Mayor Sylvester Turner joined community partners recently to tour the newly-opened Navigation Center, designed to provide individuals with a consistent, safe, and stable location as they transition from homelessness to housing.
Currently, 44 residents from the Fifth Ward and the newly decommissioned Chartres encampment reside at the Navigation Center. They are receiving onsite healthcare, employment, mental health, substance abuse counseling and other services.
The housing center, the first of its kind in Texas, has only been open for a little over a week and one person has already successfully moved into permanent housing.
“This is a great day for the City of Houston, but the future is even brighter” says Mayor Sylvester Turner. “The success of this facility is not how many people we get in, but how many people we get out and into housing of their own. The goal is for each resident to obtain housing with supportive services within 60 days of entry.”
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Under the Turner administration, the City worked with Harris County and more than 100 agencies of The Way Home (Houston’s regional homeless response system) to permanently house more than 21,000 individuals experiencing homelessness, reducing homelessness by 30% since taking office.
This Housing Navigation Center is the culmination of a lot of meetings, effort and goodwill by city, community leaders and non-for-profit partners such as the Coalition for the Homeless, Harmony House, The Harris Center, Harris Health, Bread of Life, the city’s Housing and Community Development Department and the Center’s Community Advisory Committee, to ensure that homelessness is rare, brief and non-recurring,” says Coalition for the Homeless Chair Troy Taylor. “We couldn’t do it without a mayor that supported this.”
Houston’s collaborative homeless housing efforts have become a model for cities and counties across the country interested in effectively and compassionately reducing homelessness and encampments.
“This facility only works when we have housing units available for people to move into,” explained Mayor Turner. “That is why I am asking landlords throughout our region to partner with the City, by providing apartment units to our nationally recognized housing effort.”
For more information, or to get involved, interested landlords are encouraged to contact the Coalition for the Homeless.