Housing First Program (H1)

We use a team provider approach for services to persons who are homeless in the City of Columbia and Richland County. Our team consists of a case manager, a lead case manager, a licensed therapist and a medical adherence assistant. Medical care is provided by a departmental clinic which addresses primary care issues. By using these skills of each team member and our partnering clinic, we provide a comprehensive and cost effective approach. Emergency services are provided 24/7 to residents of our units.

Assessing Eligibility:

This is the only Housing First program in Columbia, South Carolina. Through a partnership with the Columbia Housing Authority, we lease apartments in Columbia for individuals and families. In addition to the established services for chronically homeless individuals, Housing First will expand its client base to include homeless families with Families First, a component of the program that provides housing and supportive services to adult partners and their dependent children. Chronically homeless potential clients must meet HUD’s definition; meaning the person must be unaccompanied, disabled and living in a shelter or a place not meant for human habitation. Homelessness must be for a period of 1 year or there must be 4 separate occurrences of homelessness in the last 3 years.

Additionally, new variations to the existing program requirements will help the Office of Supportive Housing Services provide services to disabled individuals who have experienced short term homelessness.

To receive case management and housing placement a person must also not be eligible for other housing services. As accessing services is often a barrier to housing, we work with persons we identify as eligible for other housing to assist them in accessing those services. Persons who receive housing services through this program and who have income pay 30% of their income toward rent and utilities.

Through targeted street outreach efforts, not only will SHS end homelessness for the aforementioned recipients, but numerous others will be directed to community resources that will provide opportunities for support and possibilities for independence.

Services Provided:

  • Outreach and linkage services
  • Assessment
  • Housing Placement
  • Individual Service Plans
  • Case Management
  • Mental Health Counseling
  • Substance Abuse Counseling
  • Life Skills
  • Budgeting
  • Benefits Navigation
  • Referrals
  • Transportation Assistance