ICAN Housing places great emphasis on treating people with dignity and care and providing an environment that is trauma informed. The work of ICAN Housing is highly collaborative. Rather than create duplicated supportive services for people who are homeless, we connect people to resources in our community. We walk beside them and help them navigate systems and get the resources they need. We wrap available services around people to help them stabilize and move toward their highest level of independence.
Our outreach team engages people who are homeless and connects them to housing and services. The team helps them address basic needs.
Our team acts like a concierge providing one on one support to help clients navigate systems, enroll for benefits, obtain a state ID or a copy of a birth certificate, identify pantries and hot meal sites, access clothing, attain mental health services, connect to case management and counseling services and remove unique barriers to housing, for example.
Three Ways We Engage
- Our team members go to known places where people live outside to offer help.
- Members of our community – police, care providers and residents – inform us of where people are living outside or in places not meant for habitation. Our outreach specialists follow up on these leads and engage people to see if we can help.
- ICAN Housing offers a Drop-In Center that provides a safe, supportive and normalizing environment with information about a myriad of community services, activities, and agencies. Outreach specialists are on hand to meet with anyone who comes in seeking assistance. The Drop-In Center also offers computer access, a clean, accessible restroom and coffee.
Tenants who live in ICAN Housing properties have access to Housing Support Specialists who help them maintain stable housing and identify and work toward personal goals. Research shows that when people have a stable address and a safe place to live, it is easier for them to make progress in other areas of their lives. Stable housing decreases the stress that comes from living on the streets or being precariously housed. Housing stability also leads to recovery and a better quality of life.
In addition to one on one support, ICAN Housing provides tenants with personal development opportunities that lead to increased income, greater social connectedness and increased independent living skills.
Many people who have struggled with homelessness qualify for assistance with paying utility bills and purchasing groceries. If individuals and families begin receiving these benefits, they can stretch their income and afford rent and transportation. These benefits help many people afford to live.
Our team partners with Synchrony Financial, Apprisen and OhioMeans Jobs to help tenants access employment training, obtain employment and gain financial knowledge through educational workshops and one on one financial counseling. Maximizing one’s earning potential can vastly improve quality of life and level of independence.
Social connectedness promotes health and helps counter isolation and depression. We provide low and no-cost opportunities for our tenants to enjoy social events in our community with their families. We work to inform them of the many recreational, social and educational opportunities available in Stark County. Individuals and families thrive better when they are integrated into their community.
Personal Development Opportunities
Independent living requires skill. Through collaboration we are able to provide our tenants an array of development opportunities to strengthen their independent living skills and pursue individual interests. Examples include travel training, cooking and housekeeping lessons, gardening, financial workshops and cultural opportunities. The ICAN Live program incentivizes tenants to hone their independent living skills, providing household items when tenants set and meet personal goals.
Supported employment enables tenants to improve employment skills, access job specific training, attain legal aid to overcome employment barriers, acquire work clothing, obtain and maintain employment, seek promotions and better employment opportunities, further their education and obtain mainstream benefits including social security benefits when fitting.
ICAN Housing offers Peer Support Services. Peer Services are provided by individuals in recovery from mental illness and/or addiction who use their lived experience as a tool to assist others by sharing their personal journeys and knowledge. Individuals engaged in peer services play a vital role in laying the foundation for sustained recovery. They encourage, inspire and empower others to set recovery goals and achieve them.