The ultimate goal of a homeless program is to help get people off the streets and into housing, where individuals can be safe and their needs addressed. While people living on the streets remains a major problem in Amarillo, the “Coming Home” is helping to make a difference.
The City of Amarillo began its “Coming Home” program in 2018. The program is the first of its kind for Amarillo, and models the evidence-based practice of “Housing First,” created by Dr. Sam Tsemberis.
The goal of “Coming Home” is to help those who are chronically homeless and have complex needs. The program provides housing and intensive case management in a person’s home.
“Coming Home” is making a difference in Amarillo:
The program recently increased from 32 leased households to 49 leased households, with 53 total people. Grants for expansion will allow 70 households – a total that could be reached in the next 90 days.
The program is providing a home for people who have been homeless for years, some dating back to the mid 2000s.
Ten people participating in the program are employed, two are attending recovery programs, 14 are receiving care from Dr. Amy Leigh Stark of the Texas Tech Department of Psychiatry and 18 are now connected with a primary care provider through the Northwest JO Wyatt Clinic, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center or the Amarillo VA Health Care System.
“The City of Amarillo is happy to be able to provide the ‘Coming Home’ program as one of many solutions to the problem of homelessness,” said Juliana Kitten, director of community development for the City of Amarillo. “The program is helping provide a home for individuals who have been battling homelessness for years. In addition, the program provides resources such as health care and medical care, and we look forward to expanding the program.”