Bold Initiative Launched to End Homelessness in America
New York, NY (PRWEB) January 26, 2012
In 2011, an estimated 636,017 people in America lacked permanent homes.* But, says Robert V. Hess, Chairman and CEO of Housing Solutions USA, a new non-profit organization in Manhattan, given the right formula, that number can, someday, be dramatically reduced, if not eliminated.
Stated simply on its website (http://housingsolutionsusa.org/home) the mission of Housing Solutions USA is to “end homelessness by providing quality housing and innovative supportive services to men, women and children in need, allowing them to regain their dignity and transition to self-sufficiency and independent living.”
With a client-centered approach that establishes a culture of respect and responsibility, Housing Solutions USA offers a model and a resource for communities across the country seeking to end homelessness. “We seek to empower our clients to spearhead the development of their plans to achieve their goals,” said Mr. Hess. “In our experience, the standard approach of presenting rules and developing plans with minimal client input does not create positive results and does not instill a sense of ownership.”
Headquartered at 316 W. 95th Street in Manhattan, Housing Solutions USA has already submitted numerous separate proposals to municipal authorities in New York City to approve its operation of family emergency shelters. Funding for programming, to include intensive case management and linkages to childcare; vocational support and job training; housing placement assistance; educational and recreational services; substance abuse and mental health counseling; and more, will come from a combination of local, state and federal departments and agencies.
It is anticipated that Housing Solutions USA will eventually construct and operate permanent supportive housing in the five boroughs and elsewhere. The organization is also currently exploring the expansion of veteran and homeless services with officials in Tampa and Orlando, FL, and this month, Mr. Hess was invited by Oakland, CA to review strategic plans for reducing homelessness there. Cities in Florida and California have among the highest rates of homelessness in the nation, and homelessness is more prevalent in the top 100 metropolitan areas than in other parts of the country. It is estimated that last year there were more than 66,000 homeless in the New York metro-area, the most heavily populated in America.**
“Through our innovative, creative programs and our partnerships with the community and businesses within the community, we know that we can provide opportunities to men, women and children we serve that will help them to move to independence and self-sufficiency,” asserted Mr. Hess.
Stated Cara Pace, President and co-director with Mr. Hess of Housing Solutions USA: “Our programs are designed to treat the underlying causes of homelessness.”
One such cause, all agree, is joblessness, and Housing Solutions USA will announce a plan to address that particular challenge in New York in mid-March.
Former Commissioner of the Department of Homeless Services in the Bloomberg administration, Mr. Hess is credited with reducing the number of unsheltered individuals on the streets of New York City by nearly 50 percent and relocating more than 100,000 people from shelters to permanent housing. Prior to joining Housing Solutions USA, for the past decade, Ms. Pace was Division Director of the Housing Division of Volunteers of America-Greater New York, responsible for an annual budget of more than $41 million and 30 programs.
Editors/Reporters: For additional information, please contact: Jennifer Lim at 201-952-5421 or jennifer.lim(at)housingsolutionsusa(dot)org.
*National Alliance to End Homelessness, (State of Homelessness in America 2012, Peter Witte, et. al., Jan. 2012)
** Statistics compiled from latest available data from U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Justice, Labor, and Commerce; and from the private real estate research group, RealtyTrac.