CHI Program Cuts a New Path to Permanent Housing

For Jeffrey Jimenez and the other residents in the new Transitional to Permanent Housing program (TPH), CHI is providing a “safe haven” and a “stepping stone” for formerly homeless men on the path to self-sufficiency. In August, CHI opened four multi-unit transitional houses in Suffolk, providing shelter and social services to men with special needs, including mental health and substance abuse issues. TPH clients each have their own rooms and meet regularly with CHI case managers. The residents are also subject to random drug testing, and are required to cook and clean for themselves. “We all have our details and chores,” said Jimenez, including mopping the floors and cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms. “It’s spotless, and there is a distinct spirit in the house. There’s no negativity,” he added. The road to TPH has not been an easy one for Jeff. The 43 year old has had a turbulent history with drugs and related arrests, and ended up homeless. He was previously living in one of CHI’s scattered-site homeless residences when he realized he needed to make major changes. Since coming to CHI, Jimenez has received his High School Equivalency Diploma from the state, participates in an outpatient drug treatment program, and regularly attends 12-step recovery meetings. As a result, Jeff has been clean and sober for nearly six months. CHI case worker Kaitlin Habich said that Jimenez has been a welcome addition to TPH and that he has utilized the program to the fullest extent. “He goes to treatment and to all his social services and Department of Labor appointments. He’s looking for work, and recently got back in touch with his daughter. Jeff is a real gentleman and is respected greatly by his housemates,” she said. Jimenez said “my spirit was crushed” when he came to CHI. Now, he has hope for the future. “I’ve got good people in my life today,” he said. While he is not sure exactly what the future holds, Jeffrey is eager to get back to work. “I could always get a job, but I could never keep a job,” he said. “Now I have the tools and the support to get a job and keep it.”