An integrated response to homelessness.
Over 70 American cities participating.
More than 650,000 Americans experience homelessness on any given night. Common Ground, a social service organization operating in New York since 1990, aims to address the needs of this often forgotten population by creating high quality permanent and transitional housing. Central to the philosophy of its founder, Rosanne Haggerty, is that attractive and affordable low-income housing can be joined up with other related needs in health, education and jobs training through an integrated program model.
Salvaging historic buildings, renovating them through creative financing from public and private sources, and partnering with other organizations to give residents more than just a roof over their heads, Common Ground has had impressive results. In 2011 the organization is approaching 3,000 units of housing created, with ongoing operational costs significantly less than government-run homeless shelters, jail cells or hospital wards. The ground-breaking ‘Street to Home’ outreach program meanwhile, reduced street homelessness by 87 percent in the 20 block Times Square neighborhood, and by 43 percent in the surrounding 230 blocks of West Midtown, New York.
Over 70 American cities now participate in a national Common Ground campaign, which has grown to include a significant youth-focused education and financial literacy element in partnership with public and charter schools, and community colleges.
(Photo © Common Ground)