People without a stable home come in all stripes. They may suffer from an acute mental illness, live with a debilitating disability, have a past of domestic violence victimization, or experience other barriers to stability. Though there are many effective types of shelters available, people with serious difficulties need a bit more help.
To help these chronically homeless individuals, permanent supportive housing is the tool of choice for an increasing number of municipalities. But what is permanent supportive housing? And how does it uniquely serve the homeless in these communities? To learn the basics, read on.
The Foundations of Permanent Supportive Housing
At the core, permanent supportive housing combats homelessness by providing people a private and reliable place of their own with many accessible supportive services. These homes usually come at some cost to the resident, but often have subsidies or income-dependent controls.
The idea, which has backing from research, is that housing permanence coupled with case management gives people a solid foundation. From there, they can pursue secure employment, gain tenancy experience, and receive help with persistent substance abuse or mental health problems. While temporary shelters offer many of the same services, they lack the central peace of mind a personal home affords.
To further uncover what permanent supportive housing is, you need to gain an understanding of the associated services.
- To help residents find a job, PSH provides vocational training, counseling, and help with the job search.
- To support those with a mental illness, PSH connects residents with a mental health counselor and treatment.
- To help residents recover from addiction, PSH gives substance abuse resources.
- To aid residents with disabilities and other health struggles, PSH often supplies health care benefits.
While supportive housing communities encourage people to utilize these services, they are not a requirement for residency.
Lastly, there are several ways permanent supportive housing can manifest. Rather than large-scale affordable housing projects, PSH assumes a smaller profile. At the biggest, they encompass an entire apartment building meant for housing previously homeless individuals.
For more established residents, scattered or set-aside units afford more independence while retaining access to supportive services. Whether they lease from an affordable housing building or a private apartment building, these two options help people further reacclimate to living on their own.