Now this is a real thing – “permanent supportive housing” is the name (or description) of the services given to chronically homeless people who are participating in a “Housing First” program. Whenever chronically homeless people are placed in a “Housing First” program, they are NOT then abandoned and expected to figure the rest out by themselves. (Some critics of ‘Housing First” will accuse the program of this very thing, of abandoning the homeless once they are housed, but it’s just not true.) When I was accepted into a “Housing First” program, I was introduced to the team of case managers who would be assisting me, before I was ever placed in housing. Actually it was this team who secured my SRO for me. And this took some time.
This team of case managers, along with my SRO, comprised my permanent supportive housing. This sometimes goes by other names as well – Wrap Around Services – Continuum of Care – although they are not always so “permanent”. The “permanent” part is necessary for the care of chronically homeless people because it has been determined that the chronically homeless will never possess the skills necessary for truly independent living – without this care they will most certainly return to the streets.