Leading partners in this consulting/contracting initiative include Kim Wilson Housing, Kansas City, Kan.; Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas, Wichita, Kan.; and Prairie View, Inc., Newton, Kan.
“There is mounting evidence that addressing a person’s most basic needs, such as housing, before providing mental health or substance abuse interventions is a critical and resource-saving first step,” says James Glenn, executive director, Kim Wilson Housing (KWH). “HWR’s mission is to help social service agencies better steward limited resources by making safe, desirable and affordable permanent housing a first step in the recovery process and not a reward to be collected upon psychiatric stabilization or sobriety.”
HWR has three goals in support of its mission:
- To increase the number of housing options statewide specifically for persons with mental illness and/or substance use disorders.
- To leverage resources and share collective expertise.
- To document successes by collecting accurate qualitative and quantitative data.
KWH director of housing strategies, eastern and central Kansas, who is providing staff support to the new HWR initiative.
"This housing affordability gap leaves many people at risk of becoming homeless or without sufficient income for basic necessities like food, transportation or medication," Christy adds.
“Having a place to call ‘home’ begins the process of healing and is the cornerstone of recovery,” says Michael Kress, senior director of housing and facilities, Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas. “Homes Within Reach will facilitate our ability to serve as a resource to help other mental health and substance use disorder agencies develop housing strategies based on a unified vision and action plan to advance quality affordable housing.”
HWR services include:
- Development of housing strategies and plans for individual or collaborating agencies or a community.
- Pre-development and development of housing opportunities.
- Financial tracking, reporting and ensuring compliance with federal regulations.
- Stakeholder outreach/connection and relationship maintenance.
- Mediation to prevent evictions.
- Collective data/outcome tracking and reporting.
Christy explains that this statewide initiative is a compilation of successful and time-tested campaigns and initiatives across the country. HWR incorporates “lessons learned” from the following:
- Tennessee’s Creating Homes Initiative
- Stand Up to Cancer (shared expertise and business model)
- Building Tulsa, Building Lives Campaign
- Corporation for Supportive Housing’s Consulting Network
- 100,000 Homes Campaign
For more information about HWR, contact Christy at 913-233-3356 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the HWR collaborating partners
- Kim Wilson Housing, Kansas City, Kan., a Wyandot, Inc. agency committed to delivering innovative solutions to housing challenges (www.kimwilsonhousing.org).
- Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas, Wichita, Kan., an affiliate of Sedgwick County COMCARE with a mission of education, advocacy and service (www.mhasck.org).
- Prairie View, Inc., Newton, Kan., a behavioral and mental health center offering treatment for a broad variety of disorders (www.prairieview.org).