Pathway Homes to Conduct Direct Outreach to Chronically Homeless in DC and Fairfax
to Help Move into Housing
FAIRFAX, Va. (January 27, 2022) — Pathway Homes, a nonprofit providing mental health services—starting with safe, stable housing—to individuals marginalized by poverty and inequity, is working to support the region’s efforts to provide services to homeless single adults who are unsheltered. Pathway Homes is hiring an outreach specialist that will work in the field in Fairfax County and Washington, DC to locate chronically homeless residents and help move them into permanent supportive housing.
“People living in the woods and streets tend to be challenged with serious mental illnesses and other medical conditions,” explained Pathway Homes CEO Sylisa Lambert-Woodard. “If we can gain their trust, we can help more people get housing and the services they need to reclaim their lives. In partnership with DC and Fairfax, our new outreach effort will boost the existing processes for helping people get off the streets.”
With support from a $65,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente, the program’s goal is to move people who are literally homeless into permanent supported housing in Fairfax and DC. In response to a HUD mandate, Fairfax Falls Church Office to Prevent and End Homelessness (OPEH) and DC’s Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness (TCP) each have coordinated entry processes to help quickly match homeless individuals to housing and services regardless of their geographic location. Pathway’s new program will coordinate between these jurisdiction processes, supplement, and ensure that available housing gets used by qualified individuals.
To do so, a Pathway Homes trained outreach specialist will go directly to where unsheltered individuals are living to help them sign up for the Homeless Management information System and navigate the process. The specialist will coordinate with OPEH and TCP to help identify people who need help and ensure they are added to the centralized permanent supportive housing referral pool. In addition, Pathway Homes will leverage its licensed clinicians to complete assessments and diagnoses of these individuals to help speed the documentation process that is required for entry into these units. Eligibility documentation is a real barrier for the chronically homeless to access services since they do not have a fixed address or other regular means of communication. In year one of the grant, Pathway Homes anticipates helping 75 people get off the streets and into housing with services.
“At Kaiser Permanente, we know that having access to safe, stable housing is a critical component to achieving Total Health and overall well-being,” said George Leventhal, director of Community Health at Kaiser Permanente. “We’re honored to partner with Pathway Homes to help remove barriers and expedite access to housing for community members across Fairfax and the DC region.”
For more than 40 years, Pathway Homes has enabled tens of thousands of people in Northern Virginia with serious mental illnesses and other co-occurring disabilities to get housing and supportive services to help them recover their lives. Following the housing first model, Pathway Homes is a partner in preventing and ending homelessness, ensuring 1,486 people in 2020 had access to services and 476 permanent supportive housing units.