CUCS is the Lead Support agency in The Manhattan Outreach Consortium (MOC) which was created in 2007 as a response to the high numbers of homeless people living on the streets of Manhattan.
Joining forces with our partners Common Ground and Goddard Riverside to provide more comprehensive housing services to those living on the streets or in public places, a performance based model was implemented. This shifted the focus of outreach services from merely making contact with homeless people to housing them and also saw changes in grant making policies that made a percentage of funding contingent on the placement of clients into housing and ensuring that they maintain housing stability.
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 and to those that are vulnerable, due to medical or mental health concerns. CUCS and the other agencies that comprise the MOC use the “Housing First” model, which waives the requirements for clients to be sober or to take psychiatric medication before entering housing.
Our program finds housing for clients who were considered “not houseable” by the standards of traditional outreach program models. This is accomplished by utilizing Safe Havens and Stabilization Beds as a way to attract individuals who might otherwise be weary of outreach worker’s efforts, to provide housing services. These transitional programs are based on "low threshold" models. The outreach team will work with an individual until they are housed and for three months following.
The CUCS Street to Home Outreach Program covers the area in Manhattan north of 110th street. The team canvases the area in the early morning hours looking for individuals sleeping outside. While engaging with those who are found, the team assess if they are chronically homeless and therefore eligible for services. Team members each have a caseload of clients with whom they are working to place into permanent housing. The CUCS Street to Home Outreach team literally meets the clients where they are by visiting them where they bed down on the street, to begin the process of offering housing services.