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Lexington Considering 'Housing First' Model For City's Homeless

Members of the Urban County Council are discussing a plan to provide permanent housing for about twenty homeless people in Lexington.

Charlie Lanter, director of the city’s homeless prevention and intervention office briefed the panel on the “Housing First” project on Tuesday.

“It’s not emergency shelter and it’s not transitional housing.  They are in a permanent housing situation with a lease like you or me and then they have the supportive services wrapped around them whether it’s mental health, substance abuse, or multiple recurring issues.”

The city hopes to put in a minimum of $200,000 toward the pilot project.  Council member Chuck Ellinger asked Lanter who would be the more likely recipients of the housing?

“That’s going to be largely up to who is designing the program and applying as to which specific population they want to target.  You could target specifically people with mental illness, you could target people specifically with substance abuse, you could target folks straight off the street, you could target folks who have been in and out of a shelter and have found it’s not working for them, so some of that is going to depend on the model that the agency proposes.”

Lanter, said they hope to have responses to requests for proposals from interested providers by Sept. 2.  He told council members the goal is to have the individuals permanently settled in their units by the end of the year.