Housing First 101

What is  Housing First?

Housing First is a whole-system approach that offers housing as quickly as possible for individuals and families experiencing homelessness while providing the level of supportive services people need to keep their housing. The approach begins with an immediate focus on helping households move back into housing. Income, sobriety and/or participation in treatment or other services are not required as a condition for getting housing. Households are then offered supportive services aimed at maintaining stability for those individuals in client-centered case management philosophies.

How does Housing First Work?

Housing First flips the standard response to homelessness. Traditionally, agencies work with the homeless until the are deemed “housing ready” or until they can prove that they are ready to be in housing again including but not limited to maintaining sobriety, engaging in mental health treatment, etc. Research has shown that this does not work. Instead, Housing First works with the understanding that stable housing is essential to gaining life stability. This model focuses first and foremost on connecting people to housing and surrounding them with the support they need to keep that housing. Then, in their own housing, clients work on personalized life goals. Research has shown that this model keeps people housed longer and dramatically decreases the likelihood that they will return to homelessness later in life. 


Compared with traditional programs, Housing First participants show increased success at gaining and maintaining employment, assessing physical and mental health services, achieving sobriety and reaching other personal goals.






Participants are offered permanent (non-time-limited) housing options with a range of supportive services included. These housing options – arranged by how much access a household has to supportive services after housing placement – include:


Least access to supportive services

Most access to supportive services


Independent Housing – Maintained by the household without ongoing additional assistance. 

Supportive Housing – Combines and links permanent, affordable housing with flexible, voluntary support services designed to help tenants stay housed and build the necessary skills to live as independently as possible. 

Permanent Supportive Housing – This most comprehensive housing program is usually reserved for the most chronically homeless households. Tenants may live in their homes as long as they met basic obligations of tenancy, such as paying rent; have access to support services that they need and want; and have a private secure place to make their home, just like other members of the community, with the same rights and responsibilities. 

5 Core Principles of Housing First

Why Housing First?

Housing First is beneficial for every citizen in Weld County, regardless of their housing status.







Housing First is successful and sustainable.

Weld’s Way Home is dedicated to using a Housing First approach. It includes an evidence-based understanding that people will be more successful when they have the stability and support of housing. Housing First helps those experiencing homelessness move into appropriate housing as quickly as possible. As a harm reduction model*, Housing First negates the detrimental consequences of living in homelessness. Once a person is again used to living indoors, they can more effectively utilize supportive services. 

*Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with certain lifestyles

Read Weld's Way Home Weld's Way Home is a plan to prevent and address homelessness in Weld County.

 Executive Summary


Full Strategic Plan


This is Weld’s Way Home.

The Plan is in place. What's Next? Click the logo to learn how Weld County is addressing and preventing homelessness.