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Navigating Home

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Adrienne Solenberger

on 13 April 2017

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Transcript of Navigating Home

Don't set clients up for failure.
Aim to view 2-3 housing options with customers before committing.
'Stepping stones' are okay and provide opportunity to generate rental history.
Make a house a Home and neighbors Community.
Smart Housing
Clearly define program expectations.
Connect clients with supportive services as soon as possible.
Provide a housing 'forecast'.
Immediately implement a plan to address their most challenging barrier(s).
Prepare high barrier clients for housing.
1. Don't run! Think outside the box.
When disaster strikes...
of your resources; Craigslist, want ads, street postings, and current/previous landlords HousingSearchNW.org.
Maintain a list of landlords and their qualifying criteria for future opportunities.
Word of mouth and partner agencies
The Search for Housing
Tools for building partnerships with landlords and housing high barrier clients.
Navigating Home
Here's how to sell your program....
"I assist persons with disabilities and (or) chronic illness with housing. I visit them weekly and check to see if they need any assistance cleaning, getting to a care provider, and of course, making sure they can get their rent in on time and follow their lease...."
Highlight how you save them money and time: routine inspections, monitoring maintenance, and guests. "They have a contract with me that mirrors your lease; my job is to get to them before any issues get to you."
Walk them through the subsidy process.
'NO!' is not rejection:
Fear of inspection.

"I complete the inspections myself and most dwellings pass without issue. Here's what we look for..."
Previous negative experiences with housing programs.
"Tell me what went wrong?... How would you have liked to see the issue resolved differently."
Difficulty managing the behavior stereotypes and realities of working with formerly homeless persons.
"Well that's my job..." Remind the landlord how you are an asset and can save them time, frustration, and money.
Candidate doesn't meet our leasing guidelines.
Verbalize your empathy and respect. Ask for a clear understanding of their minimum qualifications as well as substitution and/or allowances that can be made. "Thank you for your time. I'll keep you in mind in the future when I am sure I have a candidate that fits your needs."
Periodically check-in to address questions and concerns.
Assisting with maintenance requests can minimize 'catastrophe' and maximize priority.
Inform landlords ahead of time about late payments or subsidy changes.
Give notice of extended absences, visiting relatives, service providers, or special events.
2. Provide solutions
3. Ask,"What would work best you?"
If the violation is irreconcilable, offer to replace the tenant with another candidate.
4. Enforce compliance contracts.
Sustain Housing
Keep service plans personal, active, and balanced.
Break tasks down into small steps and celebrate each success.
Use a client led approach to services.
Empower ownership.
Try, try again... always have fun!
Profile: mid 30s; 7 years homeless
Barriers: No income, some criminal history including DV charges, personality disorder and severe depression resulting in frequent hospitalization for suicidal ideation, chronic alcoholism.
Housing week 1: The fire.

Resolution: MH and CD behavior contract, approved guest policy, harm reduction model.
Housing 1 month: Suicide attempt.
Resolution: mobile medical/MH intensive case management, peer support team, provider team meetings.
Housing 18 months: Successful! Stably housed on a master leased Shelter Plus Care voucher.
Housing Resources:
kcha.org (King County)
nolo.com (legal encyclopedia for WA landlord tenant law)
solid-ground.org (tenant support for Seattle area)
Contact Us:
Adriennne Solenberger
; Housing Case Manager, Catholic Community Services:

Michael Justin
; Housing Case Manager, Catholic Community Services:

Kristin Hill
; Landlord Retention Specialist, Whatcom Homeless Service Center:
Tenant Resources:



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