A new apartment complex in Colorado Springs is catered specifically toward people with nowhere else to turn. Created by the Springs Rescue Mission, Greenway Flats serves to help local people escape chronic homelessness and get back on their feet.
Many people suffer from conditions that make it nearly impossible to maintain an income, which quickly leads to homelessness. For those who can’t find a home, nonprofit programs like the Springs Rescue Mission provide some much-needed assistance.
Housing Assistance to the Chronically Homeless
This type of program is the first of its kind in Colorado Springs, but many other cities have already found success in creating housing assistance programs for those in need. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has found that these services can help people who experience chronic homelessness.
Unlike some housing programs, however, Greenway Flats has few restrictions on people who live there. For example, residents are not required to be sober or seek medical attention for any mental conditions they may have. This type of program is based on the Housing First model, which shows people are better able to recover from substance use and mental health disorders if they are not homeless.
Members Also Suffer from Chronic Conditions
Residents at Greenway Flats are not just chronically homeless. They are also suffering from one or more of the following conditions:
- Substance abuse and addiction: Substance use can cause erratic behavior, leading to job loss. Since addiction causes cravings, people often do whatever they can to get more of their drug. They may spend rent money on substances and end up without a home. While on the street, they are still dealing with the problems of an untreated addiction.
- Serious mental illness: Certain mental health disorders, such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, can make it difficult to hold down a job. Without the ability to work, many people with serious mental illness find themselves homeless.
- Developmental disability: Like mental illnesses, developmental disabilities can make it hard to find employment. If these people have nobody to care for them, they can end up without a home.
- Chronic physical illness: Chronic or severe pain can make it impossible to work. In addition, people with severe pain may become dependent on pain medications in order to find relief. If they are suddenly unable to refill prescriptions, they can turn to illicit drug use and find themselves without the money needed to sustain housing.
These conditions can make it difficult for people to attain an income that pays for their living expenses. As a result, many end up on the streets because they’re unable to secure a job and afford a place to live. While homeless, they often find their problems worsen because they don’t have an opportunity to seek recovery.
Housing assistance is proven to help people get to a point where they can find suitable treatment and begin the recovery process. Residents at Greenway Flats are given vouchers that help them connect to addiction recovery resources, health care, employment assistance and much more.
Housing First Model May Reduce Homeless Addiction Rates
According to the Housing First model, a home gives people the platform needed for finding treatment. The idea is that people need the necessities taken care of before seeking help for non-critical elements, such as employment and addiction recovery. By providing homeless people with a place to live, they are better able to seek out resources for treatment.
Support Services On-Site
The Springs Rescue Mission isn’t just providing people with a place to live. They also offer a variety of support services. Greenway Flats is located on the organization’s campus, offering residents the ability to take advantage of daily meals, addiction support groups, health care and many other services. Since residents live so close to these resources, they’re more likely to use them and begin the path to recovery.
Philanthropy, Paying It Forward
The Springs Rescue Mission already had plans to create a center costing $14 million. Nor’wood Development Group came forward to help out and transform the idea into an assisted housing complex. Together, the organizations reached out and received federal assistance to fund the plan. In addition, Nor’wood invested its service fee into the plan instead of making a profit.
Programs like assisted housing can help homeless people find a new platform for recovery. For many, substance use disorders were part of why they became trapped in a vicious cycle of homelessness. If you or a loved one is suffering from a substance use disorder or co-occurring mental health issue, The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake can help. Contact us today to learn more about treatment options that can work for you.
Rodgers, Jakob. “New apartment complex serves Colorado Springs’ chronically homeless.” The Gazette, July 20, 2019. Accessed September 26, 2019.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Housing and Shelter.” March 29, 2019. Accessed September 26, 2019.
National Alliance to End Homelessness. “Fact Sheet: Housing First.” April 2016. Accessed September 26, 2019.
National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. “Homelessness in America: Overview of Data and Causes.” January 2015. Accessed September 26, 2019.