NEW YORK – Governor Cathy Hochul on Tuesday announced the availability of up to $16 million in annual state funding to operate sparse-site housing with supportive services for the homeless on the streets and in the New York City subway system.
The funds, made possible by the state Office of Mental Health, will help develop an additional 500 supportive housing units, which will then receive referrals from the city’s Safe Choice Support Teams.
“Now more than ever, we must invest in our mental health care system and promote treatment services for New Yorkers who lack stable housing,” Governor Hochul said. “These units will provide a safe home for both homeless New Yorkers and support services, ensuring that the most vulnerable among us have the resources they need to bring stability to their lives.”
Dispersed supportive housing is integrated housing that includes apartments located in different buildings throughout the community, each connected to community-based support services based on the needs of the resident.
The goal is to place homeless people in an environment where they can live independently and be fully integrated into their communities.
“People with mental illness, like all of us, need a safe place to be in a supportive environment,” said Dr. Ann Sullivan, Commissioner of the Office of Mental Health. “These assisted living units will provide the safe environment and services each person needs to progress in their recovery. Community living is vital to enabling someone with a mental illness to live a full and productive life.”
Scattered site units will complement the ongoing work of Safer Choices Support Teams, who work with people who have a history of mental illness and/or substance use disorder.
These multidisciplinary teams have enrolled 554 homeless people in time critical intervention services, of whom 176 have been placed in temporary housing.
Housing staff will encourage and assist residents in developing community support, utilizing community resources, and following an individualized path to recovery.
Applicants must develop at least 15 units and can apply for funding to operate up to 60 units. The request for proposals sets January 30 as the deadline for submissions.