Good to Know: Homelessness Education and Solutions

There is no easy solution for family homelessness, but we believe that educating the greater community is an excellent start. Look for information on the problems, solutions, and debates in this new newsletter section and on social media. Share with your friends and family and be a part of a more knowledgeable community!

This Month: What Happens When I Refer a Family to Inter-Faith Housing Alliance?

Each month, we receive many calls from people who are in need of housing assistance as well as from friends, family, and neighbors who are concerned about someone they know. While we are always here to serve you and our community, we are not always the first point of access for help.

In 2014, Your Way Home was established in Montgomery County to coordinate our local housing crisis response system. Your Way Home assesses all people who are in need of housing assistance and prioritizes them based on need. Through their efforts, about 86% of households at risk of homelessness in Montgomery County were diverted from the trauma of entering an emergency shelter. Inter-Faith Housing Alliance partners with Your Way Home Montgomery County to provide shelter for families who are most in need. Instead of calling individual shelters, people who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless can call one toll-free number so that they can be connected to appropriate services. Here is what happens:

Step 1: The person in need calls Your Way Home Call Center at (877) 646-6306.
Step 2: Your Way Home asks the caller questions to assess their needs.
Step 3: Your Way Home prioritizes persons housing need using the Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (SPDAT).
Step 4: Your Way Home attempts to provide resources and support so that the person in need does not need to enter shelter.
Step 5: If and when the person becomes literally homeless, Your Way Home identifies the best shelter for the family, according to their family composition, needs, and the space that is available.
Step 6: If Your Way Home refers a family to Inter-Faith Housing Alliance, we contact them, explain our services, and offer shelter often the same day.
Step 7: Once a family is placed in a shelter, a housing plans is established. Families are helped to find housing and community resources as quickly as possible. Your Way Home offers support through its Housing Resource Centers, which include coaches and housing locators.

Inter-Faith Housing Alliance provides emergency shelter through the Interfaith Hospitality Network, transitional housing at Hope Gardens, and supportive housing at Hope Forest. Following best practices, we enroll Montgomery County families who have been referred to us by Your Way Home. We remain committed to serving the community and answering your questions so that everyone’s needs are met as quickly and efficiently as possible!

If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, call Your Way Home at (877) 646-6306.