AUBURN, Calif. April 23, 2019 – Placer County’s Whole Person Care program for homeless individuals with complex needs has hit a major milestone, reaching 100 clients housed.
All clients included in this number have been housed successfully, meaning that they have remained stable in their placements. Clients with failed placements, who have been evicted or otherwise removed, are not included in this total.
“What this really illustrates is the success we’ve had not just in finding housing, which is certainly a huge challenge all on its own,” said Health Officer Dr. Rob Oldham. “But it also points to the importance of maintaining housing, and how our intensive and ongoing case management has helped these clients become responsible renters.”
Whole Person Care is a five-year pilot program targeting homeless individuals that works to better coordinate physical health, behavioral health and social services for at-risk clients who are high users of multiple services, including emergency departments, jails, mental health and substance use programs and social services.
For an in-depth look at Whole Person Care, explore the county’s podcast series on the program, also available for streaming or download on all major podcast platforms.
Historically, while Placer County’s homeless population has been lower per capita than other counties in the region and state, Placer’s rate of chronic homelessness — people who are homeless for longer than a year or have repeat experiences with homelessness — has been high. Chronically homeless people are often more difficult to house long-term.
The county’s competitive housing market is also challenging, as most clients have little to no income, with many on disability. Sutter Health Valley Area has contributed $2 million in grants to Whole Person Care in recent years, which the program has used to purchase housing units where rent amounts are income-based.
There are also dedicated housing coordinators on staff who work to assist clients with tasks like credit checks and applications, budgeting, moving, furnishings and more; and also works to maintain relationships with landlords and help resolve issues that might emerge or create conflict.
“When someone is receiving services through Whole Person Care, that support doesn’t end the day they walk into their new home,” Oldham said. “We stay by their side to make sure they are as successful as possible.”
The program is on track to serve at least 450 people over the five-year pilot period.