In response to the City’s call to move homeless individuals living on the streets into housing, seven Manhattan-based homeless services organizations joined forces to create the Manhattan Consortium. CUCS serves as the lead support agency for this consortium and is responsible for reducing street homelessness in Northern Manhattan.
To achieve this ambitious goal, CUCS’ Street to Home has adopted the following core strategies:
Focus on Housing First: CUCS focuses on getting people off the streets and into permanent housing as quickly as possible. Priority is given to people who have been living on the street for the longest period of time. CUCS and the other agencies that comprise the Manhattan Consortium use the “Housing First” model which does not require clients to be sober or to take psychiatric medication before entering housing. CUCS’ program finds housing for clients who were considered “not housable” under more traditional outreach programs.
Information Driven: All contacts with people living on the street or in public spaces are logged in a centralized, computerized registry to create an ongoing real time information resource that includes the number of homeless people living outside, their characteristics, the services being provided to them, and their plans for obtaining housing. Global positioning systems technology and geospatial mapping software are used to integrate people’s locations into all documentation. This information is being used to inform service strategies with individual clients, catchment areas, as well as the entire borough.
Outcome Driven: The number of people placed into housing and the reduction of the number of people living on the streets are the principal measures of performance for this program and all activities are aligned to accomplish these two goals.
CUCS’ Street to Home team is comprised of a program director, social workers, and rehabilitation specialists who provide housing placement services to chronically homeless people living on the streets, in parks and other public spaces in Northern Manhattan from 110th Street and above from river to river. CUCS’ Harlem Housing Placement Center and the Kelly Transitional Living Community staff work with the program to provide housing placement services and transitional housing to street homeless individuals.
The Manhattan Consortium is comprised of:
- Goddard Riverside Community Center (lead agency)
- Center for Urban Community Services (lead support agency)
- Common Ground Community
- Urban Pathways