Our Findings

Data was collected on the local level for each of the six key components.  The data was then used to benchmark our local processes against those processes of other organizations doing the same work elsewhere.  The goal was to evaluate the effectiveness of our current efforts, identify those services or programs that will be a positive addition to our current repertoire of services offered and to develop methods to continuously improve the services that are offered.  Given limited funding and other resources available, we will prioritize the needs listed below by giving preference to those items that satisfy an urgent need or those that will best prevent homelessness in the future.

The following highlights gaps identified in our current processes that need to be addressed in the future:

Outreach

  • Regular ongoing outreach education is needed throughout the community to develop an understanding of the issues surrounding homelessness and to further help the community understand their roles and responsibilities in this issue. 
  • Those organizations involved in the identification of homeless citizens must find methods to fund programs focused on those persons who are “At Risk” and who do not meet guidelines for other programs.

Prevention

  • Improve our process for recovering security deposits from landlords
  • Improve coordination between agencies focused on prevention
  • benchmark other communities’ prevention programs to identify new approaches and process improvements
Emergency Shelter
  • Provide 24 hour emergency shelter rather than the approximately 12 hours of shelter currently available
  • Expand current emergency shelter to include more than the 35 beds it has today (or identify alternative ways to house the homeless)
  • Provide separate emergency shelter for homeless families

Transitional Housing

  • Provide additional programs for pregnant women who are homeless
  • Provide a transitional housing program for single men

Support Services

  • Offer representative payee service to help the mentally ill stay current with their financial obligations
  • Provide medication reminder calls to those for whom controlling mental illness is dependent on regular medication
  • Provide the homeless with public transportation to help them get to job interviews, jobs, medical appointments
  • Expand Day Shelter or develop a Community Center
    • Provide mailboxes for the homeless 
    • Offer day time access to showers, washers & dryers, computers
    • Provide daycare services 
  • Expand dental care to include adults, rather than just children

Additionally, Continuum members identified the need to improve our ability to respond to emergencies such as local natural disasters, etc.  Two recent incidents, the 2006 flood of the Grand River in Painesville and the 2009 train derailment, highlighted gaps in our ability to maintain services to the homeless. 


Comments