New homeless resource centers are core components of the county’s Collective Impact on Homelessness action plan that targets outcomes such as meeting the basic needs of people in crisis, minimizing the need for emergency shelter and preventing homelessness.
Committee members—including more than 30 stakeholders—spent many months looking at the current emergency shelter and how it functions. They also looked at national design standards known as CPTED – Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design-- to ensure safety for clients, staff and the public.
Their discussions, together with a close look at homelessness data collected by the county, state and nonprofit providers, led to adoption of a new type of homeless facility that is designed to serve people in crisis in a way that helps them move quickly out of emergency shelter and towards stability and independence.
The new design includes:
- Sleeping areas, with small personal storage areas (cubbies) nearby
- Entry, access, security and in line areas to assist new clients as they arrive
- On-site case managers who can help with specialized services such as job counseling, behavioral health needs, legal aid, etc., housed in separate office space.
- Community and day-use spaces
- Food services, with space for limited meal preparation and consumption of three meals a day.
- Security space for a police officer and an area to view security camera video
- An exterior courtyard with seating, a smoking area, a pet relief area and bicycle parking.
Each resource center is designed to serve a specific population, such as single women or single men.
More on the county’s homelessness work, including the membership of the committee and the 14 outcomes adopted is available at http://slco.org/homeless-services/collective-impact-on-homelessness