The Outreach and Stability area includes a Representative Payee team and a Street Outreach team that helps clients connect to services and maintain independence in spite of mental or physical disabilities.
This program assists people with mental and/or physical disabilities by direct management of their disability income. Given their disabilities, clients do not have the capacity to manage their monthly bills themselves. Through the Income & Benefits program, Welcome House acts as a payee for clients without an appropriate adult in their life to fulfill this role. Payees pay rent, utilities, and other monthly bills on the client’s behalf. The Social Security Administration requires that some people receiving disability have a payee. Without a payee, the client cannot receive disability income or medical coverage.
Overall results of the program focus on improved quality of life and stabilization of a vulnerable population. Client’s transition from living on the streets with debilitating illnesses to having an income, housing, a medical home, and the support necessary to lead a more independent life.
Welcome House’s mobile homeless outreach team, called Open Door, has been active since July 11, 2017. It is an interdisciplinary team composed of 2 members – an outreach worker and a Nurse Practitioner. Holistic street-based outreach has been a long standing gap that was lacking in previous iterations of outreach teams in the past. Having this understanding allows us to address not only housing, but also physical and emotional needs. Our goal is to bring emergency stabilization services to the aforementioned counties, and also plan to expand to the rural counties. The outreach team’s priority is to spend time searching for those experiencing homeless as well as to build relationships with them as we address physical and emotional needs. Another priority where the team shines is our goal of educating and connecting community resources together. The team continues to knock down barriers by negating the transportation barrier by meeting the clients where they are at in the community.
Join the Open Door – Homeless Street Outreach group on Facebook to share information if you’ve seen a homeless individual in need of assistance, and our outreach team will try to locate that person and offer our services. Click here to join the Facebook group.
Each year, KHC and our partners conduct the K-Count, an annual count of homeless adults and families across the state, to monitor the homeless situation in Kentucky. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires this count to demonstrate the need for resources for housing and services for homeless persons in each community. This year, KHC’s Executive Director blogged about his experience conducting the K-Count with Welcome House staff.
“We began along a railroad track in the cold, dark, early morning. One of the volunteers with us used to be on the other side of the K-Count and came ready to give hope to the hopeless. As we shined our flashlights on tarps and tents of a homeless camp, I became more thankful for the warm bed I rolled out of a couple of hours earlier. I hoped that we wouldn’t find anyone frozen to death in the cold, dilapidated tents. The tents had varying degrees of intricacy. Some were tarps laid over a few sticks and cold dirt, while others had walls made of scrap wood, wooden pallets for a bed, and wadded-up clothes for a pillow. One tent had a couch by it in what appeared to be a makeshift living area with pictures of whom I assumed were loved ones. Surrounding trees were lined with frozen sweatshirts and jeans that had been hung out to dry.” Read more>