Collaborative & Innovative
When we do outreach we make profiles for each of the people we encounter. This includes: Name, Contact info (if applicable), time spent homeless, what led to them being homeless, job skills, incarceration, if they have ID, area they stay, if they are on disability, what the disability is, if they use drugs, what kinds, how long they've used, their goals, willingness to get clean, and an assessment of overall well-being (including anything the outreach team feels necessary to add).
We do this for several reasons. We want to track their progress as well as have an accurate assessment of the individual, even if its the first time we meet. This also helps us to generate statistics and gauge our own success rate. The database is private, privileged information that we do not share without first getting permission. This information will help us to find services and create a plan of recovery that is reasonable to attain, supplemented by continued support outreach, and in line with their own goals.
Community Care Program
When we find promising individuals who have shown willingness to cooperate and desire to change, we would like to offer them the chance to be a community sponsee. This would give groups, families, businesses, individuals, and organizations the opportunity to get involved. They could sponsor by offering jobs, spending time together, donating clothing, or even bringing them home for dinner or the holiday season.
This allows the community to get involved, and gives the sponsee a chance to build relationships with people who are a positive influence in their lives. This type of interaction can be uncomfortable for them at first, but it brings them one step closer to rejoining the community.
I.T.V. (It Takes a Village) is how we help many of the people we work with already. We would like to expand our network of allies so that no matter the situation or struggles a person faces, we can help them or get someone who can quickly. The video below is a perfect example. It has taken weeks for us to find someone who could help with her I.D. and birth certificate. It's still not set in stone that they can do it, they still have to make sure she has had a Nevada I.D. This Friday we are going to search for her and get the first step out of the way.
Once she has ID again we can get her medication and she can start collecting disability and we have found a place to take her in, once the medication has taken effect. She has been homeless a long time. In this case we are coordinating a joint effort of services, a group home, and one understanding lady. From initial interaction to taking action, nearly three weeks will have gone by. Then she will have to wait for the I.D. in the mail. Then regulate to the medication before we can get her a place to live. If we were working with more groups, services, and people, it is doubtful that this would have taken so long. She has far too many health issues, both mental and physical, to be left out there with no assistance.
Sponsorships are monthly donations that go towards helping people like this family. This type of situation should not exist.
This family is one that we have been working with for several months. They were evicted from their apartment when they were unable to pay rent. The father (Anthony) had been injured on the job and was awaiting workmans comp. The companies own doctor had confirmed that it was a work related injury and they were already expecting payment.
On the day that they were supposed to receive the payment, they hadn't seen any activity in their account. So they called and were told that now, the company was going to dispute their claim. They now were under the impression that Anthony could have obtained his injury outside of work. As a result of being refused the payment, their family was evicted. Unfortunately they were not familiar with the new landlord tenant laws (that went into effect July 1, 2019) that could have allowed them time to dispute. Since they were not served the eviction properly, only given a 5 day notice when they had lived there for much longer than 45 days.
They ended up calling R.C.H. and we got them into immediate housing. They have been there while trying to save money for almost five months. The cost of the suites is impossible to maintain. While they were eligible for the county program that covers the cost of a security deposit, and we had them ready to move into their own place...
Three days before they were set to move in, the property manager called and said that they were going to back out of the lease agreement as they didn't want to deal with receiving money from the county.
So for the first time in months, they ended up homeless again because the particular suites they were staying had raised the rent, and the storage unit we got for them wasn't a payment we could make. The family lost EVERYTHING that R.C.H. had managed to save on the last possible day. From there, it was just a matter of time. The increased rent became too much, and they were given five days to pay or be removed. We were not able to help them with that either since we don't get funding and rely on donations
We have good news though, they didn't stay homeless for long. Now they are in a cheaper and smaller suite. All we need for them to be self sustaining is an apartment that doesn't cost $1,500 for four weeks. They had taken over the payments after the first six weeks. Anthony had gotten another job working security as soon as he was walking.
This family just needs a hand up, and we need some support so we can successfully help this family and many others that we work with. Currently, as of December 11th 2019, we are working with 18 children, age range 1-14 years old, 3 veterans (one with a family), 4 children with disabilities and 3 of those children with autism, 2 couples (1 couple both with disabilities), 4 unsheltered individuals suffering extreme mental illness from dementia to bipolar schizophrenia, 1 young lady we got out of a human trafficking situation and is in treatment for heroin addiction, and countless more on the street that we outreach to and continue working with when we see them.