Connecticut Housing Engagement and Support Services
What is CHESS? Connecticut Housing Engagement and Support Services (CHESS) is a DSS program that provides supportive housing benefits under Medicaid. CHESS is aimed at managing the difficulties that are often part of homelessness, including access to health care and handling chronic health issues, with the overall goal of promoting health and well-being by coordinating targeted healthcare with housing.

Who is eligible? To participate in CHESS, you must be 18 or older, have active Medicaid, and meet all the requirements for CHESS. The requirements for CHESS include being homeless, have a Modified Charlson Comorbidity Index score of more than 4, have a behavioral health diagnosis recognized by the International Classification of Diseases, and have at least 2 critical needs.

How does it work? You will first meet with an Intensive Case Manager who will discuss the CHESS requirements and next steps. If you are found eligible, you will then choose a Supportive Housing Provider (SHP) who will complete a housing needs assessment. The SHP will work with you to identify your goals and develop your person-centered recovery plan, which will outline ways to achieve your goals. The SHP will then help you locate housing and provide-assistance in maintaining successful tenancy.

What does the program pay for? CHESS Medicaid services include person-centered recovery plan development, pre-tenancy supports (assistance in locating and securing stable housing), tenancy sustaining supports (assistance in maintaining successful tenancy), non-Medical transportation (increased access to community supports).

If I qualify for CHESS, will I receive a housing subsidy? Housing subsidies are not covered under Medicaid but provided through the Department of Housing. You must qualify for a housing subsidy. If you are homeless and on the by-name list, your SHP will work with you to apply for a housing subsidy. Housing subsidies are subject to availability. If you are not on the by-name list, your Supportive Housing Provider will discuss other housing options that may be available.

What kind of support can I expect? You will work with a team of people to help you identify your goals, locate and secure stabile housing, and provide healthcare coordination, skill development, and community integration.

How long does it take? Each plan is based on individual needs, and therefore each timeline is different. Your Supportive Housing Provider will advise you what to expect in your situation.

Do I have a say? The individual is the most important person in the CHESS process. At each stage in the process, the individual has a choice of whether to continue.

How do I learn more? You can call 2-1-1 or call the Department of Social Services (888) 992-8637 for more information. You may also visit Connecticut Housing Engagement and Support Services (CHESS) Initiative . If you need help applying for CHESS, please call 2-1-1 to connect with a Coordinated Access Network (CAN).
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