In the past, communities in good conscience have struggled to understand how best to help chronically homeless individuals and families. Taking a band-aid or crisis approach does not offer long-term solutions. Called the “Housing Readiness” model, it does not work over time and often worsens the situation. The “Housing First” model does work and this is the approach used by Pathlight HOME.

Pathlight HOME is the FIRST organization in Florida to embrace the Housing First model. The model is revolutionary in that it offers permanent, affordable housing as quickly as possible for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. It then provides the supportive services and connections to the community-based support organizations people need to keep their housing and avoid returning to homelessness.

Previously, human service programs and social policy regarding treatment of homeless citizens offered emergency shelter/transitional housing progressions. These do not work as they leave the person or family in a constant state of flux with feelings of disconnection, often making their situation worse.

The Housing First approach is based on the concept that a homeless individual or household's first and primary need is to obtain stable housing. Other issues that may affect the household can and should be addressed once housing is obtained. In contrast, "housing readiness" models operate from the premise that an individual or household must address other issues that may have led to the episode of homelessness prior to entering housing.