We want the world to know that our recent award of the Honolulu City and County Housing First funds includes a model of collaboration whereby IHS funded positions in agencies external to our own to accomplish the goals of housing navigation using the housing first model. In this partnership, collaboration and working across agencies to a common outcome has taken on new meaning and represents a refreshing level of “laulima” in our collective efforts to house homeless as a community of providers.
At this time Outreach and Case Management Specialists fromWaikiki Health Center, CHOW Projectin Honolulu and Ho’omau Keola and Kealahou West Oahu from the Leeward coast all have dedicated staff who work in concert with the IHS housing program, outreach teams and clinical director to execute referrals, joint outreach in the community, assessments, housing navigation and pulling of resources and person power from across all of our various agencies to identify and aggressively outreach vulnerable and unsheltered homeless in Honolulu and on the Leeward Coast.
Dedicated staff from these external agencies not only function as outreach workers and housing navigators to bring new homeless into the coordinated assessment process, but additionally are now accepting close-to-being-housed homeless persons onto their caseloads to provide on-going case management for folks referred by the Hale O Malama housing prioritization process. This means that the IHS housing first initiative and service continuum represents four distinct agencies with different strengths fielding dedicated case managers to a process which has expanded service capacity with different populations in different regions of Oahu.
IHS is collecting data and implementing quality of life assessments specific to clients housed in this initiative and we are eager to share with our community the results of this effort.