The Housing First program provides rent and utility assistance, as well as case management, to place chronically homeless persons in permanent rental housing. The program uses the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) definition of chronic homelessness.
An individual or family who has:
- a disabling condition AND
- been continuously homeless for at least one year OR
- had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.
The program requires two things of participants: a desire for permanent and housing and agreement to meet with a case manager once a week in their housing unit. As they are assisted in obtaining cash benefits, they are also expected to contribute no more than 30% of their income, toward their housing costs.
The Housing First program is one of five recommendations from a Task Force appointed by the City of Wichita and Sedgwick County. Housing-related costs (rent and utility assistance) are funded by the City and County general funds.