Innovative homeless shelter and affordable housing complex breaks ground
[ACNS] Construction work is underway on an innovative new homeless project in New York which combines a 200-bed shelter providing crisis space for the homeless with 135 units of low-income housing, helping street-homeless people make the move from shelter to long-term home.
The Landing Road Residence, in New York’s Bronx district, is being supported by Trinity Church, Wall Street and built by the Bowery Residents’ Committee (BRC).
Many charitable projects set up to tackle homelessness deal either with crisis accommodation, which provides emergency spaces for people who find themselves street homeless; or with the provision of low-rental homes, which helps homeless people on the road to more sustainable long term independent living.
The Landing Road Residence will do both and project leaders hope it will act as a stepping stone to help people move from crisis accommodation to permanent residence.
“Trinity continues to strengthen our commitment to supporting low-income housing solutions across the New York area,” Rector the Revd Dr William Lupfer said. “We’re hopeful that this innovative program will have a long-term impact by serving as a model for productively addressing the problems of homelessness and lack of affordable housing in the city.”
It is the first complex to be built under New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s HomeStretch program to finance construction of permanent housing and homeless shelters in the same location.
The Landing Road shelter, which will be run by long-term Trinity partner BRC, will provide case management, meals, psychiatric evaluation, housing placement, and employment counselling with funding from the City’s Department of Homeless Services.
BRC’s executive director Muzzy Rosenblatt welcomed the partnership approach to the Landing Road Residence, saying that it was a project “which none of us alone could accomplish.”
It was, he said, “a place for homeless men and women to find employment and pay rents they can afford. Together, we are creating an innovative solution to the crisis of homelessness and the need for truly affordable housing, giving a hand up, not a handout, to homeless New Yorkers.”
A spokesperson for Trinity Wall Street said: “The permanent housing portion of this development will be well within the financial reach of those exiting the shelter system, with affordable rent levels that will allow individuals earning as little as $10 USD [approximately £6.50 GBP] an hour to pay only one-third of their monthly income towards rent. The housing will include 111 studios for very low-income single adults and 24 one- and two-bedroom units for low-income residents.”
The Landing Road Residence is expected to be completed by December 2017. Its construction has been financed by a combination of loans and bonds from non-profit and government sources, including a $1 million USD (approximately £650,700 GBP) loan from Trinity Church Wall Street
Holy Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York – a mid-city parish of The Episcopal Church in North America (TEC) – proclaims the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ not only in The Word (Liturgy, Music and Preaching), but also in Deeds.
Trinity’s extensive charity outreach to the local and overseas communities is legendary. Granted, it has more material resources than most other Anglican parishes around the world, but it does put its money where its mouth is, to advance the cause of the outcast and marginalised; the poor and the needy. This latest initiative, taken on with other partners in New York to provide shelter for the homeless, is just one more sign of the congregation’s deeply Christian philosophy – proof positive of its alognment with the work of the Gospel in our day and age. Thanks be to God!
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand