NEW YORK, July 24, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CUCS, a pioneer in restoring housing and health for vulnerable New Yorkers, is leading a bold and strategic campaign to reduce street homelessness across Manhattan using its signature triad of housing, psychiatric and medical services.
"While street homelessness has increased in New York City, CUCS is committed to reversing that trend," said Tony Hannigan, CEO and Founder of CUCS, an innovative nonprofit that has been successfully moving homeless New Yorkers into housing for decades.
"By treating the housing, mental and medical care issues at the heart of chronic homelessness, we intend to change the visible and troubling conditions of men and women living on the streets of Manhattan," he said.
Towards that goal, CUCS is taking the lead in a three-year, $33-million contract with the New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to oversee all outreach and housing placement services for men and women living on the streets in Manhattan. A recently released annual survey by DHS showed a snapshot of street homelessness on a night in February when there were 1,220 individuals sleeping on the streets of the borough, up from 813 the year before.
"As we work to turn the tide on homelessness, helping homeless New Yorkers transition off the streets is a top priority that we share with our dedicated not-for-profit partners who coordinate our persistent and compassionate outreach efforts across the five boroughs," said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. "Under this Administration, our experienced provider CUCS has done great work in Manhattan, where they've been a key partner in helping us bring 748 homeless neighbors indoors citywide during the first year of HOME-STAT. I am confident that under their determined leadership, we will build on last year's progress engaging homeless New Yorkers throughout Manhattan, fostering the relationships and trust that will encourage them to accept services, come indoors, and ultimately work with us to move into permanent housing."
To provide pathways to exit street homelessness, CUCS uses transitional and permanent housing options across New York City, and it provides services to 2,400 units of supportive housing. Over the next year, CUCS will also be opening a new safe haven and drop-in center.
"Much of the battle is getting housing, and the balance is treating the conditions that lead to street homelessness in the first place," Hannigan said.
CUCS is the lead agency in a consortium of Manhattan-based nonprofits that includes Goddard Riverside Community Center and Breaking Ground, and they are working together to help street homeless individuals with:
- Outreach and Housing Placement: Dedicated teams of workers spread out across Manhattan, 24/7, with the goal of moving homeless individuals off the street and into housing. Providing support as basic as getting a birth certificate or ID, the teams transition individuals to short-term housing and ultimately permanent housing. They also perform a vital role in handling emergencies and connecting street homeless individuals with CUCS psychiatric and medical care.
- Psychiatric Services: CUCS' signature psychiatric services augment the Street Outreach efforts. A trusted team of psychiatrists provides an ongoing treatment program for the mental health issues that lead to and cement the isolation of homelessness. It also conducts the psychiatric evaluations essential for homeless individuals to enter the shelter system or to get housing subsidies for supportive and other housing.
- Medical Care: CUCS' Street Medicine program, launched one year ago, revolutionized the health prospects for hundreds of street homeless individuals – whose life expectancies are 25 years shorter than housed persons. By bringing expert medical care to where street homeless people live and congregate, CUCS' teams of nurses and social workers establish trust with regular interactions, promote better health behaviors and ultimately ease them into housing.
CUCS is widely recognized as one of the founders of the supportive housing model, benefiting homeless individuals since the 1980s and more recently homeless families. Today with a mission to enable individuals to rise above poverty, exit homelessness and be healthy, CUCS serves 50,000 people in New York and nationally through its housing, health, training and social services programs. www.cucs.org
Contact: Mary Taylor, Director of Development and Communications, CUCS
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SOURCE Center for Urban Community Services