Our shelter has seen a marked increase in the amount of people in our area needing emergency shelter. High inflation combined with slow wage growth and exponentially increasing rent costs have forced people out of their homes. And finding somewhere new that they can afford to live is an all but impossible task.
Proper housing is what’s called a ‘Social Determinant of Health.’ In other words, research has shown that someone’s housing situation has a significant impact on their personal health. Living in difficult, unstable housing situations negatively impacts a person’s health, while having affordable, stable, and decent housing will have a positive impact.
This means that housing instability itself and not just its effects (lack of transportation, shelter, food, and healthcare) has significant consequences for someone’s health. Therefore, moving someone into stable and decent housing will, in and of itself, provide massive health benefits. We’ve seen this dozens of times at the shelter. People who have been living on the streets look, feel, and are better simply because they have a place to sleep at the House of Hope.
Sentara has shown their support for this work with a $25,000 grant that will be used to support case management and workforce development services at House of Hope. Through this grant, we’ll be able to focus on providing Housing-based case management to our guests. In addition, workforce development (resume building, job skill courses, job-seeker assistance, etc.) will become a regular part of House of Hope’s services. Everyone’s needs are different, and the goal is to provide our guests the help they need on their path to permanent housing.
We are extremely grateful to have this opportunity to partner with Sentara to help our guests get back on their feet!