What We’re Doing

Together with the many agencies and corporations, both public and private, providing services, including housing, to people who are are homelessness, we are CREATING A SYSTEM to end homelessness in Middlesex County, NJ. This effort is embodied in the COMING HOME CAMPAIGN. We collectively have been successful thus far in functionally ending veterans’ homelessness in 2015.

SOCIAL SERVICE NAVIGATION

Coming Home provides direct case management to persons in the community experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness and entering the system through the 211 Homeless Hotline. With limited funding, we can provide temporary, emergency hotel/motel placement when the shelters are unavailable. The same fund can also be used, if possible, to assist clients in establishing themselves in permanent housing, through the provision of 1 ½ months’ rent. The latter approach clearly leads to a much better outcome for the client and is how we strive to use the funds.

Coming Home’s community-based case management serves as a model for its expanded social service navigation through Coordinated Assessment. Coming Home hopes to further expand its case management which is a integral part of ending homelessness.

DATA

If you’ve met one homeless person, you’ve met one homeless person. It is essential to understand as much as possible about a person experiencing homelessness and their particular barriers to stable housing in order to address the individual’s discrete barriers. That’s why data collection and analysis is so important.Coming Home is the clearinghouse for homelessness data. We administer the County’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), which facilitates the coordinated provision of services to all seeking them and we are the Point-in-Time (PIT) coordinator for the County. We train volunteers and agency personnel in the administration of the PIT survey; conduct an analysis of the data gathered and develop an action plan in response to such analysis. We have recently joined the Built for Zero Initiative of Community Solutions, a national organization, helping communities end homelessness. This collaboration is helping us fine tune our data measurements and define discrete goals to achieve in workable timeframes. Next up (after we have ended Veteran’s Homelessness) is ending Chronic Homelessness.

COORDINATED ASSESSMENT

In collaboration with homeless service providers, Coming Home created a system of standardized assessment and coordinated referral of persons experiencing a housing crisis. The goals of the system are to minimize the time anyone in the County experiences a crisis and to prioritize available assistance, based on vulnerability and severity of service needs. A coordinated assessment (CA) system also provides information about social and health service needs and gaps to help our broader community better plan its assistance and identify needed resources. The chronological waiting lists of the past, have become instead, prioritization lists, making sure that we rehouse, as quickly as possible, the persons most in need.

The CA process has all persons enter the “homelessness system” through a triage unit, which, using a concise, standard assessment tool and standard protocols, immediately places the person into service programs, e.g., a shelter bed. The triage unit is the NJ 211 homeless hotline service. The service programs will conduct a full assessment, using a more expansive tool to determine needs, strengths and barriers to housing and forward their assessments to the CA Team, housed in Coming Home, which maintains an inventory of available housing options, reviews the assessments done by the agencies and prioritizes placement based on appropriateness, vulnerability and severity of service needs.

 

 

Coming Home Middlesex