Mountainlands Community Housing Trust (MCHT) has provided Transitional Housing since 2003. This housing program is the first of its kind in Summit and Wasatch Counties and currently consist of 10 apartments reserved for families and individuals in need. Eligible participants are provided with a place to live and are connected with available resources, case management and mentorship.
MCHT’s commitment to these families and individuals is to create a bridge to independence, enhanced life skills, and affinity within our community.
The causes of homelessness are very complex and include many factors that are both structural, such as, housing or job related and individually based like divorce, domestic violence or disabling conditions. Homelessness can have devastating consequences for the families and can ultimately result in the breakup of the family and adversely affect children’s development.
Very low income families are often difficult to distinguish from homeless families. The common characteristics of homeless and poor families includes extreme poverty, single mothers, low education level, young, parents and children, less social support, racial and ethnic minorities, high levels of government assistance and high rates of domestic violence. Homeless families tend to stay in emergency shelters longer than unaccompanied homeless individuals. Most reported a situational crisis, divorce, loss of employment, victimization and housing crises as the major factors that lead to homelessness.
Approximately 75% of the temporary housing residents are women and children victims of domestic violence who suddenly become homeless. Many victims of domestic violence are not capable of finding housing arrangements during this time, either because the costs of living, post-traumatic stress disorder or lack of employment.
Victims of domestic violence are under extreme financial pressure; many women return to their abuser because they are aware of how little is done to enforce their safety and the safety of their children. Because of this many women become isolated and stigmatized by family and friends losing their support system and facing repeated victimization. This victimization often produces mental illness or substance abuse. Transitional housing relieves the financial pressure so they achieve success for themselves and families.
During their stay, participants receive free housing and supportive services to assist in achieving the three highly defined goals:
1. Obtain and remain in permanent housing
2. Improve self-determination;
3. Increase skills and/or income.
Of the participants that left the program, 95% successfully completed the program and had full time employment. 100% had a steady source of income upon leaving and entered either a rental assisted or other rental unit.