March 2012 | For the residents of Silver Creek Corner apartments, finding and maintaining housing hasn't always been easy. Opening its doors in Rochester in 2011, Silver Creek Corner is Center City Housing Corp.'s (CCHC) third development providing a permanent supportive housing alternative for people experiencing chronic homelessness and struggling with alcohol dependency.
Recognizing the need to provide safe and dignified housing to some of Southeastern Minnesota's most difficult to house, Silver Creek Corner Apartments connects its residents with voluntary supportive services, including nursing and social service case management, to help them succeed in maintaining their housing. In addition to helping individuals gain housing stability, this project saves Olmsted County thousands of dollars in emergency room costs, detoxification expenses, law enforcement and judicial involvements.
When fully occupied, Silver Creek Corner will be home to 40 single adult men and women, many who have been chronically homeless.
SCC is the result of unique collaborative efforts between Olmsted County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, CCHC, Olmsted County Department of Adult and Family Services, and Zumbro Valley Mental Health Center.
After convening stakeholders and researching the cost and outcomes for homeless people with chronic alcohol abuse, Olmsted County determined that CCHC's "Housing First" model was in the best interest of homeless people with chronic alcohol dependency for the region, as well as the counties. Olmsted County, with support from Rice and Steele counties, reached out to CCHC and offered county land to help make the project a reality. The unique partnership across public and nonprofit sectors linking housing with medical services has made Silver Creek Corner apartments a success.
A background study by Olmsted County projected that costs for ER, detox, law enforcement and other services averaged $2,000/month per person in the past, while housing at Silver Creek Corner would cost about $1,500/month, while also resulting in better outcomes for residents.
Residents say, "[Silver Creek Corner] is safe, welcoming, staffed by people who really care... a real home and life-saver." Silver Creek Corner has become an asset for the entire southeastern region of Minneosota and its residents.