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How Duffy Helps

December 10, 2012  |  By Heidi Romans Nelson, CEO Duffy Health Center

Now that the dust has settled, literally and figuratively, on the dismantling of the homeless camps in Barnstable, perhaps we can reflect on where we are as a community in addressing the issue of street homelessness. 

  • The annual ‘point in time count,’ conducted by the homeless service providers on the Cape, has seen the number of persons on the streets and in the shelters decline from over 800, to close to 400 in the last five years. 
  • The number of persons that are tracked by the Main Street Initiative has dropped from 93 to less than 20. 
  • Street outreach is coordinated through a quarterly meeting of the agencies that reach out to persons who are homeless on the street, to insure that resources are used most efficiently, and that merchants have access to help during the most critical times of the week. 
  • A new, state-funded case manager has been deployed to work full-time at NOAH shelter, identifying persons needing mental health and substance abuse treatment services, and helping to move those folks out of the shelter. 
  • Duffy Health Center this year added two new case managers to address the needs of persons who are experiencing long term homelessness, and have physical and mental disabilities.

We salute the Barnstable Police Department for their compassionate approach to this problem, and to our local media for their thoughtful coverage of this highly visible issue.  

It is important to remember that for Duffy Health Center our work to end homelessness is year-round; we are here every day addressing the needs of persons who are in need of services.   

Case management is the key, and Duffy’s case management services will lose funding on September 30, 2013, if there are not state-funded services to replace those funds. As you encounter your elected officials, please let them know that quality of life and compassionate care are both priorities for Cape Codders, and ask them to promote funding for case management programs for persons experiencing homelessness. Thanks.    

 Speak to Legislators about Case Management