What are Specialized Housing Services?
Having access to a decent, affordable home is critical to all people but even more important to those who may be struggling financially, physically and/or mentally. Providers of affordable housing can increase the likelihood of successful outcomes for vulnerable households if they offer or connect them with services such as:
- Chemical dependency
- Mental health counseling
- Employment counseling
- Financial counseling or assistance with bill paying
- Training in basic housekeeping and/or nutrition guidance
- Health care coordination
Why is it important to provide access to specialized housing services?
Corporation for Supportive Housing identifies the benefits of service-linked supportive housing as:
- Improving Lives - Research has shown that supportive housing has positive effects on housing stability, employment, mental and physical health, and school attendance. People in supportive housing live more stable and productive lives.
- Generating Significant Cost Savings to Public Systems - Cost studies in six different states and cities found that supportive housing results in tenants’ decreased use of homeless shelters, hospitals, emergency rooms, jails and prisons.
- Benefiting Communities - Further evidence shows that supportive housing benefits communities by improving the safety of neighborhoods, beautifying city blocks with new or rehabilitated properties, and increasing or stabilizing property values over time.
What are the key service networks to support individuals and families with special needs?
The primary Minnesota agencies specializing in connecting supportive services to housing are:
- Hearth Connection acts as an intermediary between government and local nonprofits to end homelessness in Minnesota. Hearth Connection offers Supportive Housing through a network of providers in three regional long-term homeless projects. These projects are in Northeastern Minnesota, South Central Minnesota and in the Twin Cities.
- Corporation for Supportive Services (CSH), Minnesota office, strives to solve homelessness by making supportive housing work for the most vulnerable people in our communities, including chronically homeless people, veterans, kids in foster care, Native Americans, the elderly, and people involved in the criminal justice system. CSH provides financial support and advice to agencies and communities creating supportive housing.
- Hennepin County and Ramsey County, Dakota County, Anoka County, and Washington County both have a variety of resources and services available for people experiencing homelessness, through both county and community providers.
- Housing Link is an online clearing house of affordable housing options available in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Region and includes a list of housing resources for those with low incomes and special needs.
- Housing Partnership Network is an online clearing house of non-profit housing providers. It's mission is to build affordable homes, better futures and vibrant communities for low- and moderate-income people through partnerships with our member organizations, the business sector, government, and philanthropic institutions.