NY Times profiles great reduction in Bronx street homelessness

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

On October 18th, The New York Times reported on the 80% reduction in street homelessness in the Bronx since 2005.  BronxWorks, which is contracted by the city to perform street homeless outreach in the Bronx, can take much of the credit for this change.

The front page story discusses the success of the Housing First approach.  BronxWorks Homeless Outreach Team director Douglas Becht and US Marine Corps veteran Marvin Shepard, who was helped by BronxWorks, are interviewed.

Click here to read the New York Times front page story.

Click on the video below to watch the New York Times TimesCast:

The Housing First model dictates that homeless people be placed into permanent housing as a first step.  Once they are in their own apartments and less vulnerable, they are in a better position to deal with issues such as substance abuse and mental illness.  As BronxWorks Assistant Executive Director Scott Auwarter says, “It’s a lot easier to work on your problem if you have a decent place to stay.”

While the Housing First model has been successful citywide, the greatest results have been in the Bronx.  That is because BronxWorks has developed a continuum of services – street outreach, a homeless drop-in center, a Safe Haven shelter, and supportive housing – that makes it easier for people to make the transition from homelessness into permanent housing.

BronxWorks has also benefitted tremendously from our partnerships with Montefiore Medical Center, CUCS, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, Common Ground, and more recently Citiwide Harm Reduction and Volunteers of America.  We also have positive relationships with the police, the Parks Department, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Sanitation.

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