New York, N.Y (PRWEB) December 18, 2012
The extent of the Superstorm Sandy destruction is staggering. To date, FEMA has reported that 12,844 New York homes suffered from major damage and 51,695 homes had minor damage. There was also the crisis of housing the approximately 40,000 who were unable to stay in their homes from the storm cited by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, not to mention providing for the 48,000 existing homeless in the five boroughs.
With federal and national aid, along with dozens of nonprofits and bands of citizen volunteers pulling together to combat the destruction, many also made room to house those left misplaced. One organization that welcomed those in need from the storm and is a housing resource year-round is the new, next generation nonprofit Housing Solutions USA. Headquartered in Manhattan, the organization’s mission is to transition homeless individuals and families into their own homes with jobs to sustain them by providing a range of high-quality housing services from temporary emergency to permanent supportive along with unique programming to help clients achieve self-sufficiency.
“We were at the ready to address the housing crisis during the storm,” said Robert Hess, Chairman and CEO of the organization. “We provide 5,500 men, women and children in 44 different locations in New York City with safe, secure family emergency transitional shelters and housing along with supportive services. With this reach, we knew we had to be prepared to make room for the many that would be in need of shelter from Sandy.”
The nonprofit opened its doors to 120 veterans displaced from their transitional housing in Long Island City. The veterans stayed in a modern, fully furnished Housing Solutions location for 12 days in the aftermath of the storm. Housing Solutions also prepared over a 100 additional beds for those who may have been in need.
With his years of experience in the field, Hess was well-equipped to handle the crisis. As the Former Commissioner of the Department of Homeless Services in the Bloomberg administration, he is credited with reducing the number of unsheltered individuals on the streets of New York City by nearly 50 percent and relocating more than 100,000 people from shelters to permanent housing. He founded Housing Solutions USA with the former Division Director of the Housing Division for Volunteers of America-Greater New York, President Cara Pace.
With a client-centered and results-driven approach, the new wave nonprofit sets a new paradigm in housing services with management, operational and public policy expertise. Housing Solutions USA is forging partnerships between government, business and the nonprofit world to meet the crisis of homelessness as never before. On the agenda, for example, is a Job’s Institute where the organization will link it business partners with hundreds of its clients each year, thus providing a motivated and productive workforce and enabling the employees to have sufficient income to return to their own homes.
Rain or shine, the housing system is already at a crisis point. An estimated 636,000 men, women and children experience homelessness on any given night in the U.S., the majority of whom, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, reside in the top 100 metropolitan areas. Of these, New York City has the largest number, the aforementioned 48,000 homeless, at last count. However, Hess and Pace are hopeful about their clients and Housing Solutions USA’s ability to accomplish its mission.
Says Pace, “Change is possible. We believe that when treated with dignity and respect along with the support of the community, clients can spearhead the development of their own plans to achieve their goals.”
Housing Solutions USA is headquartered at 316 West 95th Street, New York, NY10025. For more information, visit http://www.housingsolutions.org or call 212-373-4600.