June 15, 2018

Community Spotlight – Homeward Bound

In Buncombe County, more than 500 people experience homelessness on any given night, and more than 3,000 people experience it throughout the course of a year. Thirty-seven percent of them are veterans. Eleven percent of them are children.

Mission Health is proud to partner with Homeward Bound to help our most vulnerable neighbors achieve stability, and help everyone access housing as quickly as possible when they become homeless. In the last 10 years, more than 1,800 people were housed through the permanent supportive housing program. Eighty-nine percent of Homeward Bound’s clients achieve housing stability.

“Our partnership with Homeward Bound and the permanent supportive housing program is providing a path to stability for some of our community’s most vulnerable people,” said Sonya Greck, Senior Vice President of Community Investment, Behavioral Health and Safety Net Services for Mission Health. “We are proud to be partners in this work to create a stronger safety net and pathway to wellness for those in our community who need it most.”

The partnership that Homeward Bound has with Mission Health means more people moving from chronic homelessness to housing in Buncombe County. People who are chronically homeless have been on the streets or in a shelter for at least one year and have a disability.

“Our partnership with Mission Health means that we can help to improve the health and wellness of our most vulnerable by ensuring they have a place to heal and recover when they’ve been ill,” said Emily Ball, Strategic Initiatives Director, Homeward Bound. “Housing is a basic human right.”

Mission Health and Homeward Bound partner together on the commitment of “no one left outside” and finding a housing solution for every person experiencing homelessness in our community. Everyone in our community benefits when we help our most vulnerable find housing.

“Homeless individuals lack access to healthcare and often have chronic illnesses, made worse by tough living conditions: sleeping outside in all weather, eating low-quality foods and being in close quarters with unhealthy people,”  said Mary Jo Powers, Executive Director, Homeward Bound. “When we end homelessness, our whole community benefits because we see resources freed up to meet other needs, local businesses and tourism fare better, and our neighbors and most vulnerable are restored to lives of wholeness and dignity.”

Mission Health’s Community Investment Program is providing over $915,000 in funding to a diverse group of 18 western North Carolina agencies, in a joint effort to improve the health of those served by Mission Health across the region. The 2018 focus areas for the grants are Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse, Chronic Disease, Social Determinants of Health (focusing on food security and homelessness) and Interpersonal Violence.
Click here to learn more about Mission Health’s Community Investment Program.