Opening Doors to Independence
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Opening Doors to Independence. Supporting Families with Serious Mental Illness The Neighborhood Properties Inc. Scattered Site “Supportive Housing” Model National Conference on Ending Family Homelessness National Alliance on Ending Homelessness February 9, 2007. Opening Doors to Independence.

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Supporting families with serious mental illness the neighborhood properties inc scattered site supportive housing

Opening Doors to Independence

Supporting Families with Serious Mental IllnessThe Neighborhood Properties Inc. Scattered Site “Supportive Housing” ModelNational Conference on Ending Family HomelessnessNational Alliance on Ending HomelessnessFebruary 9, 2007


Corporate purpose

Opening Doors to Independence

Corporate Purpose

  • NPI’s Mission –

    • To develop and manage a continuum of stable and supportive housing for persons with a serious mental illness and co-occurring disorders.


The supportive housing environment

Opening Doors to Independence

The Supportive Housing Environment

  • In 1988 there were over 240 patients from Lucas County (455,000 citizens) receiving long term psychiatric care in the State operated hospital; today there are 20 people at any point in time.

  • Today it costs $14,400 to keep one person in a psychiatric hospital bed for one month, verses $630 for one month of supportive housing.


Supportive housing resources today

Opening Doors to Independence

Supportive Housing Resources Today

  • 700 apartment units proactively rented to people with a serious mental illness, and people who are homeless.

  • 18% of the units (124) are rented to families where an adult member has a serious mental illness.


Specialized programs

Opening Doors to Independence

Specialized programs

  • Homeless Families with Mental Illness – HUD Supportive Housing Program

  • Twelve scattered site apartment buildings for families that include an adult with a serious mental illness.

  • NPI provides housing support services to the families in coordination with Community Mental Health providers.


Specialized programs1

Opening Doors to Independence

Specialized programs

  • Fresh Start – HUD Supportive Housing Program 12 rehabilitated units for homeless young mothers with infants.

  • Clinical services are provided by a treatment agency.

  • NPI provides on site housing support and management.


Specialized programs2

Opening Doors to Independence

Specialized programs

Families with a mental illness expansion – HUD Supportive Housing Program 12 rehabilitated units for consumers and their children.

  • Clinical services are provided by a treatment agency.

  • NPI provides on site housing support and management.


Program features

Opening Doors to Independence

Program Features

From our experience of working with families the following program features are required in order to restore families when a member has a mental illness -

Assemble a multidisciplinary team of community professionals involved in the lives of these families – criminal justice, mental health professional, family members, children services, legal aide, religious, etc. Use this team to guide the recovery of the tenants. Conduct regular meetings or communication with all participates.

Build a rapport, show genuine concern for them and what situations has taken place in their lives that brought them to our agency.  Tenants need to trust you.  Get to know their history, what has caused the separation, homelessness, what actions were taken, what worked and what didn't work. 


Program features1

Opening Doors to Independence

Program Features

For such families to succeed (as a family) we believe it is necessary to -

  • Maintain behavioral health services;

  • Have consequences for not following through with services and or negative action which effect their children;

  • Participate in parenting classes before admission into housing program;

  • Support from community mental health providers;

  • Adult mentoring program for single mothers; and,

  • Communication, Communication, Communication.


Program features2

For families to remain housed, our experience indicates the following skills are important for a family to remain housed?

Parenting skills

Housekeeping

Employment as a goal

Completing education

Communication and socialization skills including dispute resolution

Understanding the consequences for negative behaviors

Understanding mental health diagnosis

Empowerment skills

Assertiveness

Financial literacy program (changing the way they think about money)

Stress reduction

Activities in a safe environment for the children and the importance of safety for the family and others in the building,

Dealing with mental health crisis  

Opening Doors to Independence

Program Features


Program features3

Opening Doors to Independence

Program Features

For families that have succeeded it is our experience that our staff -  

  • Remain very proactive - catching problems before they get out of hand;  

  • Discuss the importance of paying rent and utility bills on time;

  • Make sure tenants are keeping mental health appointments, remaining sober and clean, and monitoring the development of the children.

  • Understanding that families have multiple problems and failure is all too likely. At times we need to advocate for families keeping their housing and providing the interventions that keep them housed such as payment plans for missed rent, phone calls to PHA for missed inspections, referrals to local agencies for food, clothing assistance, etc.

  • Lastly being supportive, and listening.


Success stories

Opening Doors to Independence

Success Stories


Fresh start success story janice

Opening Doors to Independence

Fresh Start Success Story: Janice

  • 40-year-old mother of three

  • Toledo native with history of depression and substance abuse starting with alcohol at age 13

  • Ex-husband introduced her to Percocet and OxyContin “as a form of control”


Fresh start success story janice1

Opening Doors to Independence

Fresh Start Success Story: Janice

  • Early April 2005: Divorced and kicked out of her mother’s home, Janice lived in a van with her three children for several weeks

  • Was picked up by police at a crack house after driving a friend there to earn money

  • When officers asked who to call to keep her kids during questioning, she suggested Lucas County Children Services


Fresh start success story janice2

Opening Doors to Independence

Fresh Start Success Story: Janice

  • “For the first time in my life I was totally honest. I told Children Services I needed help.”

  • April 29, 2005: Gave up all drugs with inpatient treatment; children in foster care

  • June 2006: Moved from transitional housing into NPI Fresh Start facility

  • “The Fresh Start Program is into accountability… once you get into recovery you have to be an open book.”

  • Now she lives with her three children at NPI and plans to go to college to study social work


Success story louvina

Opening Doors to Independence

Success Story: Louvina

  • History of drug/alcohol abuse, mental illness, fighting and incarceration

  • April 2002: Found herself wandering the streets, crying and rudderless

  • Wanted to stop using and regain custody of her child

  • Went into inpatient care for substance abuse, which meant admitting to a parole violation; back to prison for three years


Success story louvina1

Opening Doors to Independence

Success Story: Louvina

  • Continued her recovery in prison with mental health treatment, life skills training, business school and more

  • 2005: Paroled six months early

  • Regained custody of her daughter, La’Vesha; had trouble acquiring housing until she found the NPI Homeless Families with Mental Illness program

  • Today Louvina works and attends church; she wants to be a chemical dependency counselor


Homeless to homeowner nicole

Opening Doors to Independence

Homeless to Homeowner: Nicole

  • Late 2001: Nicole lost her job and began to use drugs to cope with her depression

  • Spring 2002: Her sister worked with Children Services to take custody of Nicole’s sons, Martez & Myron, when she saw Nicole was using and being evicted

  • Fall 2002: Nicole was homeless and addicted to crack


Homeless to homeowner nicole1

Opening Doors to Independence

Homeless to Homeowner: Nicole

  • She received inpatient care for 30 days and then went into transitional housing

  • Rejected for housing until she found the NPI Homeless Families with Mental Illness program in 2003


Homeless to homeowner nicole2

Opening Doors to Independence

Homeless to Homeowner: Nicole

  • After she obtained stable housing, she earned visitation rights with her boys and eventually full custody

  • Now she is purchasing her home through a low income housing tax credit program with help from Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority and NPI


Supporting families with serious mental illness the neighborhood properties inc scattered site supportive housing

Opening Doors to Independence

What it took - $300,000 in HUD SHP and NPI funds to renovate 3 units of housing for homeless families


Supporting families with serious mental illness the neighborhood properties inc scattered site supportive housing

Opening Doors to Independence

Even with support services, our first tenant was evicted in 10 months.


Most significant challenges

Opening Doors to Independence

Most Significant Challenges

  • Tenants victimized by the illegal drug business.

  • Female tenants and their children who are victimized by predatory males.

  • Families with very poor daily living and parenting skills that constantly place children at risk for violence, drug abuse and homelessness.

  • Poverty and lack of economic opportunity.


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