The Ridgewood Presbyterian Church may soon begin offering overnight beds to homeless individuals living on the streets, the Ridgewood Blog is the first to confirm.
According to the New York City Department of Homeless Services, the site is not a homeless shelter, drop-in center or safe haven. Existing space would be utilized for up to 15 stabilization beds. The individuals to fill those beds on a nightly basis would be referred to the church by Breaking Ground, the City’s largest supportive housing provider.
DHS confirmed that the Ridgewood Presbyterian Church reached out to them and asked how they could help with the City’s homeless issues.
“Homelessness affects every community across New York City—and as we address this citywide challenge, we’ve invited communities to work with us, make suggestions, and raise ideas so that we can figure out how collaboration can best serve our homeless neighbors,” Isaac McGinn, press secretary of DHS said in a statement.
“In this instance, Ridgewood Church reached out to us—as dozens of houses of worship have across the city—asking how they could help and seeking to open their space overnight to a small number of homeless New Yorkers in need, so we connected them with Breaking Ground, our nonprofit serve provider partner coordinating street homeless outreach efforts in Queens,” he added. “These beds would enable Breaking Ground to continue bringing this borough’s homeless neighbors in off the streets and working with them as they get back on their feet. We always welcome houses of worship that want to do more.”
DHS was able to link the Ridgewood Presbyterian Church with Breaking Ground, however there’s no agreement in place yet and no date for the site to begin operating. The church would fully staff the site which would include a dedicated Program Director and case management services for clients.
Once the site is operational, outreach teams could work with the clients to build a trusting relationship that they hope would result in the client accepting services and transitioning off the streets.
Breaking Ground would aim to work with a consistent set of clients they will screen and expect will come from the immediate area.
Currently, according to DHS, there is only one location dedicated to serving street homeless individuals and zero in the Community Board 5 area.
There is some concern over the childcare that he church already offers at the site, but DHS confirmed there would be no overlap with providing overnight beds and the three-day childcare program offered during the daytime.
Full story to follow later on the Glendale Register.