Detroit Homeless Continuum of Care Announces New Approach for Accessing Shelter and Housing Resources in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park

January 21st, 2018
Southwest Solutions' homeless outreach team (PATH) checks on an unsheltered individual on a bitter cold night in Detroit.

The Coordinated Assessment Model (CAM) Detroit is implementing important changes to more effectively serve individuals and families experiencing homelessness. These changes involve connecting people in need with housing programs through designated in-person locations (“Access Points”) rather than through a Call Center. Also, in conjunction with community partners, there will be an increased availability of homeless outreach teams at nighttime to provide resources and information as well as facilitating access to shelters.

“CAM Detroit has made significant progress in the campaign to end homelessness in our community, and we are confident that these changes will advance our goal of creating a system where homelessness is rare, brief and non-recurring,” said Southwest Solutions’ CAM Manager, Catherine Distelrath. “The changes will improve outcomes, efficiency and accountability in the system.”

CAM Detroit is a systematic process that helps individuals and families experiencing homelessness access available shelter and housing resources in Detroit, Highland Park and Hamtramck. The implementation of a Coordinated Assessment Model is a HUD requirement to ensure that people experiencing homelessness can access shelter and be assessed, prioritized and referred to appropriate resources.

CAM is led by Southwest Solutions with support from Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO), Community and Home Supports (CHS), and the Homeless Action Network of Detroit (HAND). CAM coordinates closely with all local shelters and homeless housing providers and seeks to match the needs of persons and families experiencing homelessness with the most appropriate housing solution. Last year, 216 chronically homeless households served by CAM were housed with community partners, which is over two-and-a-half times more than the number housed in 2016.

Since 2014, CAM has operated a Call Center for persons experiencing or at-risk of homelessness to contact and then be connected with housing programs. Recently, however, HUD unveiled new coordinated entry requirements and recommendations. The Detroit Continuum of Care Board, the entity responsible for overseeing CAM, agreed that changes needed to be made in how people accessed the system.

Extensive data analysis and feedback from homeless service providers, persons experiencing homelessness, and other community partners revealed that the current approach could be improved. As a result, it was determined that an in-person, physical Access Point model, rather than a Call Center model, would allow the system to more effectively identify the most vulnerable people and connect them with shelter and housing resources much more quickly, thus improving long-term outcomes for people experiencing homelessness in Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park.

CAM Detroit will fully transition from a Call Center model to an in-person Access Point model by the end of January 2018. People in need of emergency shelter should go to a designated Access Point listed below. The Call Center number (313) 305-0311 will remain available as an automated system directing people to the appropriate Access Point location and hours of operation. CAM staff at the Access Point locations will work with people to explore alternatives to shelter and assist in determining shelter placements when necessary and available. If transit directions are needed to the appropriate Access Point, the individual can text an address or intersection to 50464 and get the nearest bus route to the Access Point.

CAM Access Point Locations

Families with Children
Southwest Solutions’ Housing Resource Center
1600 Porter St., Detroit 48216
Hours: Monday – Friday, 11am – 7pm
(Available now)

Single Adults
NSO Tumaini Center
3430 3rd Ave., Detroit 48201
Hours: Monday – Friday, 11am – 7pm
(Available January 24)

NOAH Project
23 E. Adams, Detroit 48226
Hours: Monday – Thursday, 10am – 4pm
(Available January 31)

Unaccompanied Youth (Ages 18 – 24) without children
Southwest Solutions’ Housing Resource Center
1600 Porter St., Detroit 48216
Hours: Monday – Friday, 11am – 7pm
(Available now)

NSO Tumaini Center
3430 3rd Ave., Detroit 48201
Hours: Monday – Friday, 11am – 7pm
(Available January 24)

NOAH Project
23 E. Adams, Detroit 48226
Hours: Monday – Thursday, 10am – 4pm
(Available January 31)

Veterans
Healthcare for Homeless Veterans (HCHV)
John D. Dingell VA Medical Center
4646 John R. Street (2nd Floor, Red Section), Detroit 48201
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8am – 4:30pm
(Available now)

Veterans Community Resource & Referral Center (VCRRC)
301 Piquette St., Detroit 48202
Hours: Saturday – Sunday, 8am – 8pm
(Available now)

Individuals fleeing a recent act of violence from an intimate partner
Call the YWCA Interim House at 313-861-5300

More information is available at www.camdetroit.org.

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