Myth: As soon as you create affordable housing, it attracts dangerous people.

Fact: Often times, people with developmental disabilities or mental health challenges are perceived as dangerous. So too are people who are receiving professional treatment for and are recovering from substance abuse. Society often assumes if you have a criminal background, you don’t deserve a home. Or if you once used drugs, you can never get clean again. Homes First! tenants complete a rigorous screening process, including a background check. We don’t accept tenants who have a history of violent crime.  We do serve tenants, who, because of special needs or circumstances, have been denied housing because of negative, often inaccurate assumptions.

Homes First! partners with several community organizations to help tenants receive supportive services they need to live a healthy, productive lifestyle. Ten of our properties are for adults with developmental disabilities. We also have five Oxford Homes, dedicated to clean and sober living.

We work with four service providers that serve adults with developmental disabilities (KoKua, Place One, L-G-H and Community Resources. These organizations provide in-home care for those tenants. And our Oxford Houses are democratically run, with strict rules tenants must abide by to live there.

These tenants need special care and understanding, especially from their neighbors. If any questions or concerns arise about our tenants from neighbors, Homes First! meets with neighbors and tenants to address them. We do this with all tenants, not just those with special needs. We often go above and beyond what most people would expect typical measures landlords/property managers would take to address concerns.

Need: Everyone deserves a safe, clean and affordable place to live, regardless of circumstance. Research shows that adults with developmental disabilities who have stable, affordable housing are more likely to remain in their homes because of better physical environments and less disruption, improving overall health. Furthermore, adults recovering from substance abuse are less likely to relapse if they live in a clean environment that offers support and resources. Where else would these tenants with special needs be if not in one of our homes?