From its inception, Hedwig House has recognized that safe, affordable, long-term assisted housing is an important need and want of its service population. The Hedwig House Community Living Program in Norristown became the first housing program for people with mental illness in Montgomery County. The need for housing and supportive Social Services was clear, as was the potential of many people with chronic mental illness to do well in this type of program environment. The residential services component of our program has grown from a few apartments and residents in Norristown in 1976 to leased apartments and owned housing countywide; mobile housing support through the HOMES TEAM; housing support to Rittenhouse School Apartments; and rental assistance through Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA).
Unlike some residential programs that are transitional in nature, the Hedwig House apartment program invites Members to make the apartment their “home". Hedwig House helps with "start-up" costs and furniture and a variety of ongoing supports. Residents, however, are financially responsible for their own rents and other living expenses. We believe this realistic approach encourages independence and consequently the member's sense of self-esteem and empowerment. Support and counseling from qualified staff is always available and provided in accordance with Member's needs.
Additionally, Hedwig House administers a Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) program for Montgomery County. This program distributes federal funds for rental subsidy to low income households. Through a special collaborative effort of the Montgomery County Department-of Housing and Community Development and the Department of MH/MR/D&A Programs, individuals and families with special needs can receive priority access to this important financial assistance. As a partner and lead agency in this program, Hedwig House has been able to direct hundreds of thousands of dollars to numerous needy households with mentally ill or developmentally disabled members. This has enabled them to find and keep safe, affordable, permanent housing.
In 2001, Hedwig House also began to address the housing needs of special needs individuals and families who are homeless or in the emergency shelter and transitional housing services in Montgomery County. We are proud to have been named as recipient of special federal grant funds through the Supported Housing Program and the Montgomery County Continuum of Care efforts. Through these funds, Hedwig House has supplied liaison services and mental health consultation to persons with mental illness and substance abuse problems and to the emergency housing staff who partner with them. This program also provides the opportunity for these special need individuals and families to establish permanent housing.