Liner Legal believes in helping people and sharing resources that can better their lives. That’s why for December’s Community Resource Corner, we are introducing you to Extended Housing. This organization aims to help those with mental illness in need of a home. Katie spoke with Extended Housing’s Community Engagement Coordinator, Stacy Ray, to talk about their work. Read more about Extended Housing, what they do, and how you can get help in the interview below.

KN: Tell me about Extended Housing  and its mission

SR: Extended Housing was founded in 1983 with a mission to prevent and end homelessness for individuals in Lake County with serious mental illness.

KN: What is Extended Housing’s goal in Ohio?

SR: Fundamentally, Extended Housing’s vision is to have a state in which all individuals with serious mental illness can live as independently as possible and have access to a safe, decent, affordable, supportive place to live.

KN: What communities does Extended Housing serve?

SR: Extended Housing serves all of Lake County, Ohio.

KN: Extended Housing has a special focus on mental health, tell me about that.

SR: Unfortunately, we see many of our clients face stigmas associated with having mental illnesses or experiencing homelessness. Approximately 25% of those experiencing homelessness have serious mental illnesses and may need more than a roof over their heads. They may need supportive housing which for some clients Extended Housing offers. We work to help the people we encounter experiencing homelessness connect with mental services in additional housing. We have seen people who had a history of chronic homelessness now be stably housed for over eight years.

KN: Extended Housing offers a “fresh start” with rental assistance programs, can you tell me more about that?

SR: For those who are experiencing homelessness, it can be overwhelming trying to obtain stable housing. Extended Housing has programs that can help provide qualifying clients with subsidies for housing along with zero interest emergency housing loans. We can also connect them with help for a security deposit. Being able to help someone put all of that together when they are trying to obtain stable housing helps them get that “fresh start” many of us need when we have gone through an extremely difficult period in our lives.

KN: What type of projects and partnerships have Extended Housing participated in locally?

SR: Extended Housing firmly believes partnerships are critically important to addressing the needs of the people we serve. Currently, we partner with Crossroads Health to offer a regular engagement group that works with tenants of one of our supportive housing units. We also work with Project Hope for the Homeless to help find more people long-term, stable housing. Recently, we partnered with the Sub Zero Mission to collect winter warming supplies to help those who are currently experiencing homelessness.

KN: Why is it important to have an organization like Extended Housing in Ohio?

SR: Extended Housing helps address several needs in Northeast Ohio. Part of our staff actively outreaches to the homeless community seeking to meet their immediate needs, but also to help connect them with services they need. Additionally, Extended Housing provides support workers who walk beside those identified as needing help and helps them navigate the paperwork and requirements for the assistance they need. There are several types of homelessness, and many of Extended Housing’s clients have experienced chronic homelessness. Helping someone who has experienced chronic homelessness is not a one-and-done interaction. It can be a long-term supportive process done in collaboration with other partnering agencies. Extended Housing makes sure people get the level of help they need and don’t fall through the cracks.

KN: What should someone do if they need help with housing in Ohio?

SR: In Lake County, anyone needing housing help can contact Extended Housing. Even if we cannot help, we can connect them with other local resources. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website www.hud.gov is also a great resource for assistance. Additionally, they can reach out to their local housing authority.

Call Liner Legal today and how we can help you!

For more information or help getting housing assistance in Lake County, reach out to Extended Housing. You can contact them by calling their office at (440) 352-8424 or email them at info@extendedhousing.org. You can also connect with them through their website, www.extendedhousing.org, and through their Facebook page www.facebook.org/extendedhousing.  If you need help with your disability process or if you need additional resources, contact us by clicking here