LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Whether they’re in a shelter or living on the street, it’s a tough way to begin the journey to getting help.

But workers for the agency responsible for assessing the needs of the homeless have to ask questions in order to get people on the track to a solution. They need to know if it’s a temporary problem or ongoing. Providing basic information can be frustrating, but getting people into the system is the first step. Assessment “always starts with human-centered relationship building,” according to a document that describes the process.

A look at the questions homeless people have to answer was included in a document that described the intake process as the county comes into contact with someone who needs help.

In Clark County, a “Short-Term Project Team” is made up of people who know about homelessness — 89% of them have been through it, and 38% experienced homelessness in the past five years.

Here’s the information they have to get:

  • Name
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of birth
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Veteran status
  • Disabling condition
  • Project start date
  • Project exit date
  • Destination
  • Relationship to HoH
  • Enrollment Continuum of Care
  • Housing move-in date
  • Prior living situation

After the basics, staff have to determine if the person is chronically homeless. They ask:

  • Where did you stay last night?
  • How long have you been at that location?
  • When did this episode of homelessness begin for you?
  • How many times have you stayed on the streets or in emergency shelter in the past 3 years?
  • How many total months have you stayed on the streets or in emergency shelter in the past 3 years?
  • Do you live with a disabling condition?

In order to establish a priority for each case, workers determine a “vulnerability factor” based on the person’s age, if they are pregnant or a parent, any criminal history, and the existence of chronic health conditions, a mental health diagnosis or any substance abuse.

That means workers will ask:

  • Have you been convicted of a felony or violent crime that makes it more difficult to get housing or a job?
  • Are you currently pregnant?
  • Children under 18 (total #, # under 5); dependents over 18; dependant adults?
  • Do you have any chronic health conditions that impact your daily activities? Chronic health conditions typically last one year or more and require ongoing medical attention.
  • Do you have any mental health challenges that interfere with your life or impact your daily living?
  • Do you feel you have an issue with addiction of any kind? That means you often feel you’re unable to control your use of alcohol or other drugs.

Are you safe?

  • Are you currently in a living situation where you feel unsafe or uncomfortable due the actions or behaviors of a family member, intimate partner, or someone else? (Could include feeling threatened, fearful, or coerced into doing things against your will)
  • If yes, do you want services that are specifically designed to help people who’ve experienced violence and/or intimidation from a family member, intimate partner, or someone else?
  • Do you need a safe place to stay?

Where did you stay last night / will tonight?

  • Where did you stay last night?
  • How long have you been staying there?
  • Where do you plan to stay tonight?
  • Can you stay in that same place for the next two weeks?
  • If no, Why do you think that you’ll need to find a new place to stay?
  • When do you think that you need to find a new place by?

Source link