Connecticut Community Foundation (CCF) recently awarded a $15,636 grant to CHD to enhance its targeted case management to unhoused individuals it serves in Connecticut. The grant will enable CHD to offer people with behavioral health needs and substance use disorder some extra support in navigating the recovery system and obtaining public benefits.
CHD provides housing relocation and stabilization services in the Waterbury and Hartford areas though its Supportive Housing services, which allows homeless individuals and families to live in apartments throughout the area using a scattered-site housing model. Caseworkers meet with each family on a regular basis to provide outreach and services that encourage self-sufficiency.
In this program, CHD serves more than 600 individuals annually—and more than 200 of them at our Hospitality Center in Waterbury, where people who are in recovery, homeless, or just in need of basic services are able to obtain food from the emergency pantry, clothing for colder months, take a hot shower, and receive vital social services from case managers.
“Participants at the Hospitality Center come to us from different backgrounds, as a result needs vary vastly,” said Heather Foster, assistant program director of CHD Adult Mental Health-Connecticut. “Some individuals need a light touch type support, such as encouragement and access to a computer with internet. Others need full housing advocacy and a variety of additional referrals.”
However, moving individuals along the continuum of services can be challenging and often requires extra support at different points in the process, particularly for those in recovery from addiction and serious mental illness. Foster said that the CCF grant will address a gap in services for individuals from the point of being assigned a case manager to the point at which they access referrals that are made. This gap in services has existed because the process of actually accessing referrals made for substance use treatment or chronic disease management is nearly impossible for some individuals, and they require enhanced navigation and targeted case management to be successful at maintaining abstinence. Therefore, CHD has been unable to attend to all the needs of complex cases.
“In many cases, participants have complex needs that can be difficult to identify and appropriately address based on a lack of trust in systems,” said Foster. “Our participants have been through some of the worst life has to offer. This, for some, results in a lack of care and needed support due to an uncertainty that care and support will have a positive impact. We address this at the Hospitality Center by fostering relationships and connectivity. This is a common theme in all we aim to do at the Center.”
At the Hospitality Center, CHD has a network of service providers, community organizations, and other interested individuals who support participants in a variety of ways. “The grant will aid in supporting participants in navigating community resources through leveraging our relationships—and hopefully expanding our reach— to bringing opportunities to the Hospitality Center in creative and innovative ways,” said Foster. “These funds will go a long way to support recovery by building bridges.”