Homeless & Housing,
Mission: Bethany house services empowers homeless and at-risk families with the solutions to achieve housing stability and long-term self-sufficiency.
Programs: Emergency shelter - bhs provides a sanctuary for desperate homeless families in need of help to achieve stable housing and income. Our shelters provide the secure environment needed for parents to look beyond their current situations and to plan for their futures. The shelter meets each family's immediate needs for safety, housing, food, and other necessities. During their stay in a bhs shelter, parents receive comprehensive case management from experienced licensed social workers. Case managers meet with families as soon as possible after they have entered the shelter and begin the process of identifying barriers to achieving housing as well as reinforcing the positive attributes and resources of the family. The case manager guides the family through the process of developing a comprehensive, reality-based plan for ensuring a secure future in stable housing. During 2014, 438 individuals (283 of whom were children), were sheltered by bhs. We provided 14,002 supervised bed nights and 30,350 meals. Family members are assessed for a wide range of needs and are referred to community resources for physical and mental health issues, job or education- related barriers, and financial assistance. Referrals are made to other agencies that can contribute to the well-being of the family. A mental health clinician is on site at bethany house to evaluate and counsel family members and to make referrals to community resources as indicated. This clinician also supports the family as they deal with the precipitating events and the trauma of homelessness experience. In 2014, almost 3,000 case manager meetings with clients were held; 2,324 referrals were made to community agencies and resources. In combination with one-on-one case management support, life skills group programs provide a foundation for prevention of future episodes of homelessness. These educational sessions are taught by experts from the community and bhs staff. Speakers address topics such as financial literacy, budgeting, parenting, developing healthy relationships, healthy choices, nutrition, yoga, and tenants' rights. Job-related skills such as resume writing and interviewing are also taught. Bhs programs address the multigenerational aspect of family homelessness by providing parents with the skills for "positive parenting" and by teaching children to make healthy choices. The positive parenting, family nights, and "nutrition, health and safety" programs provide parent-child activities and promote stronger relationships in addition to the core content. Bethany house staff emphasize the importance of education and regular school attendance, which is vital if the multigenerational cycle of poverty and homelessness is to be broken.
rapid re-housing - the rapid re-housing program, considered by hud to be the best housing practice for alleviating homelessness, provides financial assistance and services to families experiencing homelessness. The goal of the program is to expedite re-housing and stabilization of the family as quickly as possible. It is easier and more efficient for families to sign up for benefits or apply for jobs when they have a home address and can receive mail. They are also less stressed and better organized at home than when in shelter. The program provides several forms of assistance, including: identification of affordable housing suitable for the family's needs; short-term or medium-term rental assistance and housing relocation and stabilization services, including such activities as mediation, credit counseling, security or utility deposits, utility payments, moving cost assistance, and case management. Rapid re-housing case managers and a housing specialist assist each family to develop a housing plan, serve as liaison between family and landlord, and manage complex issues such as lease options, contracts and apartment inspections. In 2014, 66 families were assisted through the rapid re-housing program. Positive housing outcomes were achieved by 95. 2% of these families.
family transitional housing-the family transitional housing program is a federally funded, supportive housing program that adds an extra level of support for the families who enter homeless shelters in cincinnati. This temporary housing program serves as the "next step" in helping families make the transition from homelessness to stability and self-sufficiency. Licensed social workers meet with the families to develop action plans leading to greater independence through education, skill training and job readiness. The ultimate goal after 12-18 months is for the family to have an adequate income to pay their rent and other living expenses so they can live independently. In 2014, the family transitional housing program assisted 226 homeless women and children, from 51 families move out of cincinnati's emergency shelters where they had lived for more than 30 days.