Network News
February 28, 2011



AIDS Institute 

Funding restored for DOH AIDS Institute 



Governor's seal 

Governor Cuomo's 2011-2012 budget overview 



NYC seal 

Network readies for NYC budget advocacy 



HCR logo 

New commissioners, committee chairs  



CSH logo 

CSH releases "Keeping Families Together" report 




SHFYA cuts generate statewide news coverage  



HUD seal better 

HUD awards $1.4 billion in homeless assistance 



VA seal 

HUD and VA issue landmark homeless veterans report



Green logo
Updates on the Network's green initiatives

etwork GSave the Date_2010 Gala_2
Call for Network Conference workshops

Small SHNNY Logo
Network Lobby Day: March 1



Comptroller seal 

State Comptroller releases report on at-risk youth 



Alpha workshops 

Alpha Workshops offers design grants for nonprofits




Supportive housing in the news



Small SHNNY Logo 

Comings and goings



DOHFunding restored for DOH AIDS Institute

AIDS InstituteAfter months of advocacy efforts, an additional $2.9 million in State funding for the Department of Health's AIDS Institute NY/NY III program has been added to the Executive Budget as part of Governor Cuomo's 21-Day Amendment. The restoration brings the total appropriation to $6.8 million, which fully funds all existing and new residences for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.


"We are grateful to the governor and his staff, DOH AIDS Institute and all of our government partners who helped to get this critical funding back into the budget," said Maclain Berhaupt, the Network's state advocacy director. "Once it was pointed out, they agreed that cutting these funds just made no sense. Supportive housing for people living with AIDS in particular has been one of the best ways to improve care and reduce Medicaid costs. We really appreciate their quick action on this one." 


Under the NY/NY III Agreement, the State and City each fund 50% of the rental subsidy and social services for New York City supportive housing for chronically homeless people living with HIV/AIDS. The original Executive Budget proposed a funding level of $3.9 million for this program -- 44% short of the actual $6.8 million needed.


Without this restored funding, three buildings currently in construction would not have received contracts to house 65 homeless people living with HIV/AIDS. In addition, funding for 17 programs already housing 541 formerly homeless people living with HIV/AIDS would have been cut by 40%, resulting in an estimated loss of 214 more units of housing.


The Network would like to thank Governor Cuomo and his staff for including this necessary restoration in the Executive's 21-Day Amendment. We would also like to thank the Department of Health, the NYC Human Resources Administration, City Hall and all of our members who advocated so effectively for this funding.



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NYbudgetGovernor Cuomo's Executive Budget: An overview

Governor's seal

Governor Cuomo released his 2011-2012 Executive Budget on February 1. Likening the budget to a bankruptcy restructuring, the governor stated his hope to make major cuts in areas like Medicaid and education.


Given the current belt-tightening climate, Governor Cuomo treated supportive housing and related areas fairly well in the initial Executive Budget and actually restored critical supportive housing funding in his 21-Day Amendment (see story above). Still, significant cuts were proposed. Key areas impacted by the 2011-2012 Executive Budget include:


SRO Support Services: This critically important funding stream, which provides support services to more than 14,000 single adults, is funded at last year's level. That's more than $4 million less than the need. The shortfall continues to threaten the stability of 14,000 units of existing housing and provides no funding to 1,800 new units coming on line.  


The Executive Budget places the SRO Support Services Program into a larger pot of OTDA funding for homeless housing and prevention programs, which includes Operating Support for AIDS Housing (OSAH), the Homelessness Intervention Program (HIP) and the Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP). The budget line for these combined programs stands at $25.865 million, about $6.2 million short of the need. 


Supported Housing for Families & Young Adults (SHFYA): The Executive Budget eliminates all programs funded with TANF money, including SHFYA (Supported Housing for Families and Young Adults). SHFYA had been halved in last year's budget, defunding 48 programs for homeless families and at-risk young adults. This year, the Executive Budget zeroes out SHFYA entirely, putting at risk an additional 36 programs. $6.3 million is needed to fund all 84 SHFYA programs this fiscal year.


Legislators could restore SHFYA with TANF funds or add it to the new combined Homeless Housing and Prevention Program budget line funded by the State's general fund, bringing the total need for this budget line to $38.4 million.


Read a complete analysis of the Executive Budget's impact on programs pertaining to homeless people.



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NYCbudgetNetwork readies for NYC budget advocacy 

NYC seal

The Network was disappointed that Mayor Bloomberg's Preliminary 2012 Budget, released on February 17, did not include funding for on-site case managers in HASA supportive housing. The Network worked tirelessly with Speaker Quinn, General Welfare Chair Palma, HRA/HASA and OMB last fall to restore $1.4 million of last year's proposed $1.876 million cut to this vital program and had hoped that that restoration would continue beyond the current fiscal year. The mayor's preliminary 2012 budget would reduce funding to case management services in congregate and scattered site HASA supportive housing by an additional $1.4 million. We will renew our efforts to restore this program funding to the City budget.


The mayor's budget also funds the SRO Support Services program at the same level as FY 2011, meaning existing SRO-funded buildings will continue to operate with 18% less funding following last year's cuts. There will also be no funding for new buildings. This means nearly 10,000 units will be forced to maintain service levels without the necessary SRO funding and nearly 1,000 units of supportive housing will open without this vital service funding.


The Network will hold a meeting with members in early March to strategize and develop an advocacy plan in response to the mayor's preliminary budget. Please email or call (646-619-9640, ex. 646) Nick Napolitano if you would like to participate.



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ChairsAssembly committee chairs, new commissioners, etc.

New York Seal betterFebruary saw a number of New York committee chair and commissioner appointments. Here's a rundown of the major developments.


HCR: Governor Cuomo appointed Assemblyman Darryl C. Towns as Commissioner and CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR). Assemblyman Towns represents Brooklyn's 54th district, where he has been a longtime friend and champion of supportive housing providers, developers and tenants in Central Brooklyn since 1992. 


HCR's current Commissioner, Brian Lawlor, will now serve as the agency's Chief Operating Officer. We thank Commissioner Lawlor for his visionary leadership in successfully consolidating the State's housing agencies this past year and for his longtime support of supportive and special-needs housing. 


Assemblyman Towns' leadership abilities and Commissioner Lawlor's housing knowledge offer a winning combination that will ably guide HCR in the coming years. We congratulate them both on their new roles.


Assembly: New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced committee chairs for the 2011-2012 legislative session. Committee positions of interest to the Network include:

Senate: Majority Leader Dean Skelos also announced all new committee chair assignments, reflecting the change in leadership to Republican this year. Positions of interest to the Network include:

  • Housing Chair: Senator Catharine Young 
  • Social Services Chair and Children & Families Chair: Senator Pat Gallivan 
  • Mental Health Chair: Senator Roy McDonald 
    • Other Mental Health Committee members include senators Greg Ball, Pete Gallivan, Kemp Hannon, James Seward and Lee Zeldin.
  • Health Chair: Senator Kemp Hannon 
  • Finance Chair: Senator John Defrancisco 

The Network looks forward to working with Assemblyman Towns and the new committee chairs in the coming legislative year.



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KFTCSH releases new data on supportive housing and child welfare

KFT brochureFamily supportive housing can substantially reduce both child abuse/neglect and the use of foster care, according to a report on early research findings from the New York City supportive housing initiative Keeping Families Together (KFT). The pilot program placed 29 high-risk families -- those involved with both the shelter and foster care systems -- into permanent supportive housing, to see if such interventions could keep the most challenged families whole and safe.


Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the pilot program was a collaboration between the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) and six New York housing providers (and Network members): CAMBA, Diversity Works, Lantern Organization, Lower East Side Service Center, St. John's House II and Women in Need.


KFT marks one of the first attempts to document supportive housing's benefits on child welfare.


"We took family supportive housing and shifted our mindsets to say, 'We're going to look more at the impact on kids,'" said Alison Harte, CSH's senior program manager in New York.


Among the most significant of the program's outcomes was the fact that all six children that had been in foster care at the beginning of the initiative were successfully and safely reunited with their parents by the end of the evaluation period.


Metis Associates collected data on a range of issues pertaining to family success from October 2007 to July 2009. Major findings include:

  • 26 of the 29 families maintained stable homes.
  • 61.1% of the open child welfare cases were closed during the course of the initiative. 
  • KFT families reported an average of 2.1 cases of abuse/neglect during the three years prior to supportive housing. Once in supportive housing, the average dropped to .6 cases per family.
  • KFT children attended school 25 days more per year after the first year of supportive housing.

Read the full Metis Associates report here. Also available online are a summary of the program's cost savings, a general overview of the program and a profile of one particular KFT family.



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SHFYASHFYA cuts spark statewide news coverage 

newspaperThe Network has devoted much of 2011 to helping generate media coverage about the human and fiscal costs associated with cuts to supportive housing services enacted in last year's budget and proposed for the coming year. Last year, the budget for the Supported Housing for Families and Young Adults (SHFYA) program was cut in half; this year Governor Cuomo's Executive Budget, announced February 1, phases out the program entirely. Network staff and members have worked hard to draw attention to the terrible human toll and long-term economic damage these cuts will cause:


January 9: The Niagara Gazette printed a story on cuts to Carolyn's House, a supportive housing site in Niagara Falls.


February 1: The Albany Times Union ran a piece on Support Ministries, a supportive housing provider for people with HIV/AIDS in Albany.  


February 4: WNYT Channel 13 in Albany also aired a story on Support Ministries.


February 8: The New York Daily News published a piece on Grandparent Family Apartments. The story explores how the governor's cuts would affect this Bronx-based nonprofit, which helps low-income grandparents raise their grandchildren. Two other providers posted online comments about what cuts will mean to their SHFYA-funded programs and the vulnerable families they serve. 


February 8: News 12 in the Bronx also aired a segment on Grandparent Family Apartments.  


February 10: Writing in the Albany Times Union, Deborah Damm O'Brien of Catholic Charities Housing Office detailed how SHFYA helps her organization assist those in need.


February 19: The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle ran an article on cuts to Sojourner House and Wilson Commencement Park, two Rochester supportive housing providers.


February 20: Nancy Chiarella, executive director of CARES, Inc. and chairwoman of the Capital Region Coalition to End Homelessness, published a letter in the Albany Times Union.  


February 22: The Tremont Tribune printed a story on Park Avenue Thorpe in the Bronx. The article details how cuts to SHFYA can increase-not decrease-public costs.


The Network would like to thank all those who've helped generate such rich media coverage of the recent and proposed cuts to SHFYA. We would also like to thank all those who commented on stories online and shared them via social networking sites. We will not rest until this worthy program is fully restored.



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HUDHUD awards $1.4 billion for nearly 7,000 homeless assistance programs

HUD seal betterThe U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded $1.41 billion in McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance funding for 6,741 homeless assistance programs across the country. This included $165.6 million in renewal funding for programs in New York. The awards, announced on January 18, represent a slight increase in national funding and a slight decrease in New York funding from last year, when HUD awarded $1.37 billion and $170 million, respectively.


A total of 654 projects and programs received awards in New York. To see the complete list of New York winners, visit here.


The Network congratulates everyone across the state who works to bring this substantial and greatly needed resource to New York State annually.



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HUDVAHUD and VA issue first-ever report on homeless veterans

HUD VA report coverAccording to a new landmark report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), nearly 6,000 veterans were homeless in New York on a given night in 2009. Eight percent of the nation's homeless veterans were in New York. The 66-page document, available here, contains the most exhaustive data ever compiled on veteran homelessness in America.


According to HUD and VA findings, 75,609 veterans were homeless nationwide on a single night in January 2009 and 136,334 veterans spent at least one night in a homeless shelter in 2009. Ninety-seven percent of all surveyed veterans were single adults and 52% were disabled. 


The report concluded that, "For the large percentage of veterans with disabilities, permanent supportive housing would be effective in helping them achieve long-term stability."



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GreenUpdates on the Network's green initiatives

Green logo

The Network is pleased to report that the more than 2,100 units of supportive housing committed to weatherizing under HCR's AEA/Network Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) have moved into production, ensuring that they meet HCR's September 2011 completion deadline. Thank you again to the more than 25 nonprofits participating in the AEA/Network WAP program, and to the many more members who have enrolled in other weatherization programs statewide.


In addition, our Sustainability Program focuses on encouraging green management practices for staff and green behaviors among tenants. Though currently focused on the organizations involved in the weatherization process, the program is generating materials and information that will be useful to organizations statewide.  Please contact Ariel, Johanna or Sally for more information.


We have just launched the Network Green Housing Initiative blog dedicated to sustainable supportive housing and covering issues from facilities management to environmental communication. It's full of useful information and resources, along with a running list of green events in the area. Please contact Sally Larsen, our Sustainability Outreach Coordinator and blog editor, with any ideas to add or questions to pose.


Our Managing Lean and Green series also offers valuable information on a variety of sustainable building practices. Visit the Network's website to view past workshops, download related materials and see what's coming up. The next session, "Green Operations and Maintenance," will take place on Friday, March 4 from 10:00am-12:00pm at 144 West 14th Street, Room 213. Please note that we have changed the scheduled date and room to accommodate more attendees!



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WorkshopsNetwork accepting workshop ideas for 2011 conference 

etwork GSave the Date_2010 Gala_2Workshop proposals for this year's New York State Supportive Housing Conference are due March 11. Full of speakers, panels and presentations on all aspects of supportive housing, this year's event will take place on Thursday, June 9 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. The Network will select workshops that explore new ideas, share innovative best practices and propose creative solutions. For more information, see the "Call for Workshops" form on the Network's website. Please email or fax (646-237-8505) the form to Emily Rubin by Friday, March 11.  



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March1Annual Network Advocacy Day TOMORROW

Small SHNNY LogoThe Supportive Housing Network of New York heads to the State Capitol tomorrow for its annual Advocacy Day. The Network will host over 100 guests, including supportive housing tenants and staff. Participants will fight for restorations to two major supportive housing programs: SRO Support Services and the Supported Housing for Families and Young Adults (SHFYA) program. The Network has scheduled over 50 meetings with legislators, legislative staff and members of the Governor's Office. State Senator Catharine Young and other elected officials will speak during the Network's lunch hour. 


Released on February 1, Governor Cuomo's Executive Budget included noteworthy cuts to supportive housing, including a $4.66 million shortfall to SRO Support Services and the elimination of SHFYA.


The governor has felt tremendous pressure to deliver an on-time budget with significant spending reductions. As such, this year's Advocacy Day is of critical importance for New York supportive housing.


It's not too late to get involved. Those interested in participating in our March 1 Advocacy Day should email Maclain Berhaupt, the Network's state advocacy director.


We hope to see you there!



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ComptrollerState comptroller releases report on at-risk youth 

Comptroller seal

New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's office has released a new report quantifying the economic benefits of decreasing the number of adults going into New York prisons by investing in programs that help at-risk youth. The report finds that "early interventions that reduce crime and teenage pregnancy, and promote school and workforce productivity, have higher benefit-cost ratios and rates of return than other, later interventions." You can read the full document here.


"Cost-Effective Investments in Children at Risk" cites a string of startling estimates on the costs of crime. So-called "career criminals" cost $2 to $2.7 million in their lifetimes, according to estimates, with the majority of these costs accruing to crime victims -- lost productivity and medical bills -- and taxpayer-funded services including police and incarceration. DiNapoli's report offers an example: If a $500,000 New York crime prevention program successfully diverts a single child from cycling in and out of prison, it would generate a return on investment (ROI) of $1.5 to $2.2 million.


"Instead of waiting until a child becomes a delinquent, New Yorkers will be best served by addressing problems at the start," said Comptroller DiNapoli. "Investing in children early is not only the right thing to do, but it also protects taxpayer dollars."


This report has strong implications for "upstream" interventions like supportive housing, which has been linked by more than a dozen studies to sharp decreases in publicly funded services and systems including emergency room use, inpatient hospital care, nursing homes, short and long-term substance abuse treatment and shelters, as well as preventing recidivism to jails and prisons. 


In addition, the Keeping Families Together evaluation links supportive housing to increased school attendance, decreased use of foster care and fewer instances of child abuse. The Comptroller Office report estimates that child neglect and active abuse increases the likelihood of future criminal behavior by 29%.



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AlphaAlpha Workshops announces design services offer 

Alpha workshopsThe Alpha Workshops has announced it will offer $22,000-worth of design services to three New York nonprofits. Applicants have until March 15 to apply for consideration.


Organizations can use Alpha Workshops' services for mural and logo creation, decorative wall treatments and other visual projects. Proposed projects must benefit a nonprofit's clients by enlivening a public space, including lounges and reception areas. Alpha Workshops is the nation's only nonprofit to provide arts job training and employment for those with HIV/AIDS. Its current work can be seen at the Jericho Project, Common Ground and other Network members. Below you'll find a sample of Alpha Workshops' art for the Jericho Project. Email Barbara Thomson of Alpha Workshops for details on how to apply. 


jericho art best 



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NewsSupportive housing in the news


In addition to the extensive coverage of the cuts to the Supported Housing for Families and Young Adults (SHFYA) program, supportive housing received other news coverage in February: 


The Wall Street Journal published a story on the Corporation for Supportive Housing's Keeping Families Together pilot program.


The New York Nonprofit Press ran a story on Governor Cuomo's decision to restore $2.9 million in funding for the Department of Health's AIDS Institute NY/NY III program in his 21-Day Amendment to the Executive Budget.


Network Executive Director Ted Houghton appeared in a NY1 piece on Governor Cuomo's Medicaid Redesign Team.



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ComingsComings and goings in New York supportive housing


Mary Wilmot has taken over as president of Sojourner House at Pathstone in Rochester. She replaces Germaine Knapp, who had served as the organization's president since 1997. We will miss Germaine's knowledge and dedication as a provider and Network board member. We wish her all the best and are pleased that Sojourner House has been left in Mary's capable hands.


Erin Healy has been named the associate director of the Corporation for Supportive Housing's New York program. Erin first joined CSH in 2007, when she served as the project lead for CSH's housing and policy initiative with the mayor of Newark's office. 


Michael Kink has left his post as Director of Policy and Special Counsel to the New York State Senate's Democratic Party to become Executive Director of the Strong Economy for All Coalition, a new alliance of public and private sector unions and community advocacy groups. While we will miss Michael's capable leadership and advocacy at the Senate, we are sure he will have a significant impact on the political discourse in his new position during the coming months.



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