Last Fall, the City Council contracted with HOPE Community Services to launch a homelessness prevention initiative. Our goals were two-fold: (1) connect homeless residents to permanent housing opportunities and other essential support services, so that they are better able to lead stable, rewarding, and productive lives; and (2) improve our local business climate by reducing the level of visible homelessness in commercial areas and public spaces.
The program is only a few months old, but we’re already seeing significant progress. Of the 56 long-term homeless residents linked to the program through their stay at a local shelter, 23 — including 4 veterans — have been assisted in securing permanent housing throughout the region. And those are only the statistics through the end of November; additional progress will be detailed in the next quarterly report.
This really encouraging start is a credit to HOPE’s dedication and professionalism, a reason to be thankful for generous donors at Montefiore, Halstead, and Hartz Mountain, and a benefit to everyone in our community.