Permanent Supportive Housing


Permanent Supportive Housing is part of the Housing First model, and is an innovative approach to engage and rapidly house individuals who are homeless, providing intensive and flexible services to stabilize and support housing tenure. This approach ends their homelessness and serves as a platform from which they can pursue goals and improve their quality of life. The PSH strategy is vital because persons experiencing homelessness are often unable to meet the requirements of other types of housing or shelter. Services are readily available with staff continually working to engage and build relationships with the PSH residents. 

  1. Health – supportive housing helps get appropriate care for residents’ health conditions, improving both mental and physical health.  
  2. Sustainability – PSH provides residence with a safe environment, which allows them to maintain stable living conditions. 
  3. Financial Savings – providing access to housing generally results in fewer uses of emergency services, including hospitals, jails, and emergency shelter, resulting in cost savings for the community. 

Yes! There are many studies that have shown that PSH resolves homelessness, increases housing stability, and increases community health by decreasing emergency room and clinic usage – and also lowers the cost for the community as a whole for these services. More in-depth studies completed on PSH find clients report an increase in levels of independence, choice, and control while in PSH. A majority of clients participate in optional supportive services provided, resulting in greater housing stability. Clients using supportive services are more likely to participate in job training programs, attend school, discontinue substance abuse, have fewer domestic violence instances and spend fewer days hospitalized than those not participating.

South Bend Heritage and partners are planning to develop and 22 unit development to house the homeless. This development will house chronically homeless individuals (currently, Oliver Apts houses frequent users of supportive services, like jails, emergency rooms, shelters, and clinics). We are also planning on having PSH apartments in scattered sites throughout the city.

This is a collaborative project which brings together dedicated community partners focused on breaking the cycle of homelessness in our community.

  • South Bend Heritage Foundation: Owner-Developer
  • Oaklawn (CMHC): Service Provider
  • City of South Bend (Dept. of Community Investment): Support
  • Indiana Health Center (FQHC): Service Provider
  • South Bend Heritage Foundation: Property Manager
  • Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH): Funder-Advisor
  • Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority (IHCDA): Funder-Advisor

What can I do to support PSH and our homeless population?

Understand: There are many reasons way a person becomes homeless – lack of affordable housing, job loss, divorce, illness, substance abuse, domestic abuse, etc. One of the first steps you can take toward helping the homeless population is try to understand how they got there in the first place and their individual circumstance.

Show Reverence: Don’t treat a homeless person a if he/she were invisible. A simple “good morning” can go a long way! Many people experiencing homelessness say that the loss of dignity that accompanies their situation is harder to bear than the actual loss of physical things.

Donate: Clothing is a big one here, as are shoes and food. Non-perishable items are always in short supply at apartments, food pantries, and homeless shelters. Other items that might be needed are blankets, coats, book, and small kitchens items like cups and plates. If you are donating to a homeless shelter or another organization that helps the homeless, consider donating office supplies, electronics, appliances, phone cards, or other items that might help those who help thee homeless or PSH residents.

Volunteer: Perhaps there is a way to directly assist your new neighbor. Ask your PSH provider for ways you can volunteer directly with the residents. Put your skills to good use by sharing them with people experiencing homelessness or living in PSH. Organize a workshop, special resident meeting, or individual session to teach something helpful. Those new skills – some as seemingly basic as using a phone or computer or grocery shopping – might help a PSH resident stabilize, beginning to volunteer themselves, and work toward an even better, more independent life.

Educate: Now that you have a better understanding about PSH, inform your family, friends, and peers about the benefits and why PSH is so important for our vulnerable homeless population. 

helpful links & more information

corporation for supportive housing (csh)

dept. of housing & urban development (hud)

indiana housing & community dev authority