Haven for Hope, a local nonprofit service for the homeless, has seen a 44 percent increase in tenants living in its permanent housing since last year.
In fact, the program is at full capacity.
Some 73 people are living in that permanent housing, which are one-room units assigned to one individual.
Unlike Haven’s overnight shelter, tenants must have a steady income to live in those rooms. Haven says the idea is to create a pattern of stability for the future.
While the housing program is referred to as “permanent,” it is meant to be temporary, with the goal of getting residents into apartments and out on their own.
Currently, the program partners with the San Antonio Housing Authority to move tenants into Section 8 housing.
"People who were ready to move out into the community, but wanted access to a voucher for subsidized housing, were able to take advantage of this opportunity within Haven for Hope and then move into Section 8 housing,” said Evita Mendiola, Haven’s assistant vice president of community relations and external affairs.
But the partnership with SAHA ends Dec. 15. Haven says there is no way to predict how its permanent housing program will be affected once that voucher is no longer available.
But still, says Mendiola, the mission remains the same.
"We're trying to establish partnerships with apartment managers in our community so that we can integrate individuals who were once part of the San Antonio, Bexar County community back where they belong, back into their homes,” said Mendiola.
Tenants living in Haven's permanent housing pay rent, which is based on their individual income. Haven says roughly 70 percent of its permanent residents who move out on their own retain a job for six months or more.
Participants in Haven’s permanent housing program also receive assistance from the nonprofit for a year after they move out. That includes access to all of the services Haven offers, such as job training and counseling.