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Dave’s House Residential Support Services

Dave's House, Inc.

Dave’s House Residential Support Services Logo

Program Website
Year:
2019
State:
Florida
Winner Status:
Applicant
Program Type:
Program
Target Population:
Individuals experiencing Housing Insecurity
Setting:
Long-Term Residential Care Facility

Nature of the Problem

Dave’s House’s mission is to transform lives and give hope to people with serious mental illness through creating stable homes. Our vision is an end to the housing crisis for people with serious mental illness. Permanent, supportive housing helps to complete an important continuum of care that complements clinical behavioral healthcare for a holistic and effective approach to care. We focus on dignity for all residents and support outcomes that ensure each person’s personal achievement. Dave’s Houses are quality, non-time-limited, affordable residences with support services that provide adults with serious mental illness a safe home where they can maximize their opportunity for lasting stability living in the community. While mental illness has no cure, stability is possible with the right treatment and support services, including permanent housing. Dave’s House homes are forever homes for some of the most vulnerable and underserved people in our community. These folks would otherwise return to the streets and the revolving door of hospitalization and incarceration. Affordable permanent housing like Dave’s House is crucial for this population to avoid homelessness.

Program Description

Dave’s House is the only organization in Central Florida dedicated to providing permanent supportive housing to residents with serious mental illness and are at risk of chronic homelessness. The home provides 24/7, year-round support in perpetuity. Brand standards optimize the success of the program to ensure that the houses and support services are of the utmost quality enabling each resident to realize their individual potential. Our single site residences are those which anyone would be proud to live in and are conveniently located to services and shopping with privacy from neighbors. A behavioral healthcare professional provides regular and as-needed “drop-in” services at the home who help residents develop personalized service plans and connect residents with resources they need in order to maintain management of their illnesses and live a high quality of life. These services include making sure residents are compliant with taking medications, doing their chores, living harmoniously, and are receiving support tailored to their needs, such as comprehensive case management, psychosocial day support, psychiatric medication evaluation and treatment, life skills training, vocational training, mental health counseling, thus giving them a proven likelihood of stability in their fight against mental illness.

Disruption

All of our residents were previously homeless at one time due to their illness and unable to sustain gainful employment due to their permanent disability. The typical candidate for residency at Dave’s House is an adult with a serious mental illness (typically Schizophrenia, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, or an anxiety disorder) who have demonstrated that they can live independently but require lifelong treatment and support. Dave’s House homes provides a permanent home eliminating housing insecurity as a trigger for deeper anxieties. Dave’s House saves and improves the lives of people with serious mental illness, prevents and ends homelessness, and halts “the revolving door,” a continuous cycle of homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, crisis intervention, and hospitalization that takes a huge toll on a person’s health as well as public services funded by taxpayers.

Leadership

This program shows proven results of what can happen when behavioral health and the community at large focuses on long-term stability. Our residents receive SSDI or SSI and live below the federal poverty threshold. They pay an affordable rent from their on-average $750 monthly disability income. Some residents may have a co-occurring diagnosis of mental illness and former substance abuse and must remain alcohol and drug-free except those medically prescribed. Mental illnesses may also prevent people from forming and maintaining stable relationships. This often results in pushing away caregivers, family, and friends who may be the force keeping that person from becoming homeless. As a result of these factors and the stresses of living with a mental disorder, people with mental illnesses are much more likely to become homeless than the general population. Our program transitions people from a chaotic life on the streets to a stable life.

Scalability

Dave’s House aggressively fund raises to purchase homes that meet our high standards for safety, convenience, and low maintenance, and in a neighborhood with easy access to public transportation, shopping, mental health services, and houses of worship. Once the house is purchased, we work with our behavioral healthcare partners, Aspire Health Partners (Aspire), who provide case management and operational support, to make any repairs needed, provide furnishings, and supply the home. A Dave’s House Home can house up to four residents who have demonstrated the stability and life skills to live in the community independently with drop-in support. We collaborate actively with local like-mind organizations to remove the barrier to housing with sharing of goods in kind resources. Dave’s House is also part of the Central Florida Commission of Homelessness’ regional continuum of care efforts of the housing first model putting individuals in single dwelling apartments with wrap around services.

Results/Outcomes

Permanent supportive housing like Dave’s House costs 1/2 the cost of a shelter, 1/3 the cost of homelessness, 1/4 the cost of jail, and 1/10 the cost of a hospital bed. Our actual pro forma shows that it is less than 1/3 the cost to keep someone well in a Dave’s House than it is to keep someone sick living on the street — the difference between $8.3k and over $30k annually. Ninety percent of our residents remain in stable permanent housing. Less than 25% of residents will ever need psychiatric re-hospitalization while the general population of those with serious mental illness are re-hospitalized at rates of 40% to 60%. Residents report a high overall satisfaction with the services they receive each year. Residents participate daily in a productive activity (social/recreational, vocational, or diversional). Each individual’s overall health, well-being, and sense of hope for the future is improved.