New Collaboration Helps Those Struggling With Chronic Homelessness

New Collaboration Helps Those Struggling With Chronic Homelessness

5:32pm Jul 08, 2019
An employee with the HEARRT program welcomes United Way of Forsyth County's Andrea Kurtz to his apartment. Photo courtesy: United Way of Forsyth County

A new collaboration will help those dealing with chronic homelessness in Forsyth County; it’s called the HEARRT initiative.

HEARRT stands for Housing, Emergency Assistance, Rapid Response Team. The project is currently renting four apartments in a local complex where resources are within walking distance and there’s an on-site peer support specialist. The goal is to help individuals become self-sufficient, with stability in both housing and health.

Andrea Kurtz is Senior Director of Housing Strategies with United Way of Forsyth County. She says for those who are living on the streets and dealing with mental health and substance abuse problems, there can be a narrow window when they are motivated to make a positive change. HEARRT is designed to take advantage of that opportunity and get them into housing.

“We’re expanding our ability to spot the issues and bring different resources to the table to help clients and figure out what’s the right recipe," she says. "Because the recipe for our first client is not going to be the same recipe for success for our second client.”

The project is a partnership between the United Way's Housing Matters initiative, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center's Empowerment Project, and the nonprofit City With Dwellings. HEARRT hopes to eventually expand to seven apartments.   

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