Housing First

For more than 25 years, Community Connections has supported individuals and families with establishing and maintaining safe and affordable homes as a part of their whole health recovery. We were an early leader in the District’s effort to develop and implement effective Coordinated Assessment and Housing Placement processes. We are active with government partners and local coalitions of community providers to expand the availability of housing resources, especially for the city’s most vulnerable individuals and families. In all of these activities, we demonstrate a comprehensive understanding and commitment to the District's strategic plan to end homelessness.

Community Connections offers a comprehensive range of outreach and residential supportive services to promote housing stability and prevent homelessness – especially with people experiencing mental illness, addiction, and trauma.

Our Homeless Services Program provides outreach to women and men living outside and “in reach” to those staying in emergency and transitional shelters. We offer extensive navigation assistance (e.g., obtaining identification, completing applications, mitigating housing barriers, etc.). We also utilize SAMHSA’s SOAR model to increase access to Social Security disability benefits for people with medical and/or behavioral health issues currently experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Our teams build relationships with people experiencing homelessness to reduce barriers to housing and promote connection with other services.

Community Connections currently administers more than 1,000 subsidies funded from federal and local programs and also offers a comprehensive spectrum of service-enriched housing options.

Community Connections itself owns and manages more than 50 properties that are defined as permanent supportive housing for special needs populations in the District of Columbia. The settings range from independent apartments, unstaffed group houses, and staffed group houses. In collaboration with the Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness and funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Community Connections administers a wide range of Supportive Housing Programs that offer rental assistance and supportive services for adults and families with histories of homelessness and concurrent behavioral health conditions, and who may also be recovering from trauma, addiction, HIV/AIDS, and/or may be a U.S. Veteran. Additionally, in 2008, Community Connections was one of the original service providers contracted with the DC Department of Human Services to help launch the District’s first Permanent Supportive Housing Program for individuals and families utilizing a “housing first” approach. Moreover, through the DC Department of Housing and Community Development’s consolidated RFP process – Community Connections has successfully joined with multiple development partners to preserve or create hundreds of affordable or supportive housing units in the District.