When developers say a structure is “going vertical,” they mean that whatever is being built will soon be visibly above ground. That’s what the folks at Episcopal Housing Corporation have said about Sojourner Place at Argyle Avenue, the 12-unit permanent supportive housing development in West Baltimore where Health Care for the Homeless will provide tenants with ongoing care and case management services. And that means it’s time to start thinking about who is going to live there. The subsidized units are expected to be lease-ready by October 1, and we plan to have tenants ready to occupy all 12 units on that date.
Sojourner Place will house single adults, who meet the HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) definition of homelessness, including two individuals who require handicapped accessible accommodations. Six of the units are reserved for individuals who have experienced chronic homelessness; this distinction must be evident in the homeless documentation.
Now that we have the guidelines for identifying tenants, we need your help doing just that.
The referral process
Beginning June 26, Health Care for the Homeless staff members have the opportunity to refer clients for consideration for one of these units. Because of the homeless documentation requirements, referrals to our internal list will only be accepted from case managers and/or outreach workers. If you have a client that you believe should be considered, please speak to the client’s case manager or outreach worker. If your client does not have a case manager or outreach worker for some reason, you may make the referral.
When the referral period ends on August 9, we will put each client on one of three lists: requiring handicapped accessibility, experiencing chronic homelessness and experiencing non-chronic homelessness. We will offer this housing opportunity to clients in random order.
The selection process
Beginning the week of August 14, the team coordinating client placement will start reaching out to clients at the top of each list to find out if they are still interested in occupying one of the available units. Clients will need to select a unit in order to proceed, so we will host weekly site visits to assist in that process. Once 12 clients have selected a unit, the selection process will be closed. Should any client who has been selected be unable to proceed to leasing, the selection process will reopen with the next client on the respective list.
“Sojourner Place is Supportive Housing’s first congregate project,” said Vice President of Behavioral Health Jan Caughlan. “We view this as a tremendous opportunity to work with our clients on building community. We started thinking about this three years ago when we were approached by Episcopal Housing Corporation to partner on this project. Now it’s time to start that work and I am so excited!”
Health Care for the Homeless is extremely excited about the opportunity to offer some of our clients a place to call home. Please stay tuned for updates!