Shelter Journey Programs
UMD’s Community Shelter has 81 beds for men, 30 for women and nine family rooms with a total of 38 beds for parents and their children, for a total of 149 beds. There are also 25 overflow mats that supplement the bed space when needed, especially during severe weather (including when the temperature is below freezing) known as White Flag nights, for a total of 174 beds. The shelter now seeks to provide every single client not just with food and shelter, but also with a future, offering case management to end their homelesness through our Journey Programs
Our main check-in for new arrivals is held each Monday morning beginning at 10 a.m. We accept referrals from other agencies and from clergy from supporting faith communities 24 hours per day, seven days a week. New arrivals receive a bed for the next 14 nights and have access to hygiene products and showers, the Clothing Closet, meals in the Café and Bread for the Journey.
During each person's 14-day new arrival period, our staff gets to know him or her and uses assessment tools to pair the person with the best Journey Program case manager to help end their homelessness. In collaboration with his or her case manager, each person makes a Housing Plan, a series of goals that need to be accomplished to leave the shelter for their own apartment. People working toward their Housing Plan goals can stay in the shelter as long as they need, typically one to three months. Case managers offer coordinated referrals to our partner service providers in the community, who help with goals such as finding a job, improving literacy, resolving legal issues, getting health and mental health care, and others.
There are six Journey Program tracks.
- Journey Outreach: Provides specialized care for those with medical or mental health conditions that present a barrier.
- Journey Tech: Designed for people whose primary concerns are underemployment and lack of the stable living conditions. Participants may be newly homeless due to recent job losses or evictions and/or working part-time, in school, or actively seeking employment.
- Journey Vets: Tailored to the particular needs of military veterans, this program partners closely with Veterans Affairs.
- Journey Recovery: This portion of the Journey Program incorporates UMD’s Hope/Believe Recovery Program and helps up to 70 people a year move from addiction toward recovery and independent living.
- Journey Family: Meets the unique needs of homeless families, including obtaining suitable child care.
- Journey Forward: This group is designed to help people with fewer barriers move very quickly into housing -- within 30 days. This track offers classes on formatting a resume, practicing for an interview and managing a budget alongside weekly case management and supportive group sessions.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) and others specializing in meeting the needs of homeless individuals emphasize that rapid intervention with case management, stabilization and re-housing during the early months of homelessness is the most effective way to prevent families and individuals from falling into patterns of chronic homelessness. (Opportunities for Systems Transformation and Sustainability, April 2009, NAEH) UMD’s Journey Programs take such a housing stability-oriented approach to addressing homelessness in Durham, North Carolina.
UMD collaborates with local partners as part of Durham’s area wide System of Care. One key strategy is the Rehousing Program operated out of the UMD shelter in conjunction with Housing for New Hope. The System of Care enables UMD and each client to draw upon the resources of the entire community.