Funding in support of HEARTH (Helping to Eradicate All Roads to Homelessness) concluded on September 30, 2019. The Mission coordinated the HEARTH program in partnership with Jefferson County Department of Social Services for 10 years, providing support to the homeless and those in danger of becoming homeless.
HEARTH was funded through STEHP (Solutions to End Homelessness Program), a blend of federal and state funding through the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program made available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and New York State homeless assistance funds. STEHP is administered by the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.
During the time period January through September 2019, HEARTH stabilized housing for 381 households, comprised of 722 individuals, including 20 who were living in places not meant for human habitation such as vehicles, tents, campers and condemned buildings. In addition to rental assistance, HEARTH staff provided support and coaching to families served through the program. As a result, 97% of those served were still stably housed six months after receiving assistance.
Sadly, our community has seen an increase in the number of people facing housing insecurity since the loss of this critical funding. This trend is sure to continue given the lack of funding to prevent and alleviate homelessness in Jefferson County. We continue to discuss this important issue with community leaders, policy makers, partner organizations and community members.
Thankfully, philanthropic support is helping to fill the void in homeless prevention until a long-term funding source is identified. Limited funding is available through Project HOPES (Housing Options Plus Extra Supports). If you or someone you know is homeless or in danger of becoming homeless, please contact our Critical Needs Coordinator Amy Canniff for information about HOPES at 315-782-8440, extension 240.
We encourage all community members to learn more about homelessness in our community and engage in thoughtful discussion about this important issue. The solution lies in our ability to come together and work collaboratively to ensure that every man, woman and child in our community has a warm, safe place to lie their heads at night.
Without homeless prevention programs like HEARTH:
More individuals stay with friends and family, which jeopardizes leases and rental subsidies for those who offer up their couches which, in turn, has a multiplier effect on the number of individuals facing homelessness.
More families are forced to stay with their abusers, leaving children to grow up in unsafe environments.
More individuals leaving incarceration are unable to find housing, thus increasing the likelihood of re-incarceration.
More people are forced to sleep in public washrooms, laundromats, abandoned buildings and other places that are unsafe for habitation.
In the Mission: Possible Capital Campaign, the HEARTH Office has been dedicated in memory of Wolodymir and Sofia Czerniha.
Matthew 25:35-36: For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’