Transitional Housing: FAQ
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for Referring Providers
Transitional Housing Services
Does NECHV have a Shelter?
The NECHV considers Shelter as an outdated and inadequate legacy service model; just warehousing people without providing effective supports. The Center is open 24 hours per day, and 365 day per year; and will provide accommodations for Veterans who are in need of housing. The goal of the Transitional Housing Service Programs, which provide dormitory-style living accommodations, is to enable Veteran success and ensure that enrolled Veterans have the tools and support to achieve their goals. A primary goal is assisting Veterans in locating and securing sustainable independent living. The Center believes strongly in the Housing First principle, and strives to place Veterans in permanent housing within six months. While enrolled, the NECHV IS a Veteran’s home. The Center provides a modern and secure, controlled access facility, an array of on-site human services and full meal service. There is a requirement for transitional Veteran residents to remain at the Center from midnight to 5:00 am daily, except in the case of work or other commitments.
What are NECHV’s Transitional Housing Services?
The Center’s transitional housing services include a variety of Government sponsored and independent support programs including VA GPD (Grant Per Diem) Clinical Treatment, WORTH (Working on Recovery from Triage to Housing), Safe Haven, The NECHV’s own Veteran 360, and a Female Veteran Program (which includes a safe and secure Women’s dormitory, with its own entrance and exit). All Veterans who reside in transitional housing at 17 Court Street work with a Case Manager and Housing Specialist with the goal of obtaining permanent housing or transitioning to another setting within 90 to 180 days. Veterans also work toward increasing their income, benefits and any other goals of their choosing. The maximum initial term of enrollment is six months, but extensions may be provided when a Veteran is experiencing complexities and encountering barriers to obtaining housing. The Center’s Case Managers and Housing Specialists work as a Team alongside the Veteran to enable their success.
What is the eligibility criteria for NECHV’s Transitional Housing Services?
Any person who has served in the U.S Military (active, Guard, Reserve), regardless of era, length or character of service, is a Veteran, and is eligible for services and support from the NECHV.
What are the enrollment and access criteria for NECHV’s Transitional Housing Services?
NECHV works to keep its enrollment criteria as low barrier as possible. NECHV works with all who have served in the military and are experiencing, or at risk-of homelessness, regardless of discharge status or existing circumstances. Veterans must provide proof of eligibility (Veteran Status) for service. A Form DD214 or Letter of Service are the most common forms, however the Staff will assist Veterans in obtaining valid documentation, and will be afforded a reasonable period (generally three business days) to locate and supply the proof. Veterans must be able to independently care for themselves and perform activities of daily living (ADLs). This includes:
- Maintain appropriate hygiene, including showering and washing clothing
- Get to and from appointments with minimal assistance
- Take medication with minimal assistance
- Have enough mobility to get around the facility independently – walking, using a wheelchair, cane, or other mobility device
- Be independent with transporting to and from bathroom, getting in and out of shower and toilet, getting meals in the dining hall
- Be continent or able to care for issues of incontinence
- Understand and follow directions, instructions and rules
NECHV is unable to accept Veterans who are on oxygen. Some Veterans who have been at NECHV previously, and released from residency or enrollment may be subject to additional restrictions or enrollment criteria. The Center has a release appeal process that can be applied for by Veterans.
Does NECHV accept Veterans who are being released from incarceration into its Transitional Housing Services?
Yes, NECHV does accept Veterans who are being released from incarceration, including those on probation or parole. NECHV asks that a referring provider complete the “Post Incarceration Referral Form” for Veterans being released directly from incarceration to see if they are eligible for services. It is a Veteran’s responsibility to adhere to the terms of their probation or parole, as NECHV is an unsupervised setting and does not conduct toxicology screens or breathalyzers.
What services does NECHV offer?
NECHV offers an array of wraparound services and programs onsite at its 17 Court Street location. This includes case management, counseling and therapy, housing assistance (including Supportive Services for Veteran Families), employment and training services and a variety of groups, including recovery, housing search and preparation, senior wellness, art therapy, music yoga, and AA meetings. There are also games, activities, field trips and outings that are offered. Additionally, there is a medical clinic onsite operated by Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, where Veterans can access primary care, episodic care, office-based addiction treatment and behavioral health care. Veterans enrolled in transitional housing services are expected to engage in Case Management and Housing services and work towards goals outlined an Integrated Service Plan.
How do I refer a Veteran to NECHV for Transitional Housing Services?
Veterans are able to self-present at any time, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, however referring providers are strongly encouraged to call first, especially if NECHV’s transitional housing services are included as part of the discharge or referral plan from an inpatient setting or another program. This is to ensure a coordinated referral process that will enable a smoother transition and a better standard of overall care and support for the Veteran. In the past, NECHV has experienced Veteran referrals that have not been appropriate because Veterans were not able to care for themselves independently, were not appropriate or ineligible for other reasons. We ask that providers be careful with complex referrals and communicate and coordinate with the Center’s Human Services Staff. Referrals for Veterans to NECHV who need a higher level of care than the Center is able to provide do not benefit the Veteran, are disruptive, and can be hazardous for Veterans. Please note, NECHV provides bunk beds in its dormitories and often has a waitlist for bottom bunks. There may also be a waitlist for all beds. It’s always best to call first.
Please note, this is not an exhaustive list.
For any additional question or to refer a Veteran to NECHV for Transitional Housing Services, please contact Christine Tassia, Director, Veteran 360 Behavioral Health Programs, at (617) 371-1708.