The story of each person experiencing homelessness is unique. Each of the clients
that Outreach Fort Collins works with has a specific background, strengths, and challenges to face as they work to escape homelessness. Even as we advocate for a housing first
approach, for some of our homeless clients the goal of independent housing may not be the final destination . . . but it can be a step in the right direction.
During the spring and early summer of 2018, Outreach Fort Collins worked diligently with various other service providers to get a long-term client of OFC into housing. This client ultimately was housed in a permanent apartment where he had support services and case managers available. The ongoing plan was that the client would receive limited in-home health care and assistance. We hoped that remaining independently housed would be manageable. Unfortunately, this client's health had so declined in the months leading up to housing that now the case managers are working towards assisted living or a skilled nursing facility. While we would hope that all our clients would be able to maintain independent housing, this is not always the reality.
Even so, there are some bright points. If this client had remained on the street during the last two months, his health was so poor that he may have died. Additionally, now that he is housed, his case workers can find him, he has access to a telephone, his use of the emergency room has decreased significantly, and he has stability for the first time in years. Independent housing for this client was not ultimately the final destination but was a step towards getting him the care and support he needs to live in health and success.
One of the stengthes of Outreach Fort Collins is that we are able to meet our clients where they are at, building trust and connecting them with partnering agencies that can address their particular needs. Even when OFC is no longer the primary point of contact, we continue to advocate for our clients and work to prevent a potential relapse into homelessness.