Although homelessness can be a consequence of the lack of affordable housing, many other factors have an impact. For this reason, permanent housing with supportive services has become one of the most successful tools in combating homelessness. Many people in CHI’s emergency and transitional housing simply do not earn enough to get out of the homeless system. Additionally, others have special needs – such as physical or mental illnesses, histories of substance abuse or living with domestic violence – or lack the educational, vocational or daily living skills necessary for financial and personal independence.
The goal is to link safe and affordable housing with voluntary support services designed to help the individual or family stay housed and live a more productive life in the community. There is no time limitation so people living in supportive housing do not have the added stress of housing searches or the fear of loss of home hanging over their heads. Instead, CHI clients in supportive housing have a private and secure place to make their home, while accessing voluntary services designed to better their lives, including assistance with integrating into the community, and connections to community-based health care, treatment and employment services.
Under HUD’s Supportive Housing Program (SHP), CHI provides affordable permanent rental housing with supportive services for formerly homeless individuals and families with disabilities in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Currently, SHP grants support the housing and human services for 30 families and 55 individuals at various locations on Long Island.
Under New York State’s Homeless Housing & Assistance Program (HHAP), CHI provides additional supportive housing services in Westchester and Suffolk Counties. HHAP funds the acquisition and rehabilitation of properties to serve homeless families and single individuals. In total, CHI has developed 30 affordable permanent homes to benefit homeless families; seven in Westchester and 23 in Suffolk. Five additional homes were developed on Long Island to provide transitional housing for a special population of homeless families, and there is a HAP-supported facility in Suffolk County serving 32 homeless single adult men.