The majority of homeless people that come to Commonwealth Land Trust are in a state of crisis. For months or even years, they have slept in crowded emergency shelters, abandoned buildings, cars, and the street. During the day, they are forced to find lodging outside where they are exposed to rain, snow, and other adverse conditions. Many are struggling with exacerbating health problems, including physical disabilities, mental illness, addiction, and HIV/AIDS.
The fragmented service systems that our unhoused neighbors interact with, including emergency shelters, in-patient treatment centers, emergency rooms, and police departments, are ill-equipped to address their complex challenges. Commonwealth Land Trust recognizes that the best way to serve chronically homeless individuals is to pair permanent housing with on-site case management services. This combination enables homeless individuals to achieve stability and confront the challenges that led them to the streets.
Holistic Harm Reduction
Commonwealth Land Trust practices a holistic, client-centered, and harm reduction-based clinical approach. Upon move-in, we work with residents to develop an individual service plan to address their medical, social, and financial challenges. While each client enters our housing with unique challenges and goals, the overarching aim of our case management program is to ensure that residents remain in permanent housing and increase their self-sufficiency. Markers of self-sufficiency include managing one’s health care needs, budgeting, and participating in enriching activities, such as volunteering, working, or pursuing education.
A vital component of our supportive housing is the on-site nature of our case management services. Case managers maintain offices in each of our supportive housing properties, providing clients with easy access to counseling, supportive referrals, medication adherence training, and other vital services. By removing barriers like travel time and attendant loss of motivation, CLT is able to keep the vast majority of residents engaged in care.
This clinical model produces highly successful outcomes, as the vast majority of residents remain in permanent housing, increase their self-sufficiency, and overcome the challenges that led them to the streets.