BRATTLEBORO -- Morningside Shelter has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Entergy Charitable Foundation to help provide its Housing Support Case Management services, which over 40 local households will utilize this year.
"Morningside Shelter's Housing Support Case Management program is a great example of the kind of solutions-focused program Entergy Charitable Foundation is proud to support," said Patty Riddlebarger, Entergy's director of corporate social responsibility. "The program caught our attention because Case Managers at Morningside assess client needs, goals, and resources, and connect them with available housing assistance programs. Case Managers work with clients to identify areas on which to focus their goal setting such as: housing, mental and physical health, income, and parenting. The results are used to build an action plan to work on factors that have contributed to homelessness."
According to the most recent U.S. Census data, 10.7 percent of roughly 44,000 Windham County residents live in poverty (about 4,800 people), many of whom are working low-wage jobs and do not have the financial resiliency to survive an unexpected or unplanned expense that can lead to homelessness.
The program provides support services to individuals and families as they transition back into being housed tenants after one or more periods of homelessness. Given the complex nature of homelessness, the path to sustainable housing takes many routes.
"All of the housing subsidy vouchers in our area have unfunded case management mandates," said Josh Davis, Morningside's Executive Director. "In order to obtain and maintain their housing, our clients are required to receive case management, for which we must raise the necessary funds in order to provide. This program keeps people housed, which is the end-goal for preventing homelessness."
Last year, Morningside's housing support case managers worked with 39 households playing a wide range of roles, including: coach, therapist, substance abuse recovery support, mentor, and accountability partner (on issues including finances; landlord communication/conflict mediation; education; parenting; and health care); all with the intention to promote independence. The case manager provides support and guidance, as well as providing the crucial accountability landlords need to take a chance on renting to someone with a challenging rental history.