Problem Solve- Focus on Barriers- Identify Housing- Plan for Transition
LICH Housing Navigators directly assist chronically homeless single adults with this process but this process can be also be used by others that can lead to permanent housing stability.
Assessing the Situation and Problem Solving:
Over 55% of households on Long Island exit shelter without the support of a program.
Many of those households exit homelessness by exploring the following problem solving options when attempting to exit shelter:
Am I able to increase my income (employment and/or benefits) and/or work on budgeting to get out of homelessness?
Can a family member or friend temporarily help me with somewhere to stay, with financial or other resources that can get me out of shelter?
Can I restore a relationship with a family member or friend that can help me if we were on good terms?
Can I find someone that I get along with that can share living expenses and housing with me so that we can both afford housing?
Can I relocate to another area that is cheaper to live where I could afford permanent housing?
Exploring Housing Resources:
Have you applied for rental assistance through DSS?
Rapid rehousing programs are designed to exit households out of shelter faster than if they had to exit on their own. Rapid rehousing programs are mostly targeted to serve families in shelter that have been in shelter for more than one year or households fleeing domestic violence.
Have you considered combining your income with someone else and living together so that you can both afford housing?
If you are experiencing chronic homelessness, have you submitted a referral to LICH?
Creating a Sustainable Housing Plan:
Identify all realistic housing options
Understand your preferences and needs and how that may limit your search for housing (i.e. I will only live in a certain area/school district that will restrict the housing options available)
Understand your barriers to housing and how that may limit your search for housing (i.e. I have a criminal history, eviction history, low credit score, debt, mobility issues requiring a unit with no stairs, I have pets, I do not have the income to afford a unit)
Most Common Barriers:
I need help identifying housing programs for people that are disabled
Create an Action Plan:
Identify who is part of your support team to achieve your goal.
Define your immediate goal (to be achieved in the next 30 days).
A goal could be focusing on a housing barrier or something that needs to first get done before you can make progress in other areas, such as employment, benefits, finances, family, housing, relationships, friends, meaningful activity/fun, education, health, obtaining documents such as ID, legal situations, etc.
What are the steps involved in achieving this goal?
Ensure that you have all documents that will be required to secure a lease, such as ID, pay stubs, other documentation of income, etc.
Put Your Best Foot Forward- Be aware of how you look, talk, and act when speaking with programs, landlords, and others that are determining whether you will be approved for housing.
Understand your budget, how much you can pay ongoing, and when necessary- what are your plans to increase income, and maintain rent and other expenses?
Connect to support systems- family/friends/case management/other than can help you maintain housing.
Review and understand your lease
Make the space feel like your own- picture frames, décor, etc.
Learn about the new community and get connected to meaningful activities and things that make you happy
Have a plan for who to call if you believe you may be at-risk of homeless again.
Connect to legal advocacy to understand your rights as a tenant.
Report housing discrimination.
Help others that face similar situations to what you have overcome.