We Are People not “Cases,” We need Doors Opened Not Closed!
Rally to Call for Overhaul of the Case Management System
June 12th 4:30 Public Comment, 5:30pm Rally
City and County Building
Houseless and formerly houseless people will be gathering on City Hall steps to name the unacceptable realities of the current system of case management for houseless people. Case managers will also speak on this deplorable system from their experience being in this system. Collectively – driven by the experiences of houseless people forced to be treated as “cases” to be “managed” – we will name the problems with the system and call for a new system.
The current system for houseless people to seek housing is entirely through case management as gatekeepers for housing. In our Housing Survey when asked “what is the process you need to go through to get housing” the top response was some version of “to participate in a program,” the second top answer was some version of “work with a case manager.”
In spite of this system, there is a massive shortage of case managers. A houseless community member was recently told by Well Power it would be a year wait to get a case manager. Case managers are being given 40-70 person case loads. The turn over rate for case managers is massive. It is not uncommon for a houseless person to report that they have been through 3 case managers in a few months.
There is also a serious lack of training for many case managers. Many new case managers have little training in the areas needed to provide necessary support. The current system expects case managers to mostly stay in their office dealing with paperwork – not go into the community to meet people where they are or help people go look at housing.
In the current system, case managers are not given the needed time, resources, training, or support, and are forced to be gatekeepers for limited housing resources. This does not need to be the way things are. Instead of picking and choosing who gets limited housing options, case managers can be advocates pushing for the needed housing options to be created and pushing that each individual they work for gets the best possible housing options. There must also be collaboration with case managers, community advocates, and houseless people to fight for the housing needed.
As a whole, neither case managers nor houseless people benefit from this system that treats houseless people as cases to be managed, instead of people who need doors opened for housing. Together we must fight for the housing we need. For every individual and for every person in our world.