NJ Needs More Supportive Housing to End Homelessness

Homelessness and Supportive Housing in NYC
New Jersey Needs Same Solution

A January 4, 2016, Atlantic article, “Homelessness and Supportive Housing in New York City” makes the case that “Supportive housing can help get people who have cycled through jail and emergency rooms off the streets permanently.”

In study after study, supportive housing has proven to be the solution to homelessness. While the homeless crisis in New York City has received much media attention lately, New Jersey also faces a homeless crisis and creating new supportive housing can save lives and money in the Garden State.

“Asking somebody to still live on the streets and get clean and then come to us for housing is just a recipe for failure.”

“Permanent supportive housing works for all sorts of people who have experienced homelessness, not just those with mental-health challenges or criminal records. It gives homes to people who have experienced the trauma of living on the streets, without asking much of them in return. The formerly homeless move into apartments and then have access to case workers and nurses and a community.”

Advocates know that creating new supportive housing can end chronic homelessness and move people off of the streets permanently. CSH piloted a supportive housing program in New York City for Frequent Users. Barry McCrea, who was once a frequent visitor to the city’s jails and shelter, now lives in one of the Frequent Users System Engagement (FUSE) pilot’s apartments.

“FUSE saved money, and it also led to stability for people who had cycled in and out of shelters for decades. After a year, 91 percent of FUSE participants were still housed in permanent housing, compared to 28 percent of those in a comparison group; after two years, 86 percent of FUSE participants were housed, compared to 42 percent of others.”

“It’s impressive to think that someone who slept on the streets for years, abused drugs and alcohol, and battled mental illness could make that transition from homelessness to independence.”

Mercer County recently effectively ended veteran homelessness with permanent affordable and supportive housing being the key to its success.

What if there was enough supportive and permanent affordable housing available for all homeless individuals and families in New Jersey?

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