Behavioral health, affordable housing, and homeless services agencies have a common goal to improve the well-being of their clients, but they often work in silos, with different languages, acronyms, cultures, operating practices, and resources. Through the Rural Supportive Housing Initiative, and partnering with Collaborative Solutions, Inc., CIBHS was pleased to provide two 2-day Rural Supportive Housing workshops designed to address housing and case management strategies that can help vulnerable clients find and keep safe, stable, and affordable homes in small counties and rural areas. These workshops also provided a forum for networking and partnership development between local behavioral health, housing, and homeless services professionals and advocates.
Coordinated Entry: Best Practices to Plan and Implement a Rural Coordinated Entry System
The federal government set January 2018 as the date to have a coordinated entry system (CES) in place. Many rural communities have been struggling with how to plan and implement a CES across a wide geographic area with few service providers. This workshop guided communities through the design and planning for a CES, and offered recommendations on best practices from other rural communities. Through this workshop, communities produced a CES checklist of next steps.
Housing-based Case Management: Prioritizing Affordable Housing Provision for Clients
Many service providers have been trained to provide clinical, medically-focused supportive services to clients. It is our belief that housing is the foundation for stability and providers must be trained to understand and prioritize the affordable housing needs of clients to better help them achieve housing stability. This workshop provided essential tools and training to teach providers how to prioritize housing and includes key concepts such as low barrier program design, landlord engagement, and eviction prevention.