The Local Need

 COALITION CLIENTS ARE YOUR NEIGHBORS

Recent review of Coalition case management records show service to 787 clients in 2010. While many of these clients do not enroll in Coalition housing and sometimes engage supportive services for only brief periods, the vast majority of the clients seen by staff are local residents.

Of the 787 clients served last year, only 80 were people whose homelessness originated outside of West Virginia – approximately ten percent of all the clients seen by the agency. While the Coalition is prevented by state and federal funding guidelines from providing housing to people whose homelessness originates outside of the state, case managers do provide a modest degree of counseling assistance to people in this circumstance in an effort to help end their homelessness.

This is demonstrated by a breaking down case management records by units of service, which is a measurement of the amount of time spent with each client. In 2010, Coalition staff provided 14,490 units of service to homeless clients; only 603 of those units of service were provided to people whose homelessness originated outside West Virginia. This indicates that Coalition staff spent approximately 96 percent of their time assisting residents of West Virginia.

Furthermore, approximately 70 percent of these clients had lived in Ohio County before becoming homeless. While there are well-established emergency and domestic violence shelters in this area, the Coalition is the only agency uniquely devoted to providing both housing and supportive services for people who are homeless, dedicated to helping this population change their circumstances through access to employment, education, training, medical care, counseling and safe, affordable housing.

WHY WE NEED ALTERNATIVE HOUSING OPTIONS

Many of the Coalition’s clients are unable to access permanent housing through the local Housing Authority because of criminal history, past eviction issues or poor rental history. Add to this the increasing number of homeless who are disabled, and the problem is compounded. Maintaining alternative housing options for the disabled homeless population becomes evident upon examination of the following statistics: