Homeward Bound

Please call numbers below for issues of homelessness

Office Hours:  8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday
Location:  788 E. Clay, Decatur, IL  62522
Business Phone:  217.362.7700
24-Hour Outreach Number:  217.706.6614
After Hours Number:  217.619.5742
email:  outreach@doveinc.org


2021 Point-in-Time and Housing Inventory Count

for more information please see MC CoC link on home page

For further questions please contact Dove-Homeward Bound Program Director Darsonya Switzer: dswitzer@doveinc.org or Millikin University professor Mary Garrison: mgarrison@millikin.edu.

LINK TO PRESENTATION: https://youtu.be/PrfRpZdBAQ4



Providing services to, providing housing for and initiating programs to improve the quality of life for our area homeless families and individuals.

What is Homeward Bound?

Homeward Bound is the Centralized Intake location for the Macon County Continuum of Care and through a collaboration of its partnership agencies, made up the Governing Board for the Macon County Continuum of Care, and is funded through grants from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Homeward Bound provides supportive housing, case management and supportive services and necessary referrals to homeless persons living in the Decatur/Macon County area. It was established in 1995 from the work of the newly formed Homeless Council Continuum of Care. Now, more than 20 years later, the Homeward Bound program continuing to meet its original concept, has added components, and is diligently working to meet the needs of homeless individuals and families.

Who are the Partnership Agencies/Governing Board Members?

  • Dove, Inc.
  • Decatur Housing Authority
  • Decatur Macon County Opportunities Corporation
  • Heritage Behavioral Health Center
  • Community Investment Corporation of Decatur
  • City of Decatur
  • Millikin University
  • Macon Piatt Regional Office on Education
  • Salvation Army
  • Good Samaritan Inn
  • Crossing Healthcare
  • God's Shelter of Love
  • Decatur Public Schools, District 61

What is the HUD Homeless Definition?

  1. Literally homeless
  2. Imminent risk of homelessness
  3. Homeless under other Federal law*
  4. Fleeing/attempting to flee domestic violence
  1. Literally Homeless
    1. Streets, parks, cars, stations, abandoned buildings, etc.
    2. Shelters, Transitional Housing, vouchers
    3. Exiting from institution, AND Stayed there 90 days (was 30) AND came from shelter immediately before institutionalization
  2. At Imminent Risk
    1. Being evicted within 14 days (was 7), AND
    2. No new home is identified; AND
    3. Lacks resources and support networks
  3. Other Federal Law (All New) 2012
    1. Family with children, or youth only 
    2. Homeless under other Federal law, AND
    3. Has not leased/owned home in 60 days, AND
    4. Has moved twice in 60 days, AND
    5. Has specific needs, or at least 2 barriers

      Special Needs: chronic disability, chronic physical or mental health, substance addiction, history of DV or childhood abuse/neglect, or a child/youth with disability

      Barriers: No HS/GED, illiteracy, low English proficiency, criminal history/detention, unstable employment history

  4. Fleeing Domestic Violence
    1. Fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence (including dating violence, sexual assault, stalking or other dangerous violence), AND
    2. No new home is identified; AND
    3. Lacks resources and support networks

What is the national average age of a homeless individual?

The national average age of a homeless individual is 9 years old.

Who are the Homeless in our area?

Many individuals and families in our area are homeless and many more are at risk to become homeless. HUD requires all of their funding recipients to conduct a biennial, 24-hour period survey of homeless persons in the areas served.

What is the definition of Chronically Homeless?

(households with at least 1 CH adult were added to the definition in 2011)

Homeless for:

  1. 12 consecutive months
  2. Or 4 times in past 3 years with each episode of homelessness totaling at least 12 months
  3. The New “4 in 3” Rule Each episode of homelessness must have been at least 15 days long

What programs are there to help?

Case Management & Supportive Services

All Homeless persons are eligible for these services:

  • Intensive case management
  • Linkage to job training and employment
  • GED classes
  • Health services
  • Alcohol and other drug abuse treatment
  • Mental health services
  • Budget counseling
  • Parenting classes
  • Life Skills classes

Transitional Housing

Homeward Bound houses families and individuals in 18 apartments on West Macon Street in Decatur owned by the Community Investment Corporation of Decatur, a non-profit community development corporation. More than 25 other units are available through a leasing agreement property management companies in the area.

Intake Process

Homeward Bound clients are referred by staff from emergency shelters and area human services agencies. No formal referral is required. Intake orientation explains the requirements of the program, and what is expected of participants. When accepted into the program, the Outreach Specialist gathers pertinent information as required by HUD and then a case manager begins working with a client. A participant can be in the program, as long as they are working productively on their individual case plan, for 12 months to 2 years. Six months of follow-up services are available to those leaving transitional housing.

Permanent Housing Programs

Permanent Supportive Housing, Dove, Inc. leasing several units throughout the community and these units are used to provide supportive housing to those individuals and families that are eligible for permanent support. Homeward Bound provides the services. Families/Individuals must be homeless, have a diagnosable disability and need continued support services to qualify for permanent supportive housing.

Elmwood, owned by Elmwood I, Inc. h, opened in 2003. First Presbyterian Church and Dove, Inc. partnered on the refurbishing of these classic apartments in Decatur’s Historic District. Homeward Bound provides case management for those living in these eight units of permanent supportive housing.

Harbor Place is eight units of permanent housing for women, with children, who have successfully completed the first stage of substance abuse treatment and are looking for a safe place to continue their rehabilitation. Dove, Inc., owns Harbor Place and Homeward Bound provides the services.

St. James Place SRO's, which opened in 2008, is a permanent housing project, owned by Dove. There are 14 SRO units of permanent housing for chronically homeless individuals. Supportive services are provided by Heritage Behavioral Health Center.