LONG TERM HOUSING PROGRAM
Our Long Term Housing Program and JumpStart Program provide intensive social work and education services to homeless families on Long Island to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty, for both those experiencing it now as well as future generations.
Since 1991, the Long Term Housing Program (LTHP) has been assisting homeless families to achieve educational, employment and other goals to become self- sufficient and move into independent housing upon program completion. Through this program, New Ground works intensely with up to twenty-five families at a time. We ensure that the entire family’s basic nutritional and physical needs are met upon first entering the program. Each family is placed in long-term, affordable, low-income housing owned and operated by The Interfaith Nutrition Network (INN). For the next three to five years, New Ground provides educational, vocational, and counseling services, as well as basic needs and much needed support through our intensive social work and education services for both the parents and children.
New Ground’s JumpStart Program (JSP) was launched in 2012 to expand these critical services to an additional five homeless families at a time. All LTHP families are screened from a wait list with an average wait time of two years. As the LTHP is currently restricted to twenty-five families due to the overall number of housing units, New Ground developed the JSP to serve more families in need. Through the JumpStart Program, screening for the LTHP is now done six to eighteen months before an anticipated vacancy so the family can first enter the JSP – getting a ‘JUMP START’ on their goals. When these families later transition to the LTHP, they will be well on their way toward realizing the steps needed to secure an independent future.
All families in both the LTHP and JSP are assigned a primary social worker upon entering New Ground. This worker meets with the family at least once per week to assist them with everything they might possibly need. In the beginning, work includes ensuring overall safety and stability including all basic needs for the family. As the family acclimates to having a stable home and greater support system, they begin to take steps on their program goals to achieve future self-sufficiency and independence. Goals often include securing higher education for the parents, academic success for the children, budgeting, debt reduction, better employment opportunities, and improving skills in parenting, nutrition, and other life skills. New Ground social workers provide guidance, resources and assistance in all such areas.
For New Ground families, the hope of breaking the cycle of homelessness lies in working with both the children and adults. To accomplish this, New Ground focuses on both traditional education goals (academics) as well as nontraditional ones (financial literacy), as this proves to be the way out of poverty for those we are currently serving as well as future generations. At New Ground, our motto is We Educate, We Empower!
New Ground staff members meet our parents where they are, assess all of the possible issues preventing them from achieving independence, and begin working on these barriers one by one to eliminate them. Through this empowerment model, our families achieve success.
Since opening our doors in 1991:
- 80% of all families in the Long Term Housing Program achieved almost all of their outlined goals for self-sufficiency and secured housing of their own upon leaving the program.
- 100% of families increased their household income while in the Long Term Housing Program.
- In June 2012, 100% of all school age children were promoted and / or graduated to the next grade level alongside their permanently housed peers.