Tag Archives: supported housing

Work and Housing…Can we get a hand?

Work and Mental Health

I have been busy working on getting a B.S. in Human Services so I can better serve the New FoundMinds Organization. I have not forgot those waiting for housing and I am working hard at getting supporters. We can do this, because we are able! Advocate…Write the White House…Make Some Noise…LOUD! Together we can be heard; supported housing, supported work=thriving communities. Blog, Comment and Join In!


What Georgia State Folks are Sayin…

By: Andy Miller Published: May 21, 2011

Georgia is on track in delivering promised changes for people with mental illness and developmental disabilities, a state official said Friday.

                                                           Picture from Google Images

The state promised to revitalize community services as part of a landmark 2010 settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over problems in Georgia’s mental health system.

Pamela Schuble, the settlement coordinator with the state Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, said Georgia has met its first-year targets under the agreement. She spoke in Atlanta at the 16th annual Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum.

In the settlement, Georgia pledged to establish community services, including supported housing, for about 9,000 people with mental illness, and to create community support and crisis intervention teams to help people with developmental disabilities and mental illness avoid hospitalization.

Georgia vowed to end all admissions of people with developmental disabilities to the state psychiatric hospitals by this July. It also promised that patients with developmental disabilities who are already in psychiatric hospitals would be moved out of them by July 2015.

Schuble said that at her agency, ‘’the clear and consistent message is: ‘Make it happen.’ ’’

The state has formed several assertive community treatment teams to help people with mental illness, and has established a crisis stabilization unit in Flowery Branch, with another set to open in Rome in June. More than 100 people with mental illness will receive supported housing by July 1, and 60 people are receiving job help, Schuble said. The state has also set up case management programs.

Much of the activity has centered on the Rome area, where Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital, one of the seven state-run psychiatric hospitals, is scheduled to close Sept. 30.

Schuble said forensic patients there are being moved to hospitals in Atlanta and Columbus. About 30 people with developmental disabilities remain in the Rome hospital, along with 30 to 40 people with mental illness, she said.

A leader of the Rome chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness said in an interview that the area’s assertive community treatment team is not yet fully assembled. Bonnie Moore, a NAMI Rome board member, also noted that Northwest Georgia Regional is still getting admissions, because the state has not finalized agreements with private hospitals.

Sherry Jenkins Tucker of the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network said there are ‘’’tremendous concerns’’ about ongoing issues such as housing for people with mental illness. But she added, “The state is doing as well as can be expected on the tight timeline they have.’’

The Mental Health Consumer Network is establishing new ‘’peer support’’ wellness centers, funded by the state, for people in Bartow and White counties, Tucker said.

National mental health organizations generally see the state’s agreement with the Justice Department as an unprecedented effort toward building a robust array of community services to keep people with disabilities from requiring hospitalization.

Rosalynn Carter, who has been first lady of both Georgia and the nation, said at the forum, “Georgia has all the ingredients to become a leader. States are looking to us.’’

Thom Bornemann, director of the Carter Center Mental Health Program, added that the state is “being watched nationally” on the progress it makes. “We have the hardest part ahead of us,” he said. http://www.georgiahealthnews.com/2011/05/21/state-meeting-timeline-mental-health/

Maria says: New FoundMinds needs a team so we can get to work!


New FoundMinds uses this blog space to provide the reader with any information about supported housing, inclusive communities and helping one another. The article posted today is about a very special company in L.A. I call them special because they take the time to support what is important to people with special needs. Hooray to The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has supported the efforts of the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) to catalyze the development of permanent supportive housing for nearly 20 years. Most recently, this partnership has focused on Los Angeles County, where thousands of chronically homeless people live on the streets.

Through a $ 7 million grant to CSH and a $1 million program-related investment in 2004, the Foundation sought to add 1,000 permanent supportive housing units to the development pipeline in Los Angeles. Doing so involved three primary strategies: increasing public sector commitment and coordination for permanent supportive housing, building the capacity of developers and providers to make permanent supportive housing available, and leveraging Hilton Foundation resources through partnership and collaborative funding from private and public sources.

In partnership with the Hilton Foundation, CSH has been directly responsible for adding 2,300 permanent supportive housing units—surpassing the goal of adding 1,000 units to the development pipeline. Over 800 of these units are now in operation.
In 2004, just 23 percent of public supportive housing units in L.A. County were occupied by the chronically homeless; over 60 percent of units developed since then house the chronically homeless.
The CSH Supportive Housing Institute: Opening New Doors has graduated 58 nonprofits from its training sessions, which prepare them to navigate the process of developing housing that provides support services. Twenty-seven of the 29 projects that were approved for more than $1 million in funding from the L.A. County Mental Health Services Act housing program include Opening New Doors graduates on their project teams.
The Hilton Foundation’s $1 million program-related investment loan resulted in an additional $29 million from other funders for the Los Angeles Supportive Housing Loan Fund. Our $1 million investment provided financing for predevelopment costs of 343 permanent supportive housing units.
“Addressing Homelessness Among People With Mental Illnesses: A Model Of Long-Term Philanthropic Effectiveness,” Health Affairs, 28, no. 3 (2009): 907-911.

Widening Effects of the Corporation for Supportive Housing’s System Change Efforts in Los Angeles, 2005-2008, Urban Institute, 2009.
Hilton Foundation Project to End Homelessness for People with Mental Illness in Los Angeles: Changes in Homelessness, Supportive Housing, and Tenant Characteristics Since 2005, Urban Institute, 2008.
System Change Efforts and Their Results, Los Angeles, 2005-2006, Urban Institute, 2007 http://www.hiltonfoundation.org/csh

We Can Do It Too…

I am always on the lookout for successful supported housing outcomes. New FoundMinds realizes that those that blazed the trail before us needs to be recognized and we will make some noise!

The word is out…we can support one another, we can create communities with and for all people. I’m excited! Get excited with me; encourage inclusive housing, encourage friendship, encourage community and most of all encourage LOVE  for one another.

Supportive Housing > Peter Jay Sharp Residence: > A Room. . .
“A room and a job to pay for it. A room and a job to pay for it.”

Those were the words George McDonald kept hearing from the homeless people he fed in Grand Central Terminal, every night from 1984 to 1986. They appreciated the sandwich, they said, but what they really needed was,

“A room and a job to pay for it.”

At the time, George was living in a 6-foot-by-9-foot room in an SRO (single room occupancy) residence on East 81st Street. He had no telephone or television. He slept on a metal cot and shared a bathroom in the hall with the other residents of his floor: a retired merchant marine, a doorman, several frail elderly people, a guy who had been a quarterback for the New York Giants before Y.A. Tittle in the 1940s.

George had moved into what he calls “the little room” for two reasons. First, it fit the frugality of his lifestyle – one he had changed radically in 1979. Before then, he had been a successful businessman, living the New York City high life – “wine, women and song,” is how he puts it — “fun but empty.” It was not the kind of life he had envisioned for himself as a boy.

“I grew up wanting to be president,” he says. “I had The Congressional Record delivered to my house when I was in grammar school. I used to go to the library and read biographies of great leaders. I was very taken with Lincoln and, later, with the Kennedy’s. Their vision of an activist government there to help people overcome horrible problems was an inspiration to me — and still is.”

In fact, it was Teddy Kennedy who led George to the little room.

“When Bobby Kennedy was killed, I made a vow to myself that the next time a Kennedy ran for office I would do everything I could to get him elected,” he explains. When Teddy announced his candidacy for president in 1979, George walked out of his corporate office over to Kennedy’s campaign headquarters and offered his help. He ended up co-coordinating the volunteer effort in New York State, which Teddy won big. Though he later lost the country, the course of George’s life was changed forever.

“Teddy brought me back to where I wanted to be,” he says. “Politics.”

After Kennedy’s campaign, George launched his own. He declared himself a candidate for Congress from the upper East Side, moved into the SRO, and began defining his platform. It was right there in front of him, stretched out on the sidewalks and stone doorsteps of the City.

“36,000,” he says. “That was the headline in the New York Times. 36,000 homeless people in New York City.”

Homelessness became the focus of George’s thoughts, efforts and campaign. Grand Central Terminal was the laboratory in which he studied the issue and searched for solutions.

“I didn’t come at it as an expert from the outside,” he says. “I learned about the problems from the people themselves. I listened to them decide what was best for them.”

“A room and a job to pay for it.”

George knew a job had to come first — a way of putting money in people’s pockets. At the same time, he knew that first-rung housing was the other key component of a solution — and that it was disappearing from the New York landscape. By the mid-1980s, gentrification had cut the number of SRO rooms from 150,000 to less than 35,000. To make matters worse, no new low-cost housing was being built to replace it.

Through two more elections, George campaigned on the issues of homelessness and affordable housing. He spoke out at meetings, proposed legislation, captured the attention of the media and the public with his passionate advocacy. Though he earned a substantial percentage of primary votes, he was finally forced to acknowledge that he did not have the financial resources to wage a successful political campaign. By then, it no longer mattered.

“As I started to get to know so many homeless people personally, the political faded,” he explains. “I underwent a personal transformation. The problems of the people became more important than getting myself elected.” George took a job as a messenger in a law firm and lived in the little room, now for a second reason: to prove it could be done, that people could work at minimum wage jobs, live in SROs, and make it. After hours, he used the firm’s law library to research not-for-profits.

“I educated myself,” he says. “In 1985, I started The Doe Fund.”

The Doe Fund’s Ready, Willing & Able program provided the paid-work opportunity — the job – that homeless people had requested. New Yorkers saw their city transformed by its participants, who, in the process, were transforming themselves. They shattered the stereotypes of homelessness, sobered up, went to work everyday, and worked hard to clean the streets on which they had once slept. For every homeless person who donned the bright blue RWA uniform, one less languished in public misery. What was not visible was George’s effort to fulfill the second request of those he had known at Grand Central — a room.

“When we started the Ready, Willing & Able program, I immediately began making plans to build an SRO,” he says. “I wanted to create a model that people from other communities could come to and look at and say, ‘Hey, this wouldn’t be bad.’ I wanted to build and run it in a manner in which there wasn’t any of the crime or drugs associated with the old kind of SROs. It is my belief that any central city depends on having low-income workers to keep it operating and we must provide housing for those workers.”

It took fifteen years of persistent effort, but in the fall of the year 2000, the ribbon was cut on the first newly constructed SRO in New York City in 50 years: the Peter Jay Sharp Residence. http://www.doe.org

© 2009 The Doe Fund, Inc.

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Visit Ideablob and vote for my idea, which is building inclusive supported housing.

Do you Live in Supported Housing?

When I look around I realize many more people live in supported housing than mental health consumers, displaced veterans, ex-offenders and the homeless. First let’s look at the word “support”  Bear, Tolerate, take sides with to hold up and serve…according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary 2004. Now let us look at condo communities:

Condo rules can’t violate individuals’ civil liberties, the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act or state and local laws,” Jones says. (The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale or rental of housing based on race, religion, sex, disability, familial status or national origin. The Americans with Disabilities Act mandates proper accommodations for people with disabilities. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act bans discrimination on credit applications based on the same categories as the Fair Housing Act.) Jones notes that although it is unlikely that condo developers or boards will attempt to circumvent the Fair Housing Act, there have been some notable cases in which the laws have appeared murky. This includes the now-infamous case of Henry E. Ingram Jr., who sold his New River, S.C., plantation to developers in 1998 but included several restrictive covenants for the property that was burned by Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s troops during theCivil War. Among them: The condos cannot be sold to people with the last name Sherman, anyone whose last names contain letters that might be rearranged to spell Sherman, or Yankees (in his definition, anyone who has lived north of the Mason-Dixon line for a year or was born north of it). Yankees might purchase condos, however, by taking a loyalty oath to the South and whistling “Dixie.”

Despite these extreme restrictions, Ingram can make his demands legally. According to Jones, “‘Yankee’ isn’t a protected category — geography is not protected by the Fair Housing Act.” Fortunately, stories like Ingram’s are rare, Jones says. (Excerpt Written by Roopika Risam for Express)

OK I admit sharing this article seems a little off track, but I am trying to show that by having a set of rules and by-laws is a form of supported housing. The Board Members arrange the rules to hopefully meet the lifestyle of the community.

What I propose is inclusive communities, places to come home too where noone is judged by stigmas. We can build communities that have wider sidewalks, user-friendly crosswalks, community transportation, community centers that are firmilar with the needs of the community. We can get back to living together as a people and enjoy the life of well living for all.