Miriam’s Kitchen Celebrates First Year Providing Services to Permanent Supportive Housing Residents

Miriam’s Kitchen Celebrates First Year Providing Services to Permanent Supportive Housing Residents

First Year Marked by Program Expansion, Significant Contributions from Local Landlord Community

August 31, 2015 (Washington, D.C.) Miriam’s Kitchen today announced the one-year anniversary of its Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) program. In the past year, Miriam’s Kitchen has provided supportive services to 88 formerly homeless individuals, now thriving in the District’s Permanent Supportive Housing program.

Permanent Supportive Housing is considered a best practice in addressing the needs of the most vulnerable chronically homeless individuals. It has a 92 percent success rate in Washington, D.C., meaning that when people are matches with housing and supportive services, they remain housed.

According the Miriam’s Kitchen’s Director of Housing, Kierstin Quinsland, the program has already had a dramatic impact on its residents. “The thing that is most exciting is seeing people change right in front of me. They sign a lease and instantly they’re no longer homeless. It’s truly amazing to be a part of that transformation. You can see the person they really are come back again.”

The program, administered through a contract with the D.C. Department of Human Services, originally served 70 residents in the District’s PSH program. However, in the past year, the organization has expanded its contract to include an additional twenty-five individuals, and has grown its team with two new case managers to help handle the increasing number of residents they serve.

Among the key findings of the first year was the powerful role of the landlord community. According to Quinsland, landlord engagement is among the most important aspects of a successful PSH program.

“Landlords are recognizing that they can play a role in ending chronic homelessness in Washington, D.C., and that it actually benefits their business,” said Quinsland. “PSH tenants offer guaranteed rent and lower turnover, and each resident has a case manager who serves as an intermediary to help address any challenges. Those are huge advantages to landlord and tenant alike.”

She added that maintaining strong relationships with local landlords will be a key to the program’s future. She reports that Miriam’s Kitchen is actively working to identify landlords that have affordably-priced units, are willing to accept a housing voucher, and are inspired to play a role in helping to change someone’s life.

“Every member of the community has a role in the effort to end chronic homelessness,” she said. “It’s been incredible to see so many landlords step up and be a part of this effort. Together, we are ending chronic homelessness in the District of Columbia.”

About Miriam’s Kitchen

Miriam’s Kitchen is committed to ending chronic homelessness in Washington, D.C. Miriam’s Kitchen meets our guests’ short-term needs by providing healthy meals and high-quality social services to more than 5,000 homeless individuals each year, while also advocating for proven housing programs like Permanent Supportive Housing as a long-term solution.  www.miriamskitchen.org

Tom Murphy
Director of Communication
202-452-8926, Ext 235