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08/21/2008

One Stop Housing Resource Center opens in Flint

(GENESEE COUNTY, MI) The homeless and near-homeless in the Flint area now have one place to find help quickly.
The One Stop Housing Resource Center opens for business today, Thursday, Aug. 21, at 9 a.m. Following a press conference and grand opening tour, the center will open its doors to help those in the community who have no place to live, or are at risk of losing their home.

Thanks to the efforts of Health Access and Genesys Health System, a grant from the Michigan State Housing Development and United Way of Genesee County was used to fund the resource center. A total of 14 non-profit agencies have partnered to provide desperately needed services in one location at 303 Water Street in downtown Flint.

"Residents in the Flint area don't know what to do when they lose their home or are at risk of losing their home," says Marcy Buren, director of Health Access, the program overseeing One Stop Housing Resource Center. "Now, with the opening of this center, they have the resources they need in one location to help get them back on their feet on a more permanent basis.

"At The One Stop Housing Resource Center, residents can find housing placement assistance and ways to keep that housing," Buren adds. "All of the resources they need to get back on their feet and maintain that level of independence are available at our center."

Buren notes that the One Stop Housing Resource Center is a resource facility, not a homeless shelter. "We will find housing for those who arrive at the center without a home, but we offer so much more. Our goal is to ensure these individuals find long-term housing."

The center is open Mondays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will be closed on holidays.

Services available at the center are:
Legal Services of Eastern Michigan: an attorney will provide low-income individuals with legal assistance to access public benefits such as Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, state emergency relief, social security and more.

Genesee County Community Action Resource Center: the center's homeless outreach program serves as an initial intake and assessment entry point for the homeless who need immediate assistance as well as long-term help.

Health Access: this service helps the uninsured and underinsured obtain quality medical care, needed prescriptions and health care resources. Case managers also will assist guests with obtaining IDs and birth certificates, and referrals for other other basic needs.

Hamilton Community Health Network: homeless outreach staff will enroll guests in the network's homeless program.

Department of Human Services: a case worker will take applications for public assistance including emergency relief and food.

Intake, Assessment and Referral Center: clinicians will offer recommendations for care for co-occurring disorders. They will provide bus passes, assistance with making phone calls and connections with housing sources.

Genesee County Community Mental Health: a case manager will help guests identify and access housing resources, complete applications and access primary community mental health services.

Flint STRIVE: this organization offers a three week job preparation course to help guests obtain the skills they need to gain a high-quality job.

Flint Odyssey House: services include intensive outpatient and residential substance abuse treatment programs.

The Resource Center: staff will offer information and referral services to the homeless; those needing housing; and those needing help with their mortgage or rent, utility bills, food, employment training, legal assistance, transportation and more.

The North End Soup Kitchen: guests can receive free sack lunches at the center.

Shelter of Flint: staff will conduct intake interviews and assessments, and provide information on homeless shelters.

Genesys West Flint Health Center: a physician will be on-site to provide health risk assessments.

In addition to assistance from these agencies, One Stop Housing Resource Center will provide laundry facilities, a mail box service for mail delivery and pick up, computer workstations for those needing to send resumes or look for jobs, and sack lunch services.

To learn more about One Stop Housing Resource Center, call Frank Woods, center coordinator, at 8!0-232-4200.

Health Access is a grant-funded program that helps the uninsured and underinsured in Genesee County find ways to obtain needed medical care. Staff will help individuals and families find a physician and programs that may help provide funds to pay for medical bills. Health Access services are free, but some programs offered may have fees.

Health Access is a community partnership with Center for Civil Justice, Genesee County Free Medical Clinic, Genesee County Health department, Genesee Health Plan, Genesee-Lapeer Chapter of the American Red Cross, Genesys Health System, Greater Flint Health Coalition, Hamilton Community Health Network, HealthPlus of Michigan, Hurley Medical Center and McLaren Regional Medical Center.

In addition to services at the One Stop Housing Resource Center, Health Access has an office at 3951 Beecher Road in Flint, next to Genesys West Flint Campus.

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