A home is a safe place in which people feel as though they can kick off their shoes, let their hair down and really express themselves openly. In a perfect world, everyone would have a home to go to and a place in which to feel free. Unfortunately, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, more than 600,000 people are homeless on any given night in the United States. For some of these people, this is a chronic condition that seems to suit the person. In other cases, however, homelessness arises due to a specific trigger, such as addiction or domestic violence, and these people feel a desperate need to change their lives. If people like this need assistance with the movement from homelessness to standard home life, a transitional housing program may be helpful.
Transitional housing programs aren’t designed to provide people with homes for the rest of their lives. Instead, they’re designed to act as a short-term solution for a very specific problem. Some programs even place limits on how long people can stay, ensuring that they don’t spend longer periods of time in slots that could be used to help other people. The homeless transitional housing described by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, for example, provides assistance for no longer than 24 months. Some programs provide even shorter stays for clients.
The homes are typically private, allowing people to have access to their own bedrooms and bathrooms, but the spaces are not usually lavish. There are no marble floors or expensive light fixtures in a transitional housing project. The homes are typically quite clean and safe, however, and residents might not be asked to pay anything at all for the roof that’s sitting above their heads. All the while people are living in these homes, they might be looking for low-cost options for housing in the neighborhoods of their choice. They may even work with administrators of the program, asking for assistance in finding another place in which they can live.
In addition to providing assistance with a search for low-cost housing, these programs may also seek to address the root causes of the homelessness issue. For some clients, this means dealing with the problem of substance abuse and addiction. Buying and selling drugs might seem like a viable way of life while on the street, and drinking can blur the rough edges of a day spent scrounging for scraps, but addictions can become so consuming and so demanding that it’s almost impossible for people to get back on their feet and explore their options. It’s not surprising, then, that homeless people and their treatment providers named addiction as the key cause of homelessness in a study in the journal Qualitative Sociology. Overcoming this issue might be the primary goal for people who want to end a homelessness cycle.
These people might find it difficult to emerge from destructive thought patterns, and they might also find it hard to keep a steady job that could help them pay for decent housing. The National Coalition for the Homeless reports that mental illness is named by 12 percent of cities as one of the top three causes of homelessness, just demonstrating how common a concern this might be for people in need of transitional care.
Programs may provide case managers and counselors on site who can help people to pull together treatment plans and move forward with their lives. In some cases, programs hold group therapy meetings on site, allowing people to simply walk down the hall to get help for their condition. Other programs might lean on community counselors in order to assist with mental health or addiction concerns. In any case, these facilities work hard to ensure that clients actively move forward with care, so they’ll be in a good position to handle the details of life when their treatment programs are complete.
Recovering from homelessness, no matter the cause, can be difficult. Pulling together money, finding employment, and just handling the day-to-day details of moving can put stress and strain on anyone. But the assistance of a transitional housing program could make this tough time pass by just a little more smoothly. It provides people with a respite from the trauma of homelessness, and the help provided can allow people to pick up the pieces and to move forward in a healthful manner. For some, entering a program could be the best thing they’ve ever done.
If you’d like to know more about how housing options fit into a strong recovery from an addiction or a mental illness, please call us. Our facilities are designed to help people overcome their challenges and move forward in a healthful manner. Please call us to find out more.