Tag Archives: sustainability



The link “Georgia” when clicked will take you to disability.gov. then click home page. The resources can be used by anyone with a disability. Most important are the links…where to find jobs, who to contact when you need a voice to add to your on voice to protect your rights or the rights of a love one.  Stay informed, use the tools available and use your “abilities.”


Supported Housing Can Be Replicated…

Front Street is all about helping people…and when they set out to provide supported housing for the mental health consumers in one California neighborhood ; the program  lived up to it’s name! Providing the services needed UP FRONT, a consumer could  move into decent affordable housing, find work and other needs supported by the program thus gaining a place as a productive member of their community. Who could ask for more?  Leaving the stigmas behind…the mental health consumer learns to live well; as would any other member of the community that may have a medical condition. Cheers to Front Street! New Foundminds is looking forward to providing similar services for mental health consumers and veterans in Atlanta communities very soon.


Front St.People Helping People.The Front St. Supported Housing program provides mental health support services as well as assistance with property management, allowing participants to maintain stable housing and further develop in their recovery. Services are guided by the principal that individuals with serious mental illness can live successfully in integrated community settings when individualized supports and services are provided.

The program opened in 1994 in response to a significant shortage in housing for mental health consumers who had successfully completed a social rehabilitation program. Individuals who had gained the skills necessary to live in their own apartments or shared housing units faced a number of obstacles preventing them from actually doing so, including a lack of psychotherapeutic support to maintain themselves in community housing, a lack of available affordable housing, and insufficient funds for first and last months’ rent plus a security deposit and difficulties maintaining landlord tenant relationships.

Front St.’s Supported Housing team consists of both a Housing Coordinator and Housing Manager. The Housing Coordinator provides mental health support services with a focus on skill development, wellness and recovery. The coordinator is responsible for a variety of tasks ranging from linking clients to services to actually providing intensive clinical or rehabilitative services. Other core functions include outreach to engage clients in services, assessing individual needs, arranging requisite support services (such as money management, benefit programs, and job training), monitoring medication and use of services, and advocating for client rights and entitlements.

The Housing Manager is responsible for locating, leasing and managing property. The manager interfaces between the residents, property owners, the Housing Authority and any other source of rental subsidy. The manager coordinates and oversees building maintenance issues to insure the health, safety and overall well-being of the resident.

All tenants are encouraged to be involved in activities in the community. Some tenants work, some volunteer, and others attend classes or therapeutic and support activities in the community.

At the end of the 2008 fiscal year 42% of the tenants had maintained their housing for over 5 years.

Since 2006, the Supported Housing program has focused on increasing community integration among tenants with a focus on wellness. In the previous two years an average of 8 supported housing clients attended Cabrillo College while an average of 12 individuals held jobs or volunteered regularly in the community. Two female tenants started a weekly walking group and have lost a significant amount of weight, lowered their cholesterol levels, and have changed their diets to include healthier choices.

Arts, Crafts and Entrepreneurship

Clients of the Supported Housing program participated in the Annual Craft Fair for the first time in 2007. Individuals worked together as a group to hand-make crafts to sell at the fair. At the fair they interacted with customers and handed sales independently. The profits were used to fund a community outing organized by the participants.

Tenant Satisfaction Survey

In 2007, 96% of Supported Housing tenants reported that their Front St. Coordinator responds well to their needs.
In 2008, 95% of respondents reported that where they live feels like home to them.
91% of tenants stated they were overall very satisfied with the services they receive from Front St.’s Supported Housing.
Funding for the program comes from a variety of sources, including Santa Cruz County Mental Health, the Santa Cruz County Housing Authority (Section 8), and consumer rents generally provided by Social Security allotments. The Santa Cruz County Mental Health Housing Council nominates potential residents for the program. The housing units vary from single studio units to two and three bedroom apartments and houses and there is no more than one person per bedroom.

Front St. Locations
Serving Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Tuolumne Counties.

Copyright © 2009 Front St

Meet my Mind

When I started out on this journey-to reintegrate back into my community as a productive member I had never heard the word reintegrate. I had a quest and that was to understand why my mind was not doing what other peoples mind was doing. Or at least that’s what I was thinking. You see, I had these strange thoughts-repetitious thoughts about what people were saying about me, why people did not like me and just about any nonsense thought. Although it does not seem serious when I put it down on paper-at the time I could not live stable, I moved from place to place and from job to job. Still you might be saying “that is not that unusual” but coming from a society that judge by where and how you live; where you work, what you wear, what color you are and even what your body shape is, in a mind that is already unbalanced those type things can become overwhelming. So at the age of 48, I was at the end of my rope or my mind. I had been locked up three times, a almost sure stop for the mentally ill that has not come to terms with the fact that a brain illness can be treated just like many other illnesses. Are you sure you want to talk about this? After reading this blog, you may gain an understanding–mental ill does not mean you cannot live in main stream society, it does not mean you run around with knifes and sticks to hurt people, it simply means there is a chemical imbalance in the brain and that can be treated with or without medicines–but most importantly it can be treated! Just like many different illnesses, some people experience very severe symptoms, while others may only experience mild symptoms for example: people with type 1 diabetes have very different symptoms then those with type 2 diabetes. And they are treated according to the symptom. The same can be done for the mentally ill, like myself.First I sought treatment at my local mental health clinic and then I began to educate myself about the brain. I returned to school so I can help in blazing a trail for other mental health consumers.

mentalnewsclipFor most of the 20th century, the accepted policy in the United States was to segregate individuals diagnosed with mental health illnesses in psychiatric hospitals that would manage all their needs, from housing to clinical care. Beginning in the 1960s, however, policies towards mental health con­sumers began to change, reflecting changing attitudes nationwide towards the rights of mental health consumers on the one hand, and the rising cost of institutional care on the other.

Since then, institutionalized settings have been rejected in favor of a spectrum of residential arrangements that reflect the continuum of care required by mental health consumers: some are dependent on care­givers to meet their basic daily needs, some need access to transportation, some depend on sup­plemental income and still others are gainfully employed. Current perspectives among the mental health community therefore call for integrated community living that allows for varying degrees of individual self-sufficiency and self-determination. (Transforming Local Communities, Inc. 2007)

As I continue on my trail, I hope to help other mental health consumers by; inviting them to comment on this blog, to use some of the ideas and tools that I will add to this blog. To visit their local mental health clinic or personal care doctors. To help stamp out the stigma of mental illness by “living well.” To help me build New FoundMinds by writing about what is needed to make supported housing a community.