Collage with photos of staff, Guild facilities, and the phrases "a Housing First approach," "permanent supportive housing," and "collaborating with landlords"

How Guild is Reducing Homelessness

Oct 8, 2021

At Guild, we believe everyone is deserving of a place to live. 

One of our longstanding goals is to eliminate homelessness in our communities. We know this is a big challenge, but we’re well-equipped to tackle it.

We weave a Housing First approach into all of our housing programs. What it means is this: we know that shelter is a basic human need. We acknowledge that the first problem of homelessness is getting someone housed. Only from there can an individual improve in other aspects of their life; such as substance use, mental health, or employment. 

We asked staff from Delancey Services, Delancey Apartments, and Housing Support Services —just three of our many housing programs that are working to eliminate homelessness—how they do what they do. 

Delancey Street Services: Connecting to Resources and Meeting Needs

Delancey Street Services helps individuals with a history of long-term homelessness and serious mental illness find and keep housing. Delancey Street also collaborates with landlords and other service providers to advocate for clients.

“The team assists them with creating a person-centered plan to help them meet the goals that they have for themselves,” says Program Manager Lily. “These goals may be around housing, connecting to needed providers in the community, increasing benefits, or any number of other things.”

The Delancey team provides a service called Permanent Supportive Housing, which is a combination of supportive case management services, and a housing subsidy that helps clients pay their rent. The team proves that this service and the Housing First model are highly necessary programs and highly effective ways to serve homeless populations. 

“By providing this service and proving that this service model is effective, Delancey Street is showing that funding for this type of service needs to be continued, and ideally increased,” says Lily.

Delancey Apartments: A Place to Call Home

Delancey Apartments is a 13-unit apartment complex for people experiencing chronic homelessness. Individuals’ stay is time-unlimited, and while there, they can access health services, housing support, and employment-related resources.

“The Delancey Apartments gives housing opportunities to residents who may have obtained barriers due to homelessness,” says Quita, Program Supervisor. “The program not only gives people housing, but it creates meaningful connections with landlords and service providers.”

Delancey Apartments offers a long-term solution to homelessness: permanent supportive housing. When people have a safe space to live in, they can work towards stabilizing their mental health, finding employment, decreasing substance use, getting healthcare, and meeting any other goals they may have. Then, they can move out of Delancey Apartments and into their own place.

Housing Support: Helping Along the Way

Housing Support Services help people with a history of chronic homelessness or a serious mental illness develop living skills so they can maintain their housing. The team helps clients communicate effectively with their landlords, meet tenant responsibilities, develop household skills, access financial education and resources, and get connected with other services they need.

The Housing Support team teaches individuals to make their own decisions while supporting them along the way. As Lisa, Housing Support Specialist says, Housing Support is about “assisting people to become confident in making the best choice for them.” Everyone has unique needs, which is why the team empowers individuals to choose things like what services they want to receive, where they want to live, and what other tools might be helpful for them. 

The Housing Support model demonstrates that when people have the individualized supports they need, they are less likely to experience repeated episodes of homelessness.

Help us Eliminate Homelessness

At Guild, we know that getting people housed and providing supports is what eliminates homelessness. Together, as a community, we can fight homelessness. Donate to our services today.