Services and Programs

 

The Clearwater Homeless Intervention Project ("CHIP") opened the CHIP Center doors in April of 1998. The CHIP program has touched and impacted many lives by assisting those individuals who have found themselves in the "ranks" of the homeless.

Philosophy: The philosophy of CHIP is that no one should have to suffer through homelessness, and that homelessness can be ended person by person. Further, CHIP believes that the homeless do not wish to be pitied, rather they need a hand up through the provision of services and the social tools that will lead them to a higher level of independence and permanent housing.

CHIP meets homelessness face to face by providing a multiplicity of services. At the CHIP Center, homeless will find:

  • Public restroom
  • Public showers
  • Clothing
  • Laundry services
  • Telephones
  • Personal items storage
  • Message service
  • Counseling
  • Information and referral

What’s more, for those who have made the decision to do what it takes to move from the streets into a new independent lifestyle, The CHIP Shelter program offers safe domicile and an extensive program of goal setting and achievement which leads to permanent housing and a new life.

Once an individual committed to the Shelter program, they establish a personalized regimen that includes:

  • Full time employment
  • Group and individual treatment
  • Case management counseling
  • Mandatory savings plan
  • Job readiness / retention training
  • Budgeting and priority setting

The duration of residency is determined by achievement of one's own personalized goals. Once these goals are met, individuals "graduate" and are on their way to permanent, independent living.

More than just a shelter, CHIP works to bring all the resources of the community to bear on homelessness. A biweekly Team Case Conference made up of many area service providers pool their resources and devise plans to move individuals along a continuum of care toward independent living.

Further, the CHIP Advisory Board continues to monitor the effectiveness of homeless programs, discovers gaps in services which perpetuates homelessness, and works to create new services to address all concerns of the homeless and the community at large.

Finally, through its close association with the Clearwater Police Department, CHIP holds the homeless to a high standard of accountability and responsibility while offering a positive and humane solution to their homeless situation.

Emergency Shelter Program: During the past program year (10/1/02 -
9/30/03), overnight accommodations were provided through the CHIP shelter to 1,058 adult males, 328 adult females, and 82 children. These
individuals have also participated in the CHIP program elements of
counseling, goal planning, obtaining employment, budgeting, and accepting
the responsibility to change their lives. Because CHIP is an emergency
shelter that focuses on single individuals, the 62 families who had
temporary emergency shelter at CHIP this past year were moved quickly into
family shelters, transitional housing programs, Section 8 or Supportive
Housing, or reunited with family and/or relocated to other parts of the
country. For the single individuals completing the shelter programs, there
is a 93% success rate (i.e., obtaining housing and not returning to CHIP
for 12 months).

Daytime Outreach Program: The CHIP Day Center is open everyday and has an average of 100 individuals utilizing services daily throughout the year. This year, 2,692 adult males, 725 adult females and 11 children have
utilized the services provided through the CHIP Day Center - which aims
to make sure the homeless in our community know where they can meet with
counselors, take care of immediate physical needs, and start making life
changes that lead to getting off the streets. Many homeless individuals come into the Day Center more than once; in fact, it may take several sessions for a homeless individual to start making the choices and changes that will lead to self sufficiency. During this fiscal year, 874 new (i.e., not previously seen) homeless adult individuals came through the CHIP Day Center doors.

Program Staffing: The CHIP Center is staffed with social service professionals including a Program Director, Shelter Services Coordinator; Shelter Services Assistants, and Intake Counselors. These people put in many hours and dedication to serve others and insure that the CHIP program really works!

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