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Better At Home Training Helps Providers Solve Housing Puzzle

Alliance Health is committed to the principle of supportive housing as a platform for improving quality of life and a foundation for recovery and we have built a robust and diverse continuum of housing services and options to assist our members, in partnership with community organizations and our provider network. But the complex systems of housing and homelessness can be difficult and confusing for health care providers to navigate. The Better At Home training series aims to help.

“A lot of our providers are clinicians, not necessarily housing experts,” said Alliance Supportive Housing Manager Laressa Witt, who coordinates the Better At Home program. “Housing is kind of a collateral duty for a lot of them.”

Research shows that people experiencing or at risk of homelessness are at heightened risk for negative health effects. Having no home or being precariously housed can make it difficult to eat nutritious food, get regular preventative care, and manage chronic health conditions. Evidence shows that supportive housing — affordable housing combined with intensive coordinated services — can lower participants’ health care costs.

“Housing is truly health care. People are better able to manage their behavioral health concerns or take care of themselves when they have the emotional energy to deal with things and are not worried about where they’re going to sleep, where they’re going to get their food, or where they’re going to store their food or belongings”

Among the topics covered in the Better At Home trainings are how to read a lease, tenancy laws, fair housing, HUD vouchers, housing inspections, the eviction process, and the Americans with Disabilities Act and reasonable accommodations. The sessions take place virtually and are archived on the Alliance Health YouTube channel.

Witt said the trainings have been well-received. “We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback. And we can tell they’re understanding the process better because their questions have improved, they’re asking more complex questions,” she said.

The Better At Home initiative also offers other supports to providers who need help navigating housing.

  • Corporation for Supportive Housing has monthly “office hours” available to Alliance assertive community treatment (ACT) and community support team (CST) providers to assist them with their housing and tenancy support to clients.
  • Independent Living Initiative (ILI) Housing Trainings cover the criteria and eligibility requirements for Independent Living Initiative housing funds and is intended for providers whose consumers may need financial assistance to prevent homelessness.
  • Supportive Housing Q&A sessions provide a twice-monthly opportunity to ask questions, address barriers, and provide strategies to support tenancy for our members.

Learn more about the November 2021 Better At Home offerings.

To learn more about all events and trainings Alliance offers, check out our online calendar.

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