Mid-Atlantic Transitional Housing Sites
Perry Point, Maryland – Veterans Independent Project (VIP)
Since 1997, CHEP, in collaboration with the VA Maryland Health Care System, Perry Point, has provided housing exclusively for veterans who find themselves homeless. Nine (9) houses on the Perry Point campus provide 29 beds for transitional housing. All veterans referred for transitional housing complete the VA Perry Point inpatient program and are given an initial assessment by the VA Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) coordinator and the CHEP residential coordinator. An initial interview assesses basic needs and identifies strengths and weaknesses prior to move in. Experience has shown that coordination between the VA and CHEP yields the highest success rate in preventing veterans from returning to their homeless status. The intake process is clear and direct. Once a candidate is accepted into the housing program, he or she is quickly oriented to the rules and requirements of the residential program. The CHEP case manager inventories the need for supportive services and the CHEP case manager coordinates their provision with the VA case manager. Together, these two individuals have elevated the Veterans Independent Project to exceed the 80% success rate mandated by the Grant and Per Diem program for successful program completions and referrals to community independent living. To meet this criteria, a resident must stay for the duration of the program, that is, 6 months or longer with a successful discharge to the community. This success is reinforced by supportive services that are built into the fabric of the program. By providing a therapeutic milieu on a local VA “campus” setting, there is a decreased chance for repeated veteran admissions and costly inpatient cycles. The Perry Point site demonstrates that a partnership between a public and private agency can and does work over an extended time.
Washington, DC - DC-VETS
The new program established by CHEP in 2012 entitled DC VETS, represents the culmination of a collaborative effort to provide safe and positive housing resources for formerly homeless female and male veterans who want to move permanently into the larger community. The program is for “veterans only” and all referrals are screened prior to admission to DC VETS. All veterans must be referred to the Medical Center's HCHV program for homeless assessment. During the initial phase of the program, there is a rather restrictive set of mandatory and developmental objectives that target the establishment of residential stability (safe and sober environment, support groups, etc.) and is guided by a full-time CHEP staff resident manager and a full time clinical case manager to insure that mandatory objectives for recovery are met.
The DC-VETS program has been tailored to address the veteran's ongoing progress from resident stability to final self-determination. As residential stability solidifies, the individual takes on increasing and sole responsibility for her/his own recovery and ultimate independent residence in the community. Recovery depends on how the participant uses available time, resources (both on-site and in the larger community), and how she/he capitalizes on the availability of the case manager, evening learning opportunities, and the assistance of community agencies. With 7 apartments and 14 residents, the program has a formal recovery program that is well established to insure a smooth operation of “house management” and social interaction, and ultimate independent community living. As individuals become acclimated to the house environment, there is an increased expectation that participants will contribute to the process of personal and “house” change regarding areas that need improvement. The goal of DC-VETS is simple: eradicate homelessness among veterans from our Nation's capital. Based on CHEP’s prior experience, DC-VETS represents a realistic and positive first step toward that end.