HOUSING FIRST PROGRAM
As an emergency homeless shelter, New Horizons offers those who are temporarily homeless with a place to stay while they work to get back on their feet and into long-term housing. Unfortunately, many chronically homeless people use New Horizons as a long term, or even permanent, residence. Even worse, many chronically homeless people refuse to come to a shelter and end up living “on the street.”
In an effort to better address the issues of chronic homelessness, New Horizons has begun participating in the Housing First program. Case workers look for the most vulnerable homeless people, those at real risk of dying on the streets. These people are then placed in private apartments where the rent is paid by New Horizons. Supportive services are made available to these people. Currently, through a grant from the City of Manchester, we have three formerly homeless people enrolled in the program.
The Housing First program has been successful in several cities at eliminating chronic homelessness. In many cases, when a formerly homeless person is provided with basic shelter, they can begin to make the changes needed to become more self-sufficient. Additionally, community costs are greatly reduced. A chronically homeless person typically has regular contact with emergency rooms, ambulances, police, and homeless shelters. These contacts are greatly reduced when a person is off the street in a stable living situation. Even with the cost of rent, we have found that placing a person in the Housing First program reduces community costs by as much as 75%.
Several of the participants in our Housing First program have already moved on to their own living arrangements. We are working hard to expand this program and envision a day when chronic homelessness in Manchester is a thing of the past.
“The program helped me out tremendously. I’m very grateful for the help.” - Alan
“Being homeless, you begin to feel you’re going to be homeless forever. Getting off the streets motivates you to not want to ever be homeless again.” - Alan
“It’s very depressing out there. It’s a different world on the street. You never know; you leave your campsite, it might not be there when you get back.” - Richard Scott
“I love it. It’s like a mansion compared to a tent.” – Richard Scott
During one six month period community costs were reduced by 75%!