Walking Our Way Home sounds like a movie from the early 1900’s. Well it’s not. It is in fact a goal-centered program designed to assist homeless individuals in retaining housing.
The name for the program grew from acknowledgement of the guests served on a day to day basis. Some of the clients walk as far as 8 miles to receive services offered daily to the many guests of Matthew House, ranging from grooming to two balanced meals a day.
While some agencies only focus on providing meals, clothing, or a place to sleep overnight, Matthew House seeks to move clients beyond survival and into progress and does so by assisting individuals with personal advisement through case managers. Case managers link clients to services provided by Matthew House or one of its community partners who specialize in client needs such as substance or alcohol abuse, health care, job assistance, and housing.
Matthew House was chosen by the City of Chicago to assist Mayor Richard Daley in his 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. Through this plan the Mayor seeks to house the over 6,000 (according to one night count of the City’s homeless population in January 2007) Chicago citizens who are now homeless. With the plan in mind, Matthew House is opening its first housing project known as The Herman Jenkins Transitional Housing. This building is located in the Bronzeville Community just south of Downtown Chicago, and It is expected to open by the summer of 2010. The project will house at least 20 men who are considered “chronically homeless.”