The Johnson County Local Homeless Coordinating Board (LHCB) is excited to announce that our member agency Shelter House was recently awarded funding for the LHCB sponsored FUSE - Housing First Project targeting people experiencing chronic homelessness who are the most frequent users of high cost services at public expense.
This Project, along with four other organizations across the nation, was awarded $15,000 from the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) for planning and project development activities.
Among the four projects selected for the grant, the LHCB sponsored FUSE - Housing First application ranked #1! We are very excited to move forward with the FUSE - Housing First Project with assistance from this grant and grateful for the recognition from this important organization.
Written by Kendra Kramer, Intern for FUSE - Housing First
Master of Public Health Candidate | Class of 2016
University of Iowa College of Public Health | Community & Behavioral Health
Approximately three years ago, the idea of implementing a FUSE – Housing First program in Iowa City was simply a strategic goal for the Johnson County Local Homeless Coordinating Board (LHCB).
Fast forward to today, and an in-depth case-study has been completed, collaboration across multiple agencies and departments has been facilitated, relationships with social services in the Iowa City area have been built, and progression from the assessment to planning phase has been accomplished.
This concept of “Housing First” is a relatively new strategy to ending homelessness. It works just like it sounds: the first and ultimate goal is putting individuals into housing; no conditions exist. Participants aren’t required to take sobriety tests, drug tests, participate in any sort of case-management, or meet any other requirements in order to be able to participate. However, these services are available and easily accessible if desired.
This unconditional aspect of the Housing First model is essential. When stipulations are required and individuals fail to meet them, their only option is to resort back into homelessness. The Housing First model works to break this cycle of system entry and exit by focusing first on housing, then providing services to those interested.
This idea of Housing First has caught fire, and not just in Iowa City.