Centerstone’s Columbus Homeless Outreach Project (CHOP) is in the middle of a successful fourth year, thanks in large part to generous, multi-year support from the Columbus Regional Health Foundation, Heritage Fund and City of Columbus Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).
Since its inception in Fall 2014, CHOP has assisted nearly 250 individuals and families with finding safe, stable, permanent housing. Modeled off SAMHSA’s PATH program, CHOP works with Columbus residents who are experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of homelessness, connecting them to local resources to obtain housing, physical and mental healthcare, and other needed social services.
CHOP case managers have developed strong relationships with a number of Columbus organizations, including Columbus Regional Hospital, Love Chapel and the Brighter Days shelter, the Columbus Township Trustee’s office, Turning Point, and Volunteers in Medicine. The program has seen great success, with 70% of program contacts accessing mental health and/or addictions treatment through Centerstone, 54% receiving assistance with healthcare coordination through the program, and 50% finding housing with the assistance of CHOP staff. CHOP services have a ripple effect extending beyond the immediate outcomes of helping people find a home, obtain benefits, or connect to a primary care provider. Assistant Manager Bob Bromley, who oversees the program, notes, “When CHOP helps someone to find housing, they bring stability to their lives…they have better health outcomes, they are less likely to participate in criminal and other maladaptive behavior, and are more likely to pursue and succeed at employment or school or other vocational training.”
Centerstone is truly grateful for the financial support provided by the City of Columbus Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Columbus Regional Health Foundation, and Heritage Fund. With the generous investment these organizations have made to help launch this program, CHOP has made great strides in its efforts to prevent and end homelessness in Columbus. We are thrilled with the results we have seen thus far and look forward to sustaining this program in future years to benefit the individuals and families in most need in Columbus.