MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – The Guidance Center of Westchester is getting some help from several outlets as it continues its commitment to helping the homeless of southern Westchester County.
The multi-service agency was the recipient of four grants that will add 93 individual apartments to The Guidance Center of Westchester Housing Services Department. They also will help pay for outreach programs for medical and substance abusers.
With the grants, TGCW now houses a total of 244 people in cities throughout the Sound Shore.
“The most important aspect of ending homelessness is getting the participant to be self-sufficient enough so that he or she will not return to a shelter, live in undesirable locations or on the streets,” said Camille Webb, TGCW Director of Housing Programs. “Helping participants to find, get and keep an apartment is vital for them to be able to address their mental health and substance use issues.”
The Department of Social Services is providing $1.3 million annually to help TGCW rent 65 one-bedroom and studio apartments – 14 in Mount Vernon - for clients. They also will add a vocational case manager to oversee the project, a peer recovery coach and two housing case managers.
TGCW also is poised to kick off the $400,000 Solutions to End Homelessness Program.
According to TGCW Public Relations Director Jean Maisano: “The goal of STEHP is to assist homeless individuals and families in the county in obtaining permanent housing by providing supportive services during their experiences of homelessness, the eviction process and housing stabilization. STEHP includes housing loss prevention, rapid re-housing and outreach services for individuals who are homeless, or are on the verge of homelessness, who also have substance use and/or mental health diagnosis.
Additionally, TGCW -- through a $143,000 grant funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development -- will provide housing to homeless individuals that are suffering from mental illness or substance abuse.
The Yonkers Municipal Housing Authority has pledged $72,000 to TGCW for the outreach program, which will provide treatment, rehabilitation and medical care to help those that struggle with chronic substance abuse. Under the grant, TGCW will continue to serve as a liaison for homeless outreach in the area.
“We help people reconnect with their families obtain employment and access community resources,” Webb added. “Having stable housing is the foundation for bringing all these together. Two of these new grants allows us to have outreach workers, something no other agency can provide at this time. It allows us to reach out to the homeless wherever we can find them.”
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