CHP’s primary goal is to help participants by assisting them in locating, obtaining, and remaining in suitable permanent housing, providing ongoing case management services, increasing life skills, and utilizing the resources to potentially sustain an independent income. All while helping Coming Home Project participants achieve greater self-determination.
Anchorage Housing Initiatives’(AHI) Coming Home Project (CHP) is designed for individuals who meet the HUD definition of Chronic Homelessness and who have a high level of service needs. All of our units are dedicated to Chronically Homeless households. CHP uses the prioritization process found in HUD Notice CPD 16-11, the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Written Standards, and receives referrals from the Coordinated Entry system.
The Coming Home Project uses a Housing First program model, placing individuals in scattered-site housing of their choosing. These scattered site-housing units are affordable housing units, some owned by partner non-profits such as RurAL CAP, and NeighborWorks Alaska (NWAK), while other units are owned by private property owners. These units must first pass a Housing Quality Standards inspection and meet Municipal Fair Market Rent requirements. We provide rental assistance and supportive services so the chronically homeless can access permanent housing that meets their needs. CHP is a true Housing First, low-barrier program. The program uses the evidenced based model of Housing First and the following standards:
- People move directly to housing from the streets or shelters without preconditions of treatment;
- Robust services are made available to housing participants and are predicated on assertive engagement and not coercion;
- Continued tenancy is not dependent on participation in services and residents have landlord-tenant protections;
- Rental subsidies are targeted at the most vulnerable homeless persons; and
- Harm Reduction is used as the addiction recovery model.
CHP receives referrals from the Coordinated Entry system, then processes the applications, assists with locating housing, conducting HQS inspections, completing the lease-up process with the program participant and the property owner, and processes the monthly rent payments. Consistent and regular communication and coordination between CHP and the property owners have allowed for the housing stability of program participants and is a crucial part of this program’s success. All participating individuals can receive case management services from CHP. These services are available but are not a requirement.
By transitioning the most vulnerable individuals experiencing chronic homelessness off Anchorage’s streets and out of shelters, and providing them with permanent supportive housing, resources and case management services, CHP has been able to play a vital role in both Anchorage’s “Five-Year Plan to end Homelessness” and the Federal “Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent & End Homelessness” projects.