Preventing Homelessness: Utilizing Protective Payee Services
4/29/2010 12:00 AM
For many people, barriers such as mental illness and physical disability make it extremely difficult to maintain employment, manage financial resources, and keep supportive social connections. This can lead down a slippery slope of poverty, substance abuse, or reoccurring homelessness. Hope House’s Protective Payee Program is designed to provide financial oversight, budget counseling, and supportive case management for individuals in this scenario.
According to a study done by the US Department of Health and Human Services
, 39% of homeless individuals report having some form of mental health issue. Forty-six percent report a chronic health problem. Keeping track of due dates on bills and sticking to a budget, combined with the stress of poverty and declining mental or physical health can be overwhelming enough to push a person into homelessness. When working with a limited, fixed income such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), budgeting can be even more of a challenge.
Last year, Hope House worked with 42 households—5 families and 37 single people—to ensure that their financial management did not render them homeless. We assign each individual a caring and responsible case manager who will assist the client in scheduling bill payments, budgeting for the month, and securing housing. Individuals meet with their case manager every week to plan their spending, meet due dates, or even go grocery shopping. Sometimes case managers will visit a client at their house to check up on their quality of life at home, making sure they are safe, clean, and healthy.
Hope House strives to provide clients with comprehensive, compassionate services. In addition to finance management, we are often able to refer clients to other supportive services such as on-site, low-cost GED classes, emergency food resources through our United South Side Food Pantry, and in dire circumstances, a bed in our men or women’s shelter. Our generous donors are a huge part of the availability of these services! The Faye McBeath Foundation has given over $75,000 since 2003 to support our Protective Payee Program in particular. If you would like to support those receiving services from our Payee Program, please consider donating to Hope House here