3 tips if you’re facing housing insecurity

MHA Admin

Tue, 05/02/2023 – 13:13

by Allissa Torres, Director of Mental Health Equity

We live in a country where individuals who are unhoused are not often given the dignity they deserve. Between discriminatory anti-homeless laws, lack of funding for social services, and overall high cost of living – the ability to live in a home that feels safe and secure is looking more and more like a privilege than as the human right it should be.

Facing housing insecurity can be an immensely challenging experience. For some, it could be a lack of resources and support, for others, it may be the first time they are truly feeling a sense of freedom from past toxic environments. Finding a safe space and finding your independence may be hard, and there may be times when the resources that you seek feel out of reach or unhelpful. If you are reading this blog because you are looking for resources for yourself, know that you are not alone and have options. You deserve to be in a space where you can feel at ease and where you can feel embraced by those around you. You also deserve to know that you matter and that your worth does not change simply because the world can be a tough place to secure a home.

Here are three tips to consider when facing housing insecurity

Start with what you know and who you know. Think about who is in your community and support system. Do you have any family, friends, colleagues, or known allies who may be able to help you in this process? Perhaps someone can offer temporary housing or financial assistance or help walk you through the process. Even if they don’t have the direct resources that you need, maybe you can lean on them for emotional support. It is okay to ask and to explore your options.
Take inventory of your needs. What is most pressing at the moment? Perhaps you are facing mental health or substance use concerns that you may need treatment for. Perhaps your priority is getting out of a toxic environment as soon as possible. Maybe you want to explore rental support or other resources before you are in a more dire situation. If you are in the LGBTQIA+ community, disabled, a parent of children, a victim of intimate partner violence, or identify as Black, Indigenous, or person of color (BIPOC), be sure to also consider what your specific needs may be when looking into shelters or programs.
Don’t give up. It’s a cliche phrase, but it also speaks the truth. The search for stable housing is a challenging journey that may require overcoming a variety of systemic barriers. There could be times that you reach out for resources and are told that the waitlist is long or that they are booked up at the moment. Many programs change capacity from day to day, so it is important to keep trying and have a list of programs on hand.

Here are some resources to support your search for housing resources:

Shelter, financial assistance, basic necessities, and social services

Call 211 or visit the 211 directory online 
SAMHSA: Find Help 
HHS: Homelessness Resources and Programs 
USA.gov: Housing help 
HUD Exchange: Homelessness Assistance Programs
How to Get Help If You Are Experiencing Homelessness 
USA.gov: Get help for homelessness, hunger, and more 
Feeding America: Find Free Food and Groceries


Fair Housing for Victims of Domestic Violence 
National Center for Transgender Inequality: Know Your Rights – Housing and Homelessness 
LGBTQ+ Homeless Resources 
National Center for Homeless Education: Unaccompanied Homeless Youth

Tips from unhoused individuals

How to Survive Being Homeless 
Street Survivors: Basic, Proven, and Practical Survival Skills from the Homeless 
16 Homeless Survival Tips for How to Survive on the Streets 

This year’s Mental Health Month theme is all about your environment. Download the toolkit for additional resources on housing insecurity and making your space safe and healthy.

Finding a space where you can feel safe and at peace is difficult and at times may feel isolating, but it is not impossible. With these resources and tips, I hope you feel equipped to carry on and know where to turn to find some stable ground.

Learn more about Mental Health Month


The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will house a “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center, that will provide case management, mental health community advocacy, and oversight from the M.I. Mother’s Keeper mental health advocates. 
The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will offer patrons access to immediate coverage by general surgeons as well as coverage by the specialties of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care.
Our goal is to help people in the best way possible in an effort to preserve and to save more lives in the Nation’s Capital and beyond.

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Code Red
Gunshot Victim
Life Threatening Wounds
Physical Assault Victim
Severely Injured Auto Accident Victim
Burn Victim
Choking & Breathing Obstructions
and more…


Child Sex Assault Victim
Domestic Violence Victim
Drug Overdose
Rape/Sex Crime Victim
Suicide Watch
Trafficking Victim
Nervous Breakdown
and more…

Mental Health

At Capital City Emergency Trauma & Wellness Center patrons with mental health emergencies that include life threatening situations in which an individual is imminently threatening harm to self or others, severely disoriented or out of touch with reality, has a severe inability to function or is otherwise distraught and out of control, will have access to quality and psychiatric emergency services and referrals.

Physical Health

Whether your life threatening medical emergency involves excessive or uncontrollable bleeding, head injury. difficulty with breathing, severe pain, heart attack, vision impairments, stroke, physically collapsing, or seizure related, rest assured that our professionals will properly assess and evaluate the level of response that will be most needed to help provide stabilized care solutions and minimize complications as well as reduce early mortality.

Holistic Healthcare

We offer healthcare solutions that will support the whole person which includes their physical, psychological, emotional, social, & spiritual wellbeing. Research supports that because your mental state can affect your overall health we support and offer the inclusion of complimentary and alternative medicine(CAM) practitioners and naturopathic doctor recommendations and referrals as a part of our Outreach Community Resource Center’s care regimen and support.


Emergency care can typically result in traumatic injuries for which rehabilitation becomes an essential component of care in trying to achieve the best long-term outcomes for the patient. In addition to speeding up recovery times and helping to prevent further complications, rehabilitative care also helps to support a patient’s self-managed recovery once discharged from our facility. Our Outreach Community Resource Center works closely with our trauma center’s discharge department to assure that patrons requiring these services are linked with qualified professionals who will be accountable to the standard of care required to help the patron be successful in their recovery.

Social Services

Our “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center intends to promote “expansive” beneficial community enriching services, programs, case management, & linkage to “approved” partner resources and supports in all of the following intended areas and more:

Social Services

  • Clothing
  • Food Pantry
  • Housing/Shelter
  • I.D. Credentials
  • Senior Wellness Check
  • Toiletries
  • Transportation
  • Etc.

Extended Family Services

  • Child Care
  • Credit Counseling
  • Family Court Services
  • Legal Aide

Career Training

  • Apprenticeship programs
  • Computer/Graphics Training
  • Culinary Program  
  • GED Courses
  • Hospitality Training
  • Job Etiquette & Grooming
  • Resume’ Prep
  • Sales Training
  • Software/Technology workshops
  • Small Business Training

Return Citizen
Program Partner
(Bridging the Gap)

  • Case Management
  • Temporary Boarding/Housing
  • Transitional Program Registration

Prevention/Intervention Outreach,
Workshops, & Programs

  • After-school Behavioral Health Program
  • Civic Engagement / Volunteer Sign-up
  • Fatherhood Rites of Passage
  • Gun Violence Town Hall Forum
  • Life Coaching & Coping Strategies
  • Marriage Counseling Workshops
  • Medicare Informational Workshops
  • Mentorship Training
  • Parental Classes
  • Support Groups
  • Town Hall Discussions
  • Violence De-Escalation Training
  • Voter Registration

Nutritional Outreach

  • Cooking Demonstrations
  • Dietary Programs
  • Exercise Classes
  • Recipe Sharing Workshops
  • Meal Prep

Community Outreach

The Healthy DC & Me Leadership Coalition is partnering with the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health advocacy organization to provide outreach services on the community level as an aid in reducing the existent health inequities that many District citizens are facing as a direct result of the presence of debilitating social determinants and the lack of culturally appropriate care choices and realities for community members residing in marginalized and lower-income communities.

It is the vision and intentions of the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health Advocates organization to help improve the quality of living for citizens living in our Nation’s Capital and beyond by overseeing the delicate linkage to services and by maintaining higher standards of care accountability for deserving citizens of the Nation’s Capital.

For more information or to enroll as one of our service providers, please email us at: