WILMINGTON — The Clinton County Coalition on Homelessness’ coordinated community plan that came out in January finds a need here for more transitional housing options that offer extended, albeit temporary, housing that includes services its residents need to help them transition into permanent housing.
What many locals may not realize is that there already is a transitional housing facility in Wilmington.
Transitional housing is differentiated from what’s known as emergency shelters which, by design, are meant to be very time-limited, as homelessness consultant Tom Albanese has said. For example, the Clinton County Homeless Shelter on Gallup Street and Hope House on East Locust are emergency shelters in contrast to a transitional housing program.
The existing transitional housing program in Wilmington started in 2016. Talbert House operates the six-bed transitional housing site on the south side of town to house single men and women with a mental health diagnosis experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity. The funding is through the Mental Health Recovery Board Serving Warren and Clinton Counties (MHRB).
Each resident is required to have a behavioral health case manager provided by Solutions, Talbert House or another provider funded by MHRB, said Teri L. Nau, who is the housing director of the 20-plus Talbert House housing programs in three states and 12 counties.
Participants at the Wilmington facility were referred there by their case manager and approved by the MHRB. It does not accept self-referrals, she said.
“They come into the program with case management services that assist the resident in becoming stable and self-sufficient. Staff on-site also provide assistance with daily living and social skills,” said Nau.
They typically stay 90 days, with the asset of having the supportive services just mentioned.
In short, the goal is to provide men and women with temporary housing until they can secure permanent housing in the community.
As of the late-March interview with Nau, the Wilmington facility housed its maximum six residents.
They are not required to pay fees, and having a job is not the immediate focus of their stay, said Nau. Residents must be 18 or older.
There are program and house rules that set expectations for the residents.
The staff support and coach around any conflicts that may arise from living in a community, she said.
“We are pleased to be able to provide housing in partnership with the MHRB to those who have experienced homelessness and to give them the support they need to live independently,” said Nau.
Talbert House is a Cincinnati based not-for-profit. In addition to the temporary housing site it runs in Wilmington, there is a Talbert House Outpatient facility located here.
Housing services are regarded as one of the five service lines Talbert House operates in.
Its types of housing service programs include: eviction prevention, emergency shelter, transitional housing, recovery housing, rapid re-housing, permanent supportive housing, veterans programs, housing case management, and housing search assistance.
There are at least two Talbert House staffers taking part in the ongoing 2021 initiative known as the Clinton County Coalition on Homelessness.
Nau said, “Talbert House is working with the other nonprofits in Clinton County to address homelessness, and are proud to be a part of such a compassionate community.”
The News Journal in mid-February reported on an effort by the Wilmington Church of God to reconfigure a building on their property and make it into transitional housing for women with children.
As an update, work continues on the structure and on Sunday, March 20 members of the congregation came over after church to write encouraging messages on the framing and pray.
“We are believing for God’s presence to saturate this place and make it a haven to those who live here,” states a March 20 post on the church Facebook page.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.