Posts Tagged ‘housing’

Making A New House A Home For Our Housing Program Clients

Monday, July 10th, 2017

Contents of a standard housing starter kitThis spring, HVCS tried something new with our Housing Program: we purchased thirty large “housing kits” for clients going into new apartments. The kits contain new, common household items–like bedding, kitchenware and utensils–that are likely beyond the financial means of clients who were previously homeless. These are also items that are not available at food pantries. “When we get clients into new housing, they often arrive with the clothes on their backs or a small box of possessions,” said Ginny Schneider, HVCS’ Director of Client Services. “These kits give them a head start on making their new place a home.”

The Housing Program will distribute fifteen kits in our Lower Hudson region, and fifteen in the Mid-Hudson. If this pilot venture works well, we will allocate more of the program’s budget to purchasing additional kits. This venture is similar to our new HomeStarter program now operating in Rockland.

NYS Sen. David Carlucci Visits Our Rockland Office to Announce “HomeStart” Funding

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Thanks to New York State Senator David Carlucci, Hudson Valley Community Services (HVCS) is creating a new program for people who are transitioning from homelessness or living in a shelter to permanent housing. The program, to be called HomeStart, will supply newly housed individuals with basic “starter kits” to set up their new homes. Carlucci secured $50,000 of State funding to assist disadvantaged Rockland County residents.

We created this program to alleviate a huge problem faced by those who move into permanent housing. After life on the streets or in shelters, they often lack the basic equipment to independently sustain themselves and their families, and supplies like sheets, towels, kitchenware and cleaning supplies are not available through food banks or traditional housing programs.

The program targets under-served communities and specifically people who commonly use the emergency room and hospital for care. Our expanded care management services for people living with chronic illnesses put us in touch with an ever-growing number of clients who are homeless or in unstable housing situations. We can also customize the kits based on the number of family members and lifestyles. The HomeStart kits will make the recipients more secure and self-sufficient in new housing, and keeps them engaged in the programs and services that sustain their health.

When the Senator announced his support for the program, he said: “Newly housed individuals and families often come from a homeless situation or from living with friends or family and have no basic household items. HVCS’ HomeStart initiative will alleviate those costs by providing materials and allowing these individuals or families to direct their resources to obtaining the best healthcare they can.” We are delighted to collaborate with Senator Carlucci to ease the burden on low-income people who are restarting their lives in new housing, and we offer our sincere thanks.

HVCS Lands Expanded Housing Grant

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

Affordable housingHVCS recently received word that we were successful in our application to renew and expand our housing program for HIV-positive clients. The New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute is funding a five-year grant to provide emergency rental and utility assistance, and short-term rental assistance, starting on July 1, 2016. While we have had this program for several years, the renewal provides more funds so we can help even more people than before. For the very first time, we will also be able to provide long-term rental assistance for high-need HIV/AIDS clients on Medicaid. Both arms of the program will be available throughout our seven-county region. “Adding long-term assistance to the program is a huge boon,” said HVCS’ Client Services Director, Ginny Schneider. “We know from running the program for years now that many of our clients need more than short-term assistance.” The goal is to keep HIV-positive clients in stable housing for as long as possible so they can focus on their health and work towards a more permanent solution to their housing issues.

Emergency Funds for Health Homes Clients Now Available

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Since the majority of our clients live at or below the poverty level, our care managers frequently come across clients who are homeless, in temporary housing, or in danger of being evicted. They also struggle to afford basic utilities and services. It’s hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you’re worried about keeping a roof over your head or keeping the electricity flowing–and things get even tougher without housing.

Thankfully, HVCS’ three-year-old Housing program provides emergency and short-term rent and utility assistance for eligible HIV-positive clients. However, because of funding restrictions, this program wasn’t available for our non-HIV clients–until now. HVCS has allocated funds towards housing and utility emergencies for our Health Home clients living with chronic diseases other than HIV–so now all our clients in need can access emergency housing assistance to keep them safe, warm, and as healthy as possible.