Home Again: Only a Home Ends Homelessness
Project Description

Housing and Location

Home Again believes that only a home ends homelessness. The model project provides stable homes and support services for individual homeless adults throughout the city of Worcester and the Greater Worcester area. During 2008, housing will be provided both in clustered units (which are all in one building or adjacent to one another) and in scattered sites depending on the needs of the participant. The housing will be located in the city of Worcester and surrounding towns.

Home Again clients can choose the type of housing that suits their needs best, ranging from single room occupancies to one-bedroom apartments. It is the hope of Home Again that, over the next five years, it can make available a total of 120 units of housing for adults who are chronically homeless. Home Again expects to acquire and operate approximately 54 units of housing through the Home Again Housing Loan Fund, while securing federal or state subsidies to help the people in the program rent the other 66 units.

The individuals in the program will be expected to pay 30 percent of the rent with the balance being covered by subsidies.

Funding for Housing: The Home Again Housing Loan Fund

Home Again has proposed a plan to create a $3 million loan fund to help cover the cost of providing very low cost housing for chronically homeless adults with little or no income. The Home Again Housing Loan Fund would be administered by Worcester Community Housing Resources (WCHR), a local nonprofit community development organization with expertise in managing a Community Loan Fund to assist in acquiring and developing affordable housing. An area nonprofit seeking to acquire an identified property in which to house chronically homeless adults would apply to the Home Again Housing Loan Fund for a below-market-rate mortgage or capital grant. The Housing Loan Fund would be designed to enable nonprofits, who serve the chronic adult homeless population, to provide housing units for homeless individuals whose annual income is at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, which was $10,210 for 2007.

Support services

Home Again clients receive specialized, community-based support services that will help them break the cycle of chronic homelessness, improve their health and enjoy a better quality of life. Services are provided to clients in their homes or nearby and their progress is measured by a set of established benchmarks. Services include:

  • activities of daily living (ADL) skills
  • health care services
  • mental health treatment
  • substance abuse treatment
  • in-home nursing
  • socialization and tenancy skills
  • benefits and income management
  • crisis intervention

Home Again team

Support services are provided by an expert treatment team of case managers who develop a comprehensive treatment plan for each client that is overseen by a team leader. Case managers assist with housing searches, assist with daily living activities, provide vocational services and offer employment and benefits assistance.