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Neighborhood House Housing Program Shifting Model to Better Serve Clients

Neighborhood House’s transitional housing program is in the midst of some exciting changes. 

For many years, Neighborhood House has provided unsheltered families with rapid housing and support at a site in Southwest Portland. Now, we are shifting the program to serve at-risk clients in better ways. 

The 24 units in our program are one-bedroom efficiency units and are too small to accommodate the families currently living there. In addition to the mismatch between apartment size and household size we are also taking into account the families needs. Families need to feel empowered to choose housing in areas that work for their personal lives which can include childcare, school and work, to name a few concerns. When we offer housing in one particular place exclusively, we remove the families’ ability to choose what works best for their family.

In order to continue to serve these families as effectively as possible, we are shifting to a scattered site model that allows families to determine their own best housing option. Neighborhood House secured competitive Section 8 Housing Vouchers for several clients who needed longer-term support to remain housed. This means that whether the client is enrolled in Section 8 Vouchers, or transferring to a scattered site, each client is able to choose housing that meets their needs.

As we move toward a more client-led approach, we are listening to the needs of the people we serve and seeking changes in our overall programming to ensure that the best outcomes are realized for each client. 

“When we listen and adapt, we all benefit,” said Linda McNamara, Housing Program Manager. “This shift will allow us to serve the same people in a more effective way.”

Beginning this month, Neighborhood House will open this space for unsheltered and low-income seniors. Newly named Wise Transitions, this site is now partnering with Northwest Pilot Project to provide affordable senior housing, which is a huge need throughout Portland. We look forward to providing a safe place to build community for the seniors in the weeks and months to come.