In the Farmington area and beyond, the availability of permanent stable housing and related services remains insufficient or nonexistent to meet the demand. People who qualify for housing assistance, whether they experience mental health challenges or not, may need supportive services such as housing/resource navigation and case management. Additionally, people who are diagnosed with mental health challenges are incarcerated and jailed at much higher rates than people who may not experience mental health issues or carry a diagnosis. Case management staffing has been in the middle of a workforce shortage crisis. Staffing burnout also hinders support for individuals in need.
- Given current service gaps or no service availability, sufficient case management, resource navigation, and re-entry services in Franklin County and beyond are critically needed. Potentially offering similar housing/resource navigation through positions such as more PATH navigators alongside case managers.
- Some educational resources exist and are offered by shelters and/or community action programs on a limited basis. One example is Rent Smart, a module-based curriculum that guides renters to learn about their housing rights, laws, tenant, and landlord responsibilities, as well as additional housing/rental resources. Once someone completes this course, they receive a paper certificate that can be added to future rental applications. We would love to see this training expanded across the State in communities.
- We need to continue to increase the staffing of Intensive Case Managers in both jail facilities as well as individuals transitioning to the community.
- There is also an annual county-specific Community Needs Assessment that is used through statewide community action programs to address gaps such as mental health and housing. We need to use the data in these reports to bolster actions the State is taking in these areas.
Our hope is that through a statewide concerted effort to prioritize the immediate needs of individuals who are without housing and support will result in more individuals becoming successful in the communities of their choice and being able to start/move forward in their recovery journeys.
Brought forward from: FARMINGTON LOCAL COUNCIL
To submit feedback, ideas, or a personal story relating to this issue statement, please send it to the CCSM either by mail at: 219 Capitol St. Suite 7 Augusta, ME 04330, or email at [email protected].
DEADLINE TO RESPOND: November 6, 2023