Miriam's House is designed to end homelessness for women and families by providing them with stability and the skills to succeed in permanent housing. Miriam’s House operates an on-site housing program as well as a community-based rental assistance program, both aimed at quickly connecting homeless women and families to safe and affordable permanent housing.
All of the programs and services offered at Miriam’s House are based on the Housing First model, rooted in the belief that ending a client's homelessness quickly and providing for her most basic needs will empower her to achieve goals in other areas including mental health, substance use, money management and parenting. Miriam's House staff provides intensive case management and works in partnership with each client to build upon her strengths and resiliency. Miriam’s House coordinates referrals to therapists, mental health support workers, recovery services, job coaches, and social workers to ensure that ongoing, comprehensive services are available to clients even after they complete their program at Miriam's House.
Applicants may be admitted to either the on-site or community-based program, depending on the severity of their barriers to obtaining housing. All services at Miriam’s House are provided free of charge to the community.
On-site Housing Program
The first step for our on-site clients is to develop a Housing Stability Plan in conjunction with the staff of Miriam's House. The focus of this plan is to identify and address housing barriers including poor credit, lack of income and criminal background. The goals and objectives are reviewed and revised regularly according to the household's needs and progress.
Households meet regularly with their case manager and receive referrals to help them complete their Housing Stability Plan in areas such as:
1. Money management and debt repayment
2. Job training and employment
3. Accessing benefits
4. Addiction and recovery/mental health services
5. Medical needs
7. Conflict resolution
Our community based program, modeled on a national best practice called rapid re-housing, aims to move families from emergency shelters into permanent housing in as little time as possible by providing short-term rental and utility assistance. This may include payments for utility debts, utility initiation fees, security deposits and/or rental payments, depending on the client’s individual situation. This financial assistance decreases disruptions for the family caused by multiple moves through the homeless services system. It allows them to begin creating relationships with their neighbors, utilizing transportation and establishing employment and childcare close to their home.
Working with private landlords and other housing providers, Miriam's House staff helps homeless families locate safe and affordable housing that fits within their budget. Employment services, benefits advocacy, proactive landlord outreach, and housing search services are intended to help families overcome income and credit barriers to housing and increase economic security.
Once in housing, families participate in robust in-home case management to promote self-sufficiency and long-term stability. Miriam's House staff assists clients in developing a Housing Stability Plan. This plan involves identifying ways to increase their income, budget effectively, and save toward future goals. Clients are also offered tenant and life skills education, as well as referrals to a comprehensive network of services to help them maintain their housing and prevent future incidences of homelessness.
Aftercare Support Group
Clients who exit from Miriam's House into the community are offered aftercare services to ensure long-term success. A monthly support group is facilitated by the staff to promote peer support and offer case management as former clients face the challenges of maintaining their own housing in the community. Participation in this group is free to the families and childcare is provided on-site to promote participation.
Miriam's House does not provide emergency housing. If you are facing a housing crisis, contact:
Coordinated Homeless Intake and Access (CHIA)
Lynchburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority