Partners for Progress is a service developed in conjunction with the Lebanon Housing Authority and Lebanon MH/MR to provide homes and support services to ten individuals who are homeless and who have a history of experiencing persistent mental illness.
Philhaven administers this program in conjunction with the Lebanon County Housing Authority. The program draws down funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, DC, and with the assistance of the Housing Authority leases ten scattered site apartments in the city of Lebanon. Partners for Progress then rents these apartments at subsidized rates to homeless persons who meet admission criteria. The Philhaven caseworker visits these individuals in their apartments and works with them to address the deficits that led to homelessness, and to build skills for independent living. Particular emphasis is placed on effectively managing each resident’s psychiatric illness. The caseworker’s approach is collaborative and supportive. Home visits are designed to be relaxed but solution-focused.
Proficiency in the skills essential for living on one’s own is the goal. There is no set limit for length of service in the program; as long as residents are working toward skill improvement and complying with expectations they may continue in the program.
Expectations for Residents
- meet at least weekly with their caseworker
- learn to use the county bus system
- receive psychiatric medication checks or other mental health services
- secure volunteer or part-time paid employment
- pay rent as scheduled.
Residents will receive assistance with applying for Section 8 or other low-income housing if they wish.
Partners for Progress seeks to be recovery-oriented and collaborative in its approach. Residents are expected to assume responsibility for their progress, and develop goals that lead toward healthy, stable living as each of envisions it. Residents are given as much choice as possible in how they organize their lives and move toward long-term housing. Their multiple strengths and capacity for resiliency are noted, and where possible built upon.
We believe personal and community supports are a critical part of recovery and encourage residents to connect with family, friends, the community, and God as opportunities permit. Staff in the program understands that progress for persons with mental illness is often non-linear and includes setbacks.
The program seeks to be a place where mistakes are seen as opportunities for learning and a wide variety of choices may be pursued. We understand there are multiple pathways away from homelessness and encourage residents to pursue the path best suited to them.
Staff works to facilitate all this by helping residents see their capacity for growth, affirming progress as it occurs, and pointing out unhealthy behavioral patterns where evident. We believe homelessness can be a temporary condition overcome with persistent effort and good support.