Groundbreaking Offers More Housing for Those with Mental Illness
At a groundbreaking celebration Friday for The Main Place’s new housing community, The Place Next Door, Cavins said she was thrilled there will be more options in Newark for people living with severe and persistent mental illness. At Friday’s ground breaking, Ted Jones, senior program manager of the Corporation for Supportive Housing, asked the audience where they go when they are feeling sick. “At home you can relax, eat and sleep and do things to get better,” he said. “For these people, they might not have anywhere else to go.”
My Central Jersey.com, November 4
VA Opens 62-Unit Valley Brook Village for Veterans in Bernard
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Under Secretary for Health joined representatives from the VA New Jersey Health Care System, Peabody Properties Inc., Community Hope, Windover Development, MetLife, the National Equity Fund and LISC in celebrating the grand opening of Valley Brook Village, an affordable permanent supportive rental housing project in Bernards for homeless and at-risk low-income veterans.
New Jersey Hills, November 8
A New Beginning’ for Veterans in Bernards Township
Help for veterans was not just a promise but a reality as officials gathered on Wednesday, Oct. 30, for the grand opening of a new rental housing complex at the Lyons Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center.
Tribune Today, October 22
YMCA Project on Schedule
Framing and setting the tresses on the second floor for 12 apartments at the YWCA of Warren is under way this week as the Y says it's on schedule for an early spring opening of the addition. The three-bedroom apartment units are being built on the north side of the YWCA building off North Park Avenue where the swimming pool, demolished earlier this year, used to be. The project is being funded by Huntington Bank, Ohio Housing Finance Agency, Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, Warren Trumbull Home Consortium, the Corporation for Supportive Housing and the Rotary Club of Warren.
Digital Journal, September 18
8th Annual Michigan Homeless Summit Kicks Off Today in Frankenmuth
Nearly 400 homeless service providers from across the state were on hand for today's kickoff of the 8th Annual Homeless Summit, spearheaded by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) and the Michigan Campaign to End Homelessness. Michigan's Campaign to End Homelessness began its journey to provide housing for the state's most vulnerable population in 2006 with MSHDA, the state Departments of Community Health, Human Services, Education and Corrections in partnership with the Corporation for Supportive Housing and the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness.
Jackson Free Press, September 18
Everyone Needs a Roof
The old paradigm is that people with unsolved issues—such as lack of a job or a drug addiction—had to address their problems before they could obtain a permanent home. Research now shows that a stable home allows a person to solve his or her problems much faster—and it keeps them off the streets. To end homelessness, communities must develop a long-term plan. They may manage homelessness in the short run, but won't end it. Effective community plans include: Coordinated Access among providers to have a single, uniform method to access housing resources. "The aim is to ensure that (people) in crisis have the same experience as they seek housing services and that they are directed to the best housing solution for their situation." —Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH)
The FY2013-FY2014 NOFA clearly lays out HUD’s homeless policy and program priorities, including an emphasis on ending chronic homelessness by increasing Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) beds, prioritizing the chronically homeless for PSH beds when vacancies become available through turnover, and incorporating a Housing First approach in the design of a PSH project. CoCs will be able to apply for new projects created through reallocation for PSH that propose to exclusively serve the chronically homeless –which includes individuals and households with children as defined in 25 CFR 578.3—as part of its comprehensive strategy to end chronic homelessness. For information on creating quality supportive housing, visit CSH’s Dimensions of Quality Supportive Housing resource page.
Other HUD priorities include strategic resource allocation and program evaluation, ending family homelessness through Rapid Re-Housing, and building partnerships between CoCs and Public Housing Authorities (information on unique PHA programs and initiatives can be found at www.csh.org/phatoolkit.)
The scoring criteria in the NOFA are closely linked to these priorities, which were developed in consultation with the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) and are intended to help CoCs think and act more strategically in meeting the goals of Opening Doors.]]>
The Conference Committee is working towards a deadline of December 13 to present a budget compromise package. Now is the time to reach out to the members of the Committee (see list below) and your Congressmen and Senators to share the stories below and what's happening in your community as a result of sequestration.
Below are a few real life examples of the direct impact sequestration has had on Public Housing Authorities, housing development and homeless individuals and families.
If you have any stories that you would like to share, please reach out to Steve Clayton, CSH's Field Mobilizer.
Testa Companies which is an affordable housing developer was planning on building a 48 unit project in the economically depressed area of Lima, Ohio. Of those 48 units, 24 were planned to be project-based housing vouchers, and the other 24 would be shelter plus care. Because of sequestration, the Allen Metropolitan Housing Authority could not count on receiving 48 vouchers so they had to scale back the development to what they knew they could count on, which was half of the original plan. Testa is now downgrading the project to include only 24 units with alternate sources of financing. The individuals and families who would have used the project-based housing vouchers are now homeless and because of sequestration they will have one less resource available to them.
Virginia Supportive Housing operates a 47 unit permanent supportive housing site in Richmond Virginia that uses tenant based housing choice vouchers administered through the Virginia Housing Development Authority. Due to sequestration, VHDA was not able to replace those vouchers as units turned over, resulting in 8 vacant apartments in the building. The current waiting list is comprised of approximately 100 eligible homeless individuals.
$150,000 was cut from the Emergency Shelter Grants via sequestration, which translated into 50 fewer families from being able to be serviced through rapid re-housing. Additionally, homeless programs funded by CDBG have been cut 40%, and the City is bracing for a $300,000 cut in McKinney Vento homeless programs.
Budget Conference Committee Members:
Co-Chair Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.)
Sens. Ron Wyden (Ore.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Bernie Sander (I-Vt.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Mark Warner (Va.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Chris Coons (Del.), Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Tim Kaine (Va.) and Angus King (I-Maine) Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) and Roger Wicker (Miss.)
Co-Chair Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)
Reps. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), Tom Price (R-Ga.), Diane Black (R-Tenn.),Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), James Clyburn (D-S.C.), and Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.)
You can find their contact info at www.house.gov or www.senate.gov]]>
In addition to the grantees and CoC lead agency members, in attendance were U.S. Senator Tom Carper (DE) who delivered opening remarks, as well as U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) officials, including Deputy Director of the Office Special Needs Assistance Programs Lora Routt, and HUD Region III Administrator Jane Vincent, and HUD’s Office of Community and Planning Development Philadelphia Director, Nadab Bynum.
For information about our work on transitional housing conversion or HEARTH Act implementation, please contact us.
Pictured Left to Right: Nadab Bynum, Nicole Bahena, Colleen Velez, Jane Vincent]]>
I began working in supportive housing with the Washtenaw FUSE program in April of 2013 after spending four years working in a detox facility doing counseling. I’ve worked in a variety of non-profit settings for the past 15 years. During my tenure, I’ve gained invaluable experience in working with diverse populations and community resources. I received my certification as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor in 2005 and use these skills with the FUSE population.
Supportive housing is different from my previous experience because I’m not sitting in an office waiting for people to come to me. I’m literally and figuratively meeting people where they’re at. I don’t just hand people resources, I’m actually making the resource connections happen. I get to begin working with individuals before they’ve landed in a detox facility. They may not be sitting in my office asking for help, but I have the opportunity to use my skills to help promote positive change in their lives.
A large part of the work with FUSE is helping clients navigate their complex medical needs. I teach clients how to come to medical appointments prepared with questions by having them write down issues as they come up and being a voice for them when they aren’t quick to assert their needs. Being there with them is so critical.
The success story that comes to mind is with a client who is well known among service providers and the criminal justice system in our community due to his long standing history of chronic homelessness and complex medical needs. His frequent hospitalizations and lack of attendance to necessary specialty care appointments/dialysis have only worsened his condition. Since working with him, he has been stably housed, engages with me, reaches out to me when he needs help managing his guest issues, is attending specialty care appointments, allows me to play a role in his care coordination, and attends his dialysis more regularly. Most of all, he chooses to be honest with me. He chooses to work with me, opens up to me, and allows me to support him. As a result, I believe the therapeutic rapport we’ve established and the work of FUSE has led to his housing success and overall improvement in his quality of life. Most importantly, he’s not fighting multiple complex medical challenges on the streets. He has the dignity that supportive housing lends by having a place to call home.
Lyla Ryckman Green is a Chemical Dependency Professional, Intensive Case Manager with the Washtenaw County FUSE program. Washtenaw County FUSE program is grantee of CSH's Social Innovation Fund.]]>
An integral part of our work that often goes without public recognition are the internal systems that allow us to achieve our mission of providing supportive housing opportunities for those most in need. As an organization, investments in our staff and internal support are critical for us to carry out our work. We are grateful for opportunities like the Nonprofit Excellence Awards to spotlight the fantastic work our staff does day in and day out.
Congratulations to our fellow honorees The Children's Village and BronxWorks!
Jeff Brodsky, board member of CSH, Deborah De Santis, President & CEO , and moderator Brian Lehrer, host of The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC, during the panel discussion at the awards event. Photo by Kate Lord.
Now in its seventh year, the Nonprofit Excellence Awards program teaches, recognizes and encourages outstanding management practices among New York's large and diverse nonprofit community.
Read more about the awards and our fellow honorees.
Nonprofit Excellence Awards Press Release]]>
Last year, SDHC committed vouchers to Home Again's “Project 25” program, and their commitment was matched with additional resources from the County of San Diego Health and Human Service Agency along with the United Way of San Diego. This enabled the launch of Project 25 as San Diego's first frequent user initiative which provides services and housing to at least 25 of San Diego’s chronically homeless individuals who are among the most frequent users of public resources. One year into the program, results from the combination of long-term housing and supportive services are dramatic: total cost of public resources for project participants fell to $3.4 million in 2011 from more than $11 million in 2010; per person average was $97,437 in 2011, down from $317,904 in 2010; emergency room visits were down 77%; ambulance transports were down 72%, in-patient medical stays were down 73%, arrests were down 69% and jail days were down 43%.]]>
Crawford Apartments is a 25 unit supportive housing apartment building that opened in September of 2013. Named after Mr. Frank “Road Dog” Crawford, a gentleman who passed away while experiencing homelessness in Bloomington, the development targets people who have faced chronic homelessness and multiple barriers. Among other things, LifeDesigns, the Shalom Center, Hayes-Gibson International Property Management, and their partners see this as a strong step toward never allowing another person to die on these streets.
Durrell was proud to show me a number of building highlights, but none more than the blanket on his bed. He disclosed that he used to curl up under it while sleeping on the sidewalk near the old court house. It remains important to him as a symbol of how far he has come.
While serving a brief prison sentence for violating his probation, Durrell learned about and followed the progress of Crawford Apartments through the newspaper. While he had cycled through jail for drinking in public, Durrell had never been to prison before. The idea of potentially living in such a beautiful apartment building with support services helped him to feel hopeful while there. After his release, an outreach worker asked if she could help him move into Crawford Apartments as he qualified for this housing opportunity. He was delighted to say yes.
On the table in his family room he displayed a poster of the Indiana University Basketball team with several autographs. A few of the players came by to play basketball with the residents recently and Durrell was eager to tell the story of scrimmaging with these athletes.
While discussing his neighbors, Durrell commented that he was unsure as to why some of them still slept outside behind the dumpster. He went on to say that he was very happy to be able to sleep inside in his own home.
Later during my visit, I met one of the gentleman Durrell had described. He explained that he kept his things nice and dry inside, and came in if it was cold or if he felt like it, but that he has spent many nights sleeping under the stars since moving in two months ago. He went on to say that he loved having a home and knowing he could come inside at anytime, though he has been sleeping outside for years and it may take a little while to fully adjust to sleeping inside. The staff members offering support at Crawford Apartments champion his right to transition into living in his home at his own pace. After all, their harm reduction approach ensures that tenants are able to move in the direction of change as they feel comfortable doing so.
When asked if he would be willing to take a photo, Durrell said that he would be glad to do so and that it should include his brand new crock-pot, as he loves to cook. So he graciously posed in his kitchen as I imagined what it must be like to live in a place that is just as amazing as the best piece of lasagna ever made. It sounds like an ideal place to call home.