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Housing First: A Realistic View of the Importance of Case Management

What is Housing a First? Why should I (or my agency follow it)? Where is proof that Housing First works? But, Michael...it's really hard to implement? Why should we change?

I genuinely hope that you take the time to real this blog if you've found yourself or your agency asking any of the above noted questions. 

Housing First is a very simple philosophy that is based on the idea that all humans deserve to have a safe place to call home. However, Housing First goes a little further in that it acknowledges that it is near damn impossible to gain stability while living outdoors, or even in shelters. 

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Why pretend to be homeless?

A few months ago, I was invited to a homeless awareness event where people would be sleeping outdoors for the night in an effort to understand the plight of people experiencing homelessness. At this event, they would be giving out a prize for the “best makeshift shelter” and a prize for the best “street performance.” I was up front with this group and commended their desire to raise awareness about homelessness and the issues surrounding homelessness in West Virginia. Though their intentions were really good in that they were aiming to raise awareness about homelessness, homelessness is a traumatic event that should not be taken lightly.

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An Open Letter to the WV Balance of State Continuum of Care on Prioritization

It’s come to my attention that despite continued training, technical assistance, and guidance on Coordinated Access, Prioritization, and Centralized Intake, we still have quite a bit of confusion as to the purpose and function of prioritization. Therefore, I want to take some time to clarify some things in a simple, straightforward way:

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WVCEH Seeks Qualified Applicants for HMIS System Administrator

The West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness, located in Bridgeport, WV is seeking qualified applicants for a Homeless Management Information System Administrator/Trainer. The position will work directly under the Executive Director, and in collaboration with the HMIS System Administration team, and be responsible for the successful implementation and management of the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).

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Judgment Goes Both Ways

I’ve learned a lot since my direct service days in a family shelter from 2003-2009. Fresh out of college with big ideas and a big heart, I put all of myself into my work as a case manager for children and adults, a Housing Counselor and a grant writer. Now, in hindsight, I will admit that I did a lot of my direct service work pretty poorly, though the best I knew at that time. I focused on housing readiness, I focused on life skills, I focused on stuff; I knew I needed to provide my clients with everything they needed to get back on their feet. I claimed to have a housing focus, but only after my families were "ready" for housing. What I did do well was love them. I followed up with them when they left. I did not want them to come back and my biggest failure was to see a family re-apply for my programs.

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WV Coalition to End Homelessness | PO Box 4697, Bridgeport, WV 26330 | 304-842-9522 | info@wvceh.org | website by brickswithoutstraw