In February, SSOC launched the first outreach program targeting the homeless population in Central Illinois. The PATH (Projects for Assistance in Transitioning from Homelessness) Program is funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of the program is to provide community support services for individuals in Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford and Fulton counties who are homeless, at imminent risk of becoming homeless, do not have permanent housing AND have a serious mental illness and/or substance abuse issue. The goal is to help them find safe housing, meet daily living needs, and access the care and services that can improve their daily lives.
SSOC PATH Program staff are a great resource for emergency services personnel – available to follow up with those identified by local police and fire departments as being in need of housing or support services. They also reach out to homeless individuals where they congregate to engage them in services. PATH Program services include: outreach; screening and diagnostic treatment; training of staff in shelters, mental health clinics, substance abuse programs and other sites that serve the homeless population; case management; linkage and referral to health services, job training, educational, and housing services; and assistance with identifying and securing appropriate housing.