The Blueprint to End Homelessness Program is a partnership between the Philadelphia Housing Authority(PHA), the city’s Office of Homeless Services and the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS). It is in its eighth year, during which the Program has continuously achieved its objective showing that a combination of a permanent home and supportive services can prevent formerly homeless people from returning to the street or shelter. Of the nearly 3,300 individuals and families helped by the Program 93 percent did not return to homelessness. The Program provides up to 500 housing opportunities each year through public housing units or Housing Choice vouchers.
“We are firmly committed to assisting Mayor Kenney in his efforts of fighting homelessness by stabilizing individuals and families and helping them secure permanent housing,” said PHA President and CEO Kelvin Jeremiah. “These types of partnerships are important because PHA cannot solve the issue of homelessness or affordable housing alone.”
“What’s especially impressive is that the individuals in the program are all people who entered with a behavioral health challenge in addition to being homeless. It is the combination of an affordable unit with services, or what we call supportive housing, that makes up the ‘secret sauce,’ said Homeless Services Director Liz Hersh. “You really need both components to ensure the complete transition.”
“Given that a high percentage of homeless individuals experience behavioral health challenges, providing residential and housing supports is only one step to stability,” said Dr. Arthur C. Evans, former Commissioner of the City’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Service (DBHIDS). “In addition to working collaboratively with PHA and OHS to provide residential and housing supports, we also help to ensure individuals have appropriate behavioral health services to support long-term, sustained recovery.”