In many ways, the Housing Program is the culmination of the integrated case management system. Before beginning the process of moving out, each guest needs to have addressed the very issues that brought him or her to the shelter in the first place.
Housing is only the solution when it is sustainable. When it is permanent. When it is a home. And that is the goal.
It is not easy to find affordable, safe, and clean housing.
Our Housing team and Case Managers know how to help guests make it happen.
When they are ready, guests work hand-in-hand with Case Managers and the Housing team to make the transition out of the shelter and into affordable, permanent homes.
Hopefully, the process of applying to the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority for a Section 8 housing voucher has begun before the guest arrives at the shelter. If not, we initiate the application as soon as possible for those eligible. It can take up to a year or longer for the voucher to be approved.
Next, money management, budgeting, and savings are essential.
If an overall assessment of an individual’s physical, mental, and financial well-being indicates readiness, then we move forward either with a Section 8 voucher or subsidized housing, in most cases.
In order to find the right apartment, guests and Case Managers work with Americorps Members at the shelter and the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority, with the homeless outreach team at Bert Nash, and with reputable community landlords.
And the process doesn’t end once the lease is signed and the key is in hand! The shelter’s Move-Out Program helps guests furnish their new apartment while assisting Case Managers in making sure that the new apartment becomes a stable, permanent home.