Housing First Vouchers Change Lives

Chronically Homeless Man With High Cost
Medical Conditions Moves into Own Apartment

Housing First and Vouchers Changes LivesThe Courier-Post highlighted the housing success story of Kenneth who has moved into his own apartment in Collingswood. Kenneth is 47 and has moved into a permanent apartment with “wrap-around” support services to help him manage his chronic medical condition.

Says Laura Buckley, a social work manager for the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers “Part of this model is that housing is health care,”.

She described Kenneth’s history.

“Spent the last few months sharing a room at Sterling Manor, a Maple Shade nursing facility, recovering from a dangerous staph infection that nearly killed him, while also suffering with end-stage liver disease. Before that, most of his disability check paid for a room in a ‘hole in the wall’ house that often didn’t have electricity.”

“Is the first of 50 people with high-cost medical conditions and chronic homelessness to enroll in a new ‘Housing First’ pilot program, a collaborative effort of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, Volunteers of America–Delaware Valley, South Jersey Behavioral Health Resources, St. Joseph Carpenter Society, and Oaks Integrated Care.”

Tenants pay 30% of their income towards their rent and the program funders pay for the remainder of the program expenses: They are:

The program is an excellent example of the how the federal Housing Choice Voucher program is successfully ending homelessness in New Jersey – 45 of the Housing First apartments use Housing Choice Vouchers administered by the state.

Said Kenneth about the Camden Coalition, which connected with him before a hospital discharge in August, “They saved my life.”

Have the stability in his life with his new apartment, this Christmas, “He will invite his three grandchildren to visit him at his new apartment. It will be another first.”

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