Since 1966, NLSM has had a successful history of working with those who could not afford legal services and a 15 year history of working with those who are homeless and/or at risk of homelessness. Additionally, we provide financial assistance, housing relocation and stabilization services to those who are determined to be eligible for prevention Homeless Prevention or Rapid Rehousing. Our program components include: Short and medium term rental assistance; security deposits; utility deposits/payments; moving costs; case management; outreach; housing search/inspection; legal services; credit repair; and financial literacy. Our geographic population includes those residents in the city of Detroit, Highland Park, Hamtramck and out Wayne County, who are currently housed, but are at risk of homelessness and need to move to another housing unit, as well as those individuals/families who are currently homeless.
NLSM Homeless Advocacy Services provides a holistic approach to service the homeless. Once families have been identified (self declared or in imminent danger of becoming homeless – both walk-ins and/or referrals, including those referred by the City of Detroit) they are assessed and screened. A comprehensive case management plan of action is created to address the individual's specific needs that resulted in their housing crises. The services provided included assessing their current living situations, advocating for those who wish to remain in their current home (if appropriate) and in extreme cases – relocating them, including into shelters, if needed. Further, we offer attorneys that can provide emergency legal advocacy in eviction proceedings, support in credit restoration, and job specific issues – as deemed necessary.
Once stabilized, clients receive extensive follow-up case management to ensure continued stability. This follow-up can be short-term to medium-term assistance, based on need, and can occur up to 18 months.
Key to our success is periodic evaluation of progress measured against their plan of action, also known as a “case plan.” Our advocate’s work includes home visits for four months post placement and may extend beyond, depending on the level of need.
Our program approach is the Housing First model, which is critical to successfully ending homelessness. More specifically, the model addresses immediate issues to move people into permanent housing as quickly as possible, and remove their barriers to stability. Ending homelessness requires an alignment of resources to reduce the duration of each experience of homelessness, especially if we are to prevent recurrence. Our services, through case management, are in a position to address all areas of concerns that impact a client’s specific need.
NLSM has a strong core of services through the support and collaborative effort of other agencies. As our history documents, we have tested methods for delivery and have continually evolved to match the needs to the community by including other agencies in our circle of care, making it easier for clients to access additional support and services.