize housing stability and prevent returns to homelessness as opposed to addressing predetermined treatment goals prior to permanent housing entry.

Housing First emerged as an alternative to the linear approach in which people experiencing homelessness were required to first participate in and graduate from short-term residential and treatment programs before obtaining permanent housing. In the linear approach, permanent housing was offered only after a person experiencing homelessness could demonstrate that they were “ready” for housing. By contrast, Housing First is premised on the following principles:

  • Homelessness is first and foremost a housing crisis and can be addressed through the provision of safe and affordable housing.

  • All people experiencing homelessness, regardless of their housing history and duration of homelessness, can achieve housing stability in permanent housing. Some may need very little support for a brief period of time, while others may need more intensive and long-term supports.

  • Everyone is “housing ready.” Sobriety, compliance in treatment, or even criminal histories are not necessary to succeed in housing. Rather, homelessness programs and housing providers must be “consumer ready.”

  • Many people experience improvements in quality of life, in the areas of health, mental health, substance use, and employment, as a result of achieving housing.

  • People experiencing homelessness have the right to self-determination and should be treated with dignity and respect.

  • The exact configuration of housing and services depends upon the needs and preferences of the population.

KCAO provides the following services to help combat homelessness:

Rapid Re-Housing: Every Door Open

The Every Door Open (EDO) project provides Rapid Re-Housing services and support to individuals and families experiencing homelessness to permanent housing through a tailored package of assistance that may include the use of time-limited financial assistance and targeted supportive services. This project does not assist individuals or families who are already living in a rental property.

KCAO employs case manager’s that assists households in obtaining and remaining in permanent housing through a variety of strategies such as assessing households for barriers to obtain and remaining in permanent housing. The case manager collaboratively develops an Individualized Service Plan (ISP) for each household that includes key factors in the household’s ability to increase their employment, income, and self-sufficiency skills. Direct assistance and/referrals for supportive services such as job placement assistance, resume building, adult education services, child care, and budgeting will be the primary focus of the ISPs.

Permanent Supportive Housing: Anchors II, Anchors IV, Hope Survives

The Permanent Supportive Housing programs is long-term housing that provides supportive services for homeless persons with disabilities. A disability is defined as:

  1. A disability as defined in Section 223 of the Social Security Act;

  2. To be determined to have, pursuant to regulations issued by the Secretary, a physical, mental, or emotional impairment which:

    1. is expected to be of long-continued and indefinite duration,

    2. substantially impedes an individual’s ability to live independently, and

    3. of a nature that could be improved by more suitable housing conditions (e.g., a substance abuse disorder if the person’s impairment could be improved by more suitable housing conditions);

  3. A developmental disability as defined in Section 102 of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 of this title; or

  4. The disease of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or conditions arising from the etiologic agency for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

This type of supportive housing enables special needs populations to live as independently as possible in a permanent setting. Supportive services include rental/leasing assistance, case management, life skills training, and assistance with transportation; and may include, utility payments and household establishment (furniture, clothing, and essential household items). The supportive services provided in connection with these projects addresses the special needs of individuals (such as homeless persons with disabilities and homeless families with children) intended to be served by a project.

For additional information and to determine whether you qualify please call (559) 362-2725 or (559) 362-0284