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September 2013: PLACES Opens its Largest Housing First Program Yet

Imperial Court OpeningBy housing the first three of 12 new tenants in a renovated complex in Vandalia, PLACES officially opened its fourth Housing First facility for chronically homeless men and women diagnosed with serious mental illnesses. By the end of October, nine more tenants will be housed.

Through Housing First, PLACES provides permanent housing and on-site supportive services for adults diagnosed with mental health disorders who are homeless. The Vandalia facility is the largest of the four Housing First programs at PLACES. Cobblegate houses 10, and Tangy Court and Belvo each house eight.

“It brings about such a transformation for people who’ve been living on the streets,” said Roy Craig, executive director at PLACES. “It’s an opportunity to provide them a place to live, meet their healthcare needs and help them get some income and maybe employment, so they can potentially move into the community at some point in the future.”

Otherwise, by remaining on the streets, these people would end up back in shelters, in jail – or even dead, he said.

After PLACES was awarded a grant for the project in 2012 by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), it began working with Miami Valley Housing Opportunities (MVHO), which purchased a property for rehabilitation. MVHO renovated a two-building, 12-unit apartment complex and included an office for PLACES staff. PLACES now leases the property from MVHO and issues subleases to each Housing First tenant – the same arrangement used at the other three Housing First programs PLACES operates.

“The complex is in an appropriate residential setting close to bus stops, shopping and social activities – exactly what we were looking for,” Craig said.

Throughout October, PLACES staff will continue interviewing potential tenants on Montgomery County’s priority list. “We are identifying the ones who need help the most,” Craig said – those with substance abuse disorders, criminal histories or both, along with mental illness.

The program that opened in September was two years in the making. In 2011, after Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance funding was made available, PLACES applied and competed to operate a fourth Housing First program. After being screened by Montgomery County’s Homeless Solutions Policy Board, PLACES was selected in 2012 to receive a $325,372 HUD grant, which covers operating costs, supportive services, administration and leasing. Additional funding comes from Montgomery County – the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board and HOME funds – and from PLACES and tenant rents.

“PLACES was chosen because of our reputation and success with our three other Housing First programs,” Craig said. “We know how to do these projects.”

Ultimately, PLACES wants to give Housing First tenants opportunities they never may have had, said Tracey Jones, residential service coordinator.

“We want them to be independent, pay their bills and maintain a regular life, and we want people to know that PLACES is a company that’s providing support to this population. People who were on the streets are now being housed, and that’s something to be proud of in Montgomery County.”


News Archive:

May, 2014: Update Your Enrollment in the Kroger Community Rewards Program on Behalf of PLACES

January 16, 2014: LISW, is New Director of Client Services at PLACES

December 12, 2013: PLACES to Build 25th Anniversary Commemorative Walkway

September 2013: PLACES Opens its Largest Housing First Program Yet

April 1, 2013: Keep Your Support Coming–Renew Your Annual Kroger Community Rewards Registration!

December 6, 2012: Homeless Persons' Memorial Service to be Held at Courthouse Square, Dayton, at noon December 2

August 8, 2012: PLACES to Open Its Fourth Housing First Facility

July 27, 2012: 36 Residents Will Benefit from Repairs, Improvements to Four PLACES Adult Care Facilities

July 23, 2012: The Colorado Tragedy: What Families Are Asking

May 7, 2012: On-Site Pharmacy at South Community Makes Medication Compliance Easier and More Convenient for PLACES Clients and Tenants

May 1, 2012: Shop at Kroger so PLACES Can Earn 4% Cash Back – at No Cost to You

March 6, 2012: New PLACES Website Raises Awareness about Mental Health Disorders

Sept. 12, 2011: PLACES Receives a $5,000 Grant from CareSource Foundation


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