Providing pathways to permanent housing
The limited supply of affordable housing has caused the number of people experiencing homelessness to continue to increase. In addition, homelessness is exacerbated by lack of services for substance abuse, mental illness, domestic violence, and job training. There were more than 11,000 homeless individuals in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties at the time of the 2019 census, and that level of homelessness has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Navigation Centers, which are Supportive Interim Housing (SIH), connect individuals and families currently experiencing homelessness with the services they need to return to permanent housing and lead a full life.
Supportive Interim Housing provides safe interim housing for our most vulnerable population, in tandem with on-site case management, streamlined access to social services and medical care, a higher degree of privacy, and coordinated entry into pathways to permanent housing.
Supportive Interim Housing has shown strong signs of success in helping people exit homelessness, and they are different from traditional emergency shelters in several ways. SIH provides intensive case management to connect people to the unique care and housing solutions they need. They provide community space and welcome people with partners, their pets, and their possessions. Clients receive personalized support to help overcome the source housing barriers such as a lack of personal identity documents, employment opportunities, or histories of eviction.
Supportive Interim Housing provides a higher degree of coordinated care in a managed environment, focused on working to help end chronic homelessness for people with the highest needs. The goal is to help participants find stable, permanent housing by providing a clean, safe, calm, and flexible environment while doing so.
In addition, aftercare is a critical component of SIH to prevent an individual from returning to homelessness once transitioned to permanent housing. Services are usually tailored to the residents’ unique needs so that they may stabilize in their new housing and develop routines and practices to maintain their housing beyond the period of support.
BKF had the recent privilege of providing civil engineering and land surveying services for LifeMoves Mountain View, a new 100-unit temporary housing community that is a welcoming and safe place for families, couples, or single adults experiencing homelessness. The staff on-site provides intensive case management and support services to aid in returning people to stability. The ADA-compliant buildings include meeting rooms, educational workshops, dining, recreation, laundry, and a pet area, and provide a modern, comfortable place to call home temporarily. Amazingly, six months before construction, LifeMoves Mountain View was a car storage facility for abandoned vehicles, and now it can be used to house over 124 people who were formerly homeless.
In addition to LifeMoves Mountain View, BKF is providing civil engineering and land surveying services for two new Supportive Interim Housing facilities located in Palo Alto and Redwood City.