VMC is committed to implement and utilize proven, effective and efficient best practices with a focus on permanent housing as the means to end homelessness in Knoxville and Knox County. Best practices are models of care that have been successfully utilized in other communities as proven by positive outcomes of moving homeless individuals and families from homelessness to permanent housing. VMC's programs and services follow the Housing First Model with a strong focus on permanent supportive housing utilizing high quality case management services.
VMC is highly successful in its efforts to assist persons experiencing homelessness to move from the streets to a home of their own. Since the inception of permanent supportive housing in 2007, more than 1,000 homeless individuals have moved into a home of their own. The success rate for maintaining housing after one year is 93% which far exceeds the national retention rate of 85%. This proven success is a direct result of the high quality case management program in the VMC Resource Center.
Through the case management process, the case manager and client work together toward a goal of achieving housing and subsequently self-sufficiency. An individualized case plan is developed and tailored to meet the client’s needs. The individual is expected to achieve certain benchmarks while in the program and is held accountable for doing so. After housing is achieved, the case management relationship continues until a level of self-sufficiency is attained. Case management is the integral factor in permanent supportive housing which provides a workable solution to ending homelessness.
VMC’s case management program includes reaching out and working with the mentally ill homeless of our community with the intent of assisting them into housing. This segment of VMC’s case management program is more challenging since the mentally ill homeless have been on the streets for a very long period of time and live in a constant state of fear and distrust. Because of their vulnerability, they are often preyed upon by criminals. This population is also the most service resistant and the most
difficult to engage.