Miriam’s Kitchen Expands Case Management Services to Residents in Permanent Supportive Housing
Offering Extends Organization’s Commitment to Ending Chronic Homelessness in D.C.
July 8, 2014, (Washington, D.C.) – Miriam’s Kitchen today announced a major expansion to become a provider of case management services for individuals in Permanent Supportive Housing in Washington, D.C. The services, offered through a contract with the Department of Human Services, will allow Miriam’s Kitchen case managers to directly help clients maintain long-term housing and achieve the highest level of self-sufficiency possible.
“We have always known that the solution to homelessness is housing,” said Miriam’s Kitchen President and CEO, Scott Schenkelberg. “Housing offers people a fundamental level of safety and stability. Together with the right supportive services, housing is the key to helping formerly homeless individuals set and reach goals to thrive. In fact, Permanent Supportive Housing has a 92 percent success rate in Washington, D.C.”
A staff of five Case Managers from Miriam’s Kitchen will provide supportive services to an estimated 70 individuals in the Department of Human Services Permanent Supportive Housing Program (DHS PSHP), who will be living in units scattered throughout the city. The team will consist of a Director of Housing and four Case Managers. Current Miriam’s Kitchen Senior Case Manager, Kierstin Quinsland, will be leading PSH efforts as the Interim Director of Housing.
Individuals served by the program may have any number of barriers common to people who are chronically homeless, including mental illness, substance abuse, chronic health problems and trauma. Providing case management services to individuals with these challenges is an area of expertise for Miriam’s Kitchen.
“Miriam’s Kitchen first began providing case management services in 1997, and we have seen a steady increase in demand for these services ever since,” said Schenkelberg. “Each day, through an approach that is rooted in dignity and belonging, we help guests struggling with challenges that often include severe and persistent physical and mental illness. Our staff understands the most complex barriers to transitioning back into housing, and has a proven track record for helping people achieve positive change in their lives.”
Once connected with housing, clients will work with Miriam’s Kitchen case managers to comply with lease provisions and local laws. Miriam’s Kitchen will serve as a coordinator and advocate between clients, their landlords and service providers, an essential strategy for long-term success.
Additionally, case managers will assist clients with a broad spectrum of other services, ranging from monitoring their health and safety; helping them set and keep appointments with medical professionals, counselors and other professionals; developing budgeting and daily living skills; assisting them in efforts to find employment and benefits; and providing other more intensive physical and psychological interventions. Case managers will also support clients’ goals for returning to an active life in the wider community.
Miriam’s Kitchen officially began administering the program on July 1st. As a first step, case managers are meeting with clients to better understand their needs and the services they are currently receiving, and to involve them in the process of setting and making appropriate goals to stay in housing.
Schenkelberg notes that the expansion is part of a sustained growth trend at Miriam’s Kitchen.
“Over the past several years, we’ve demonstrated an ability to expand rapidly and still maintain high-quality meals, case management and advocacy services,” he said. “In fact, the number of case management clients served at Miriam’s Kitchen has increased by at least 20 percent in each of the past three years, while our meals and advocacy programs have become increasingly comprehensive. Expanding to provide case management services to people in the Permanent Supportive Housing Program is the logical next step in our mission to end chronic homelessness in Washington, D.C.”
About Miriam’s Kitchen
Celebrating 30 years of service, Miriam’s Kitchen is committed to ending chronic homelessness in Washington, D.C. Miriam’s Kitchen advocates for permanent supportive housing as a long-term solution, while meeting short-term needs by providing healthy meals and high-quality social services to more than 5,000 homeless individuals each year. www.miriamskitchen.org
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