CANLINK I and IV provides permanent supportive housing to homeless adults with disabilities, but includes children when the adults have been accepted into the housing program(s). CANLINK provides on-going case management, in-home, or at LINK and other community sites, dependent upon the type of services the clients are receiving. One/one case management and individualized service/case plans developed at entry by the case manager and the client(s) help to assist both the client(s) and case manager(s) in knowing what hurdles the client has to overcome as they begin to work towards self-sufficiency. CANLINK I places chronically homeless and homeless individuals and families into suitable housing units dependent upon household size/number of persons in the household(s).
The on-going case management and community referrals and support provided to the residents of CANLINK programs assist all involved in achieving life stability, self-sufficiency, oftentimes within a two year period, sometimes longer time is needed for the more difficult individuals/families with multiple hurdles to address, i.e. mental illness and HIV/AIDS, or serious medical conditions which prevent them from fully participating in CANLINK program activities. Case managers review the individualized case plans with the clients at least once every month to three months, dependent upon how capable the client is and what challenges they face with mental and/or physical disabilities.
Other activities include separate groups for men, women, and children/youth. The children/youth involved in the CANLINK programs are offered multiple educational and experiential programs in order for them to learn and engage in services that they are very skeptical of initially. Oftentimes the children/youth are angry that their parent(s)/caregiver(s) have abandoned them during the adult’s bouts of illness/substance use and there are many barriers to overcome to bring the children/youth more in line of the developmental stages of children/youth of their age group. LINK keeps these children involved with LINK run children/youth programs utilizing play, music and art therapies, and outings, and weekends away from families to help them to adjust to their new lives. In due courts many of the children/youth go onto join larger community groups like Boys and Girls Club where the children/youth are now at the mental age level of others who are members of these larger organizations. The children/youth also participate in fund raising activities and volunteerism even at very young ages, at and for LINK.
The target populations must meet HUD criteria, that is to be an adult of at least 18 years of age, one of the adults in the household to meet the disability criteria set forth by HUD and be chronically homeless if single and be homeless if family(s) with children. The target population usually suffers some form of mental/physical disability, HIV/AIDS infected/affected or terminally ill. The activities include weekly in-home case management when first entering to every two weeks, to once per month as the clients stabilize and do not need such intensive in-home case management. Volunteers assist staff with the very basics of housekeeping, money management, budgeting, and other service providers provide ancillary services to compliment each individuals case plan, other providers may work in the client’s home or at a local interfaith fellowship hall or kitchen in groups with the CANLINK clients. Current staff will continue to manage the cases of each individual/family unit of service.
Community Collaboration: LINK would not be able to place the high numbers of individuals/families into permanent supportive housing without strong community collaboration. Each agency LINK works with who are located throughout the Peninsula assists LINK in continuing case management for specialized needs until the client no longer requires the assistance of the referring agency. LINK also utilizes other agencies programs to assist in providing some of the self-sufficiency programs offered to the CANLINK clients in order to keep them from returning to the streets.