Heading Home’s mission is to end homelessness in Greater Boston by providing a supported pathway to self-sufficiency that begins with a home, together with critical services such as life skills, financial literacy, and job training.
Heading Home provides emergency, transitional and permanent housing, and support services, to extremely low-income homeless and formerly homeless children and adults, primarily in the communities of Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Lawrence, Malden, Medford, Quincy, Revere, and Somerville.
Heading Home is one of the few Boston-area homeless-serving agencies that helps both individuals and families. At times, a client may shift from needing individual support to needing a family program, through reunification as an example. Our ability to offer this smooth transition, and to address the often multitude of complex contributing factors, makes Heading Home a unique and effective homeless service provider.
As our name reflects, we believe that a stable home provides the optimal foundation to get back on track; our programs focus heavily on assessment, engagement, individual goal-setting, and securing permanent housing for our clients as quickly as possible.
We emphasize permanent housing attainment and retention because success is most achievable within a permanent home. Further, research shows that for most of our clients’ housing alongside supportive services is much more effective than just providing one or the other. This housing-plus-services model has yielded strong retention rates for over a decade: For 17 years running, Heading Home’s clients have achieved an annual permanently housed retention rate of 90%+. We believe this long success rate has to do with how our housing and services complement each other: goal-oriented, client-focused coaching that emphasizes getting housed, and developing the skills to stay housed and become more self-sustaining.
Our wide array of support services includes housing searches and placement; life-skills development; career coaching; financial education; agency-matched savings opportunities and assistance in obtaining basic benefits, child care, and transportation.
With strong guidance and compassionate care, clients are best positioned to improve their quality of life, get and stay housed, and develop living-wage careers, life skills, and financial literacy. Across all programs, the core of our training for staff directly interfacing with clients is two evidence-based approaches: Motivational Interviewing and Trauma-Informed Care.
Our staff utilizes current brain science research techniques that aim to not only get clients out of one instance of homelessness but provide what they need to maintain housing sustainability over time. We also work from a model of shared practices; through monthly Community of Practice sessions, staff directly interfacing with clients can discuss challenging client matters and collectively brainstorm solutions. As forward-thinking problem solvers, we continue to convene with our public and private partners to define and propose co-created models that offer contemporary solutions.