In partnership with Father Bill’s & Mainspring, the Plymouth Taskforce to End Homelessness (PTEH) identifies individuals from the Overnights of Hospitality sheltering program who can be placed in congregate housing or in single room occupancy (SROs) with subsidies that are provided by federal and state funds when available. Those who are placed into housing with subsidies receive supportive services provided by Fr. Bill’s case managers.
PTEH supports the nationally accepted Housing First model. The Housing First approach is based on the concept that a homeless individual’s (or household’s) first and primary need is to obtain stable housing and that other issues that may affect the household can and should be addressed once housing has been obtained. In contrast, many other programs operate from a model of “housing readiness”, that is, an individual (or household) must address issues that may have led to homelessness prior to entering housing. Housing First is cost effective, as it has been proven to reduce dependence on community services – fewer visits to the ER and less interaction with the police.
PTEH applied for funding from the Community Preservation Act (CPA) to purchase a duplex (368-370 Court St.) in North Plymouth, half of which had been rented since 2004. Four formerly homeless individuals and one house manager were in residence. Town meeting approved the purchase which was completed in August 2011. By the fall, four more formerly homeless individuals with a second house manager were moved in. Four of the individuals receive subsidies along with case management services. The ten units were approved by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) as “affordable”.
In April 2014, our second property (366 Court St.) was purchased through CPA funding and town approval. Five women formerly in housing crisis now reside there along with a house manager.
In total, more than 80 individuals have been moved from homelessness into safe housing!
As there is a huge lack of affordable housing in Plymouth, especially at rates low enough for the population we serve, the Taskforce is in the search process for additional properties with multiple units to purchase.