Breaking Ground partnered with New York State and New York City to open the East Flatbush Safe Haven in underutilized buildings on the campus of the former Kingsboro Psychiatric Center. The first 39 beds opened in January of 2017, with an additional 71 units opening in the fall of 2017.
Today, East Flatbush is home to 110 street homeless men and women. All of our efforts - including comprehensive case management, primary medical and psychiatric care, harm reduction and substance use programming, and more - are focused on helping each individual to secure a stable, affordable, permanent home.
Safe Havens are “low-threshold” resources: they have fewer requirements, making them attractive to those who are reluctant to accept 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 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.