Helping HandUps approach is to first establish trust while delivering quality services that support the basic needs hierarchy identified by Abraham Maslow. Maslow’s finding, considered by many to be the biggest contributions to psychology in the 20th Century, focuses on five primary needs categories illustrated in the pyramid drawing shown here. Addressing each of these building blocks in order starting with the foundational physiological needs through to self-actualization are the keys to successfully addressing the conditions that exasperate the chronically homeless.
We have found in our work with the homeless over the years is that they create an environment that minimally satisfies the first three bottom levels. Tent or tarp communities spring up that attempt to satisfy physiological, safety, and community needs. The sense of community and safety is often a barrier to accepting alternatives supplied by providers that serve the homeless community.
Helping HandUps has executed a successful plan that empowers their clients by providing a cohesive pathway to satisfying the five basic human needs illustrated in Maslow’s model. This approach will accelerate the restoration of previously homeless individuals to a productive and personally rewarding life that often includes renewed familial relationships. Our method will begin with developing a relationship with the at-risk individual at the street level in order to gain a thorough understanding of their needs through our induction and evaluation process
Each homeless case is complex and multifaceted. Support often is achievable by the level of trust the person in need has in the government system and with the individual service providers. We begin with in-field outreach where personal contact information is gathered from every party connected to an individual case. We evaluate both the needs of the person(s) as well as their desire to make a permanent change to their lives.
The evaluation process begins with getting to know the individual and establishing trust through compassion and action. We establish a connection to them by visiting them consistently and following through with commitments such as delivering on-site food or other supportive services. Once we have established a trusting relationship, we begin to screen and probe for needs such as:
Meals & Showers: HHU offers through our resource partners remote meal and shower services in order to address immediate needs as well as to establish trust.
Transportation: HHU will arrange for either bus passes or shuttle services through our resource partners.
Emergency Shelter: Induction into a temporary staging area such as the Intervention Care Facility or suitable shelter will offer our clients a safe place to live while we formulate their next steps which include among other things skill assessments for potential job placement.
Helping HandUps plans to operate these triage temporary staging sites that can fit within a 1,000 square foot area. These are designed to provide immediate short-term intervention for those who want to get off the streets and change their lives. These transitional centers will be low barrier first step off the street and serve as a means towards permanent housing with or without supportive services.
Field counselors will interview and screen subjects currently living on the street, open a case for willing individuals that defines what their individual needs are. Then the field agent will refer them to this facility once the worker feels they pose no threat to themselves or others.
Helping HandUps transportation team and partners will transport the client together with their belongings, significant other, and care animal if they exist.
Units have separate individual lockable storage cabinets to store clothes and personal belongings.
A desk will be provided so individuals can work on training or receive private treatment by a caseworker.
The multipurpose unit will facilitate training and other service deliveries.
General meeting area for dining and socialization.
Private interviews, counseling, and treatment rooms for scheduled sessions.
Mobile medical, optometric, psychological, and pet treatment units can be positioned outside the facility.
Kitchen area for individual or group meals with refrigerator and storage area.
Internet cloud-based services accessed via a thin-client powered workstation to facilitate communication.
These centralized, emergency, temporary, segregated, and secured shelter facilities are designed to simultaneously stabilize the person(s) in need while relocating them off the street. These individual dwelling units will provide the flexibility that is currently missing to support couples or pets while providing a safe environment to deliver mobilized services and to process client cases.
Client cases that are developed here will follow the subject(s) and be tracked through to completion in order to measure success while providing direct feedback in order to modify methods to ensure success.
Pet spaying, neutering, vaccinations, microchipping, and pet education will be made available.
Medicare/Medi-cade enrollments through a mobile health bus will facilitate treatments and medication delivery.
Spiritual guidance and support will be provided to begin the healing process and provide guidance.
Independent living classes are offered to support the transition back into society as well as reunification with family members.
Clients will receive haircuts, have access to makeup and other personal hygiene items to support their transition off of the street as well as to support the rebuilding of their self-esteem.
Helping HandUps will work with government agencies to secure state ID and social security cards, birth certificates, set up email addresses if our client doesn't have one, provide a cell phone to facilitate treatment, and a mailing address for document delivery.
Solace Foundation of Orange County provides staff training for the legal administration of Naloxone.
Law enforcement assistance is provided by Public Defender’s Office
Resume support, job training and placement provided by Chrysalis
Transitional housing support is provided by HIS House, Families Forward, Illumination Foundation, and Pathways of Hope.
Ultimately, Helping HandUps' goal is to design and construct permanent supportive housing that is uniquely tailored to specific groups. More about this in the next section.
Helping HandUps intends to team up with local architects and contractors to develop and build permanent housing with embedded supportive services that include an employment center. Some configurations can also include street-level suites for retail businesses that can be staffed with graduates of the program.
Since most of the homeless population does not own vehicles unless they were previously living in them, the continuation of medical and training services would be delivered onsite by employed staff or via mobile delivery. These communities will provide quality shelter while delivering services that contribute to our client’s rehabilitation back into society.
Helping HandUps intends that a section of the housing facility would be used for employment and training. A business center will be established onsite where residents can work. Many of the homeless have impressive skill sets that can be used to support themselves, with the profits used to offset facility operational expenses. Contracts can be negotiated with both public and private sector employers who might receive tax benefits and possible wage differentials. Local taxing authorities could also receive employment and use tax revenue. Potential business opportunities could be:
As discussed earlier, and where appropriate, bottom floor suites can be developed to support retail trade. Some of the businesses located in these suites may be owned by non-profits or private companies that may employ some of the formerly homeless individuals who’ve been rehabilitated. Other establishments might be local restaurant chains or other appropriate retail trades.
Surrounding grounds would lend themselves to both aesthetics as well as continued rehabilitation and improvements in quality of life such as DIY gardens and an activity center. The upper floors of these facilities should be guarded with access limited to residents, tenants, and workers. Guests would be signed in or registered electronically.
It is critical that any resource or service we provide to our clients serves to reinforce their rehabilitation in a positive, safe, and humane way. Helping hand Ups will evaluate every shelter and resource that we personally manage or enters into our referral system to make sure these general shelter guidelines are followed:
1.) Dignity and respect:
2.) Divert People from the Homelessness Service System When Possible
3.) Adopt a Housing First Approach and Create Low-Barrier Access to Emergency Shelter
4.) Use Emergency Shelter Stays as a Platform for Housing Access
Helping HandUps will operate a centralized web-based portal called Support-Net that streams real-time resource location and availability transmitted via secured connections to local service providers and agencies. This integrated care and delivery system has built-in case development and tracking mechanisms in order to measure and report results. Here are just a few of its features:
Helping HandUps intends to digitize its existing induction survey in order to drive needs-based requests to support agencies and care providers. Once the form is submitted, requests will be transmitted to create a workflow mechanism with case results and performance tracking. Each cooperating caseworker from supporting agencies would respond to Helping HandUps service requests within 24 hours. The nature of these responses will be determined based upon the nature of the supporting agency.