On Wednesday, March 13, 2013, Homeward Bound of Asheville moved its 500th person out of homelessness and into permanent housing.
Jody Brackett, 36, has been staying in transitional housing the past several months, following a stroke in October. Prior to that, he worked as a caretaker for a family member in Waynesville. Once he had the stroke and needed care himself, his living arrangement fell apart and he had no other support to turn to. A profound lack of support is the only commonality among Homeward Bound’s clients.
“We know what works: housing + support.” said Brian Alexander, Executive Director. “This milestone proves that ending homelessness is possible in our community. If we can successfully house 500 people and keep 89% of them in housing permanently, we can house the other 500 or so people who are homeless in our community.”
Homeward Bound’s Pathways to Permanent Housing program began in 2006 in direct response to Looking Homeward: the 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness in Asheville & Buncombe County, adopted by City Council and County Commissioners in 2005. It uses the national best practice called Housing First, which offers housing to clients first, before they address sobriety, mental health, income, etc. Once housed, the programs provides case management support to address those issues and help clients stabilize in housing and remain there permanently.
Homeward Bound has been a leader in ending homelessness in Asheville & Buncombe County and has contributed significantly to the community’s 82% reduction in chronic homelessness since the 10-year plan was adopted in 2005.