June 25, 2006
Media Contact: Michelle Wade
United Way of Greater New Haven has awarded a total of $100,000 to two new projects that will help increase access to affordable, supportive housing for families and individuals with special needs and disabilities. Both projects are collaborative efforts and involve a total of four local nonprofit organizations. United Way’s focus on supportive housing is a key component in their effort to create economically vibrant communities in the region. These investments support strategies from Mayor DeStefano’s 10-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness. Supportive housing is defined in the 10-Year Plan as “affordable permanent housing that offers residents a range of services to enable individuals with a variety of challenges, such as mental illness, drug addiction, or low literacy levels, to remain stably housed.” That includes additional services, such as counseling or case management, to help ensure that people can live successfully on their own. United Way is the first local funder to strategically align its funding with the plan.
The nonprofit organizations who received grants are ALSO-Cornerstone, Inc. and Community Mediation; and Fellowship Place, Inc. and Columbus House.
The ALSO-Cornerstone/Community Mediation Project will hire a Supportive Housing Development Specialist to: help clients secure affordable housing; develop resources for case managers so they know more about housing resources for their clients; and form relationships with landlords to promote affordable supportive housing. As part of the project, Community Mediation will provide training in mediation and conflict resolution to staff so that they can help diffuse disagreements among tenants and landlords.
Fellowship Place and Columbus House will create the Supportive Home Ownership Program (SHOP), which will provide case management and educational programming to prepare mentally ill individuals for home ownership. The costs of their mortgage or long-term lease will be supported by Section 8 certificates. When individuals move from the Fellowship units to their own permanent housing, the door will open for more homeless, mentally ill individuals to secure housing at Fellowship.
Funding decisions were made by a committee of volunteers from area organizations such as Coordinating Council for Children in Crisis, New Haven Family Alliance, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Empower New Haven, and Liberty Community Services.
About United Way:
United Way mobilizes the caring power of our community to create measurable, sustainable change and to improve lives. To do this we: help identify our region's greatest needs and best opportunities for change; raise dollars and invest those dollars for results; connect people to their caring through volunteer opportunities.
More information about United Way of Greater New Haven's community leadership and how you can help can be found at www.uwgnh.org.