Pilot program aims to ensure disabled people exiting homelessness stay housed

San Francisco city officials this week announced the expansion of a pilot program aimed at providing services for low-income adults...

San Francisco city officials this week announced the expansion of a pilot program aimed at providing services for low-income adults with disabilities who are exiting homelessness.

The Collaborative Caregiver Support Team pilot program began earlier this month and is a partnership between San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing and its Human Services Agency, city officials said.

The program, so far, has been in place at a supportive housing site in The City’s South of Market area but starting in January, the program will expand to another site. After that, the program will be expanded to more housing sites throughout 2022.

According to city officials, the program was born out of a growing need for support for formerly homeless people who need home care, as they often times have complex health issues that could have an impact on their housing. By helping patients with performing daily tasks, meals, and house cleaning, the program seeks to support residents at permanent supportive housing sites and prevent the re-occurrence of homelessness.

According to HSH Executive Director Shireen McSpadden, city officials first noticed the need for the program after seeing that homeless individuals who were moved into Shelter-In-Place hotels during the COVID-19 pandemic “needed a higher level of support.”

She said in a statement, “This partnership was very successful in providing people with additional services needed to stabilize. This is one of the lessons learned from the SIP hotel program that HSH is looking to bring into its larger housing portfolio.”

The pilot program will also provide specialized social workers to connect with people and make sure their needs are met as they transition from shelters and SIP hotels into permanent supportive housing, city officials said.

For the program, HSH and HSA are also partnering with Homebridge, a nonprofit organization that provides and coordinates caregiving services, as well as the city’s Department of Disability and Aging Services.

“We are proud to work with our colleagues in HSH and to incorporate lessons learned from the pandemic so we can serve additional older adults and those with disabilities in need,” Disability and Aging Services Executive Director Kelly Dearman said. “This is an example of the city working together to innovate in order to help keep formerly homeless individuals housed.”