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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

New Safe Havens in Brooklyn

Building on the success of The Andrews, Breaking Ground’s Safe Haven transitional housing residence on the Bowery, we recently opened two new Safe Havens to serve the longest term, most vulnerable street homeless individuals in Brooklyn.

Our approach is to tailor the services we provide to the needs of chronically homeless individuals, matching each person with housing resources that best suit their circumstances. For some, that means direct placement into permanent housing. For others, transitional housing is a vital resource that helps to protect individuals from the elements as they progress on the path toward permanent housing.

In Midwood, Brooklyn, new transitional beds are now serving vulnerable street homeless individuals, primarily women. Eventually, this site will serve 51 individuals on the path to permanent housing.

New transitional beds are also now serving vulnerable individuals in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. Currently home to 39 individuals, this site will eventually expand to serve 110 street homeless individuals.

These new transitional housing resources have already helped more chronically homeless New Yorkers come off the streets in the cold of winter, and will continue to help many more make progress toward stable, permanent housing in the months to come.

What are Safe Havens?

Safe Havens are a particular type of transitional housing designed to accommodate homeless individuals who do not make use of traditional shelter. Applying for permanent housing can take time, and Safe Havens are an immediate, clean, secure option while we work with each individual to find permanent housing solutions.

Safe Havens are “low-threshold” resources: they have fewer requirements, making them attractive to those who are reluctant to utilize emergency shelter. There are no curfews and more privacy. A client can miss a night at the Safe Haven without losing his or her bed, as they would at a traditional shelter.

But the fewer restrictions do not signal a hands-off approach. Safe Havens offer intensive case management, along with mental health and substance abuse assistance, with the ultimate goal of moving each client into permanent housing. Safe Havens are, thus, a crucial harm reduction/housing first resource to enable the most entrenched chronically homeless who have extreme reluctance to leave behind their unsheltered lives to accept help.

Each year, Safe Havens enable hundreds of homeless New Yorkers to secure a stable, permanent home.

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