• Tel.:914-683-1010

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Community Housing Innovations

Kick Off Regional Initiative to Help Homeless Families

CHI’s Fresh Start Program Allows the Public to Make Direct Donations to
Homeless Families in Five Counties this Holiday Season

 In an effort to address the growing problem of homelessness among New York families, Community Housing Innovations (CHI) and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone have joined together to launch the CHI Fresh Start program. This initiative will allow the public to directly purchase Bed Bath & Beyond® gift cards for homeless families in five counties outside of New York City.

As part of the kick-off for this program, Mr. Bellone presented the Harris family with the first-ever CHI Fresh Start-funded $100 Bed Bath & Beyond gift card, which he has purchased as a gift. CHI has also secured housing for this family of five — all Long Island natives — which includes three children, age five, 16 and 17, who have all been without a home for 14 months due to job loss and rent increases.

“As we are all thinking about and preparing for the holidays, there are many families who are in search of a permanent home,” said Mr. Bellone. “Today, we had the opportunity to introduce a family to their new home and provide them with much-needed assistance in purchasing the items necessary to make this house a home. I applaud Community Housing Innovations and Bed Bath and Beyond for collaborating on the launch the Fresh Start Program.”

Community Housing Innovations, the largest provider of housing for the homeless in suburban New York, has connected with Bed Bath & Beyond to encourage individuals, families and businesses alike to purchase gift cards through the Bed Bath & Beyond special toll-free number; 844-52-I-CARE. One hundred percent of this anonymous, tax-deductible donation will be given to a family or individual currently living in a local shelter in Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Dutchess and Orange Counties to purchase household items from the retailer. Donors will receive an acknowledgment of their contribution for tax purposes.

“No family should have to spend the holidays in a homeless shelter, yet thousands of low-income New York individuals and families find themselves in that situation,” says Alexander Roberts, Executive Director of CHI. “Our goal is to provide a $100 gift card to each family when they find permanent housing, but the public may donate whatever amount they like, starting at as little as $5.”

CHI provides housing for one thousand homeless people, including more than 200 families in Suffolk County—primarily single mothers and children—each night in shelters and emergency apartments.  While social workers and housing specialists do their best, families face the bleak prospect of spending the joyous holiday season alone with strangers. Finding an affordable, permanent home takes an average of four months. Since most people are in emergency housing due to eviction or foreclosure, they often have very little to their names. While counties provide the bare essentials—beds, a dining table, a couch—the gift cards will allow the families to buy linens, blankets, pillows and housewares that turn a house or apartment into a home.

Community Housing Innovations, Inc. provides the housing and human services necessary to enable low- and moderate-income families and individuals to achieve the greatest social and economic independence at the lowest cost to society. For more information on CHI, visit www.chigrants.org.

CHI Homeless Programs in Long Island Newsday

10 Comments, RSS

  • Tanisha Simms

    says on:
    January 14, 2016 at 2:52 am

    What can be done for a family that’s been homeless, when through the Shelter with Children Under The Age of 5 Years old ?

    • Marc Cohen

      says on:
      January 14, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      CHI offers emergency housing assistance to qualified applicants in need. Please contact one of our emergency housing case managers for information on our temporary and supportive housing programs:

      (914) 683-1010 ext. 286 in the Hudson Valley

      (631) 475.6390 Ext. 232 on Long Island

  • Jodie henriquez

    says on:
    February 8, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    I’m looking for emergency housing. If someone can call me regarding this matter I would really appreciate it. Thanks Jodie Henriquez 347-334-9208

    • Marc Cohen

      says on:
      February 9, 2016 at 3:41 pm

      Hello Ms Henriquez,

      Thanks for reaching out to Community Housing Innovations, someone from our staff will contact you ASAP.

      Best Regards,

  • Susan

    says on:
    April 23, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Where I live with my one year old isn’t fit for human habitation, ceiling is nearly gone, a ton of water pouring in, whole room smells of mold. It’s infested with rodents, bed bugs, ants, water bugs, the bathrooms don’t really work, and the shower has holes and black mold. The kitchen is filthy, leaks, black mold, everything is dirty and rodent dung everywhere. There are no locks that work on the outside doors, the roof is falling apart. I go months without heat, hot water and sometimes electricity. There are constant people in and out, fighting and unstable behavior. I have begged DSS and Legal Aid for help, since I live with family members I cannot take legal action that would put me and my son at risk for retaliation. I just want out, if you could help me I would really appreciate it. I need a clean safe place to live.


    • Marc Cohen

      says on:
      May 26, 2016 at 4:13 pm

      We appreciate your concern. Please speak to one of our case management staff who can work with you to find emergency temporary housing: (914) 595 0995.

  • Linda parker

    says on:
    May 2, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Need to reach out to someone concerning housing for a homeless family member with a three year old

    • Marc Cohen

      says on:
      May 26, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      Hello. You can speak to one of our case managers at 914 595 0972. Thank you.

  • Nikki

    says on:
    May 19, 2016 at 2:43 am

    Hi my name is Nikki and I am a single mom of 4 boys living in a shelter due to financial hardship I lost our home and am currently looking to get that back for my boys to smile again can someone help me or put me in the right direction thank you.

    • Marc Cohen

      says on:
      May 26, 2016 at 4:09 pm

      Hello. Please contact our Emergency Housing services division at 914 595 0995.

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