Homlessness Solutions, Pathways to Housing

In our report on the Lower Reach of the American River Parkway, which can be accessed on our website, http://www.arpps.org we address the issue of the chronic homeless illegal campers who are destroying the ability of the adjacent community to enjoy their Parkway in safety by profiling the most successful program in the country with that population, Pathways to Housing.

Here is an excellent news article from last year about Pathways, and San Francisco’s attempt to transplant the concept.

San Francisco Chronicle
Success in the Big Apple New York City finds path for mentally ill Housing homeless before treatment bucks conventional wisdom

Kevin Fagan, Chronicle Staff Writer Monday, June 14, 2004

New York – — Shopping for telephones is what finally drove it home to Tony Bartol that he was re-entering that almost-forgotten world where the sidewalk was not his bed. He stood in front of a wall lined with 200 of them in plastic packaging — white phones with speakers, black ones with six lines, red ones with voice mail — and scratched his head, confused.

“I have no idea what to pick here,” he said. His hand trembled as he touched one, then another. “The last time I owned a phone was 1977.”

A few weeks before, Bartol was sleeping in Manhattan subway stations, so mentally ill he could barely pluck reality from the visions of God in his head. He’d been that way for 19 years. On this day in mid-May, the 54-year-old, bushy-bearded string bean of a man was in a department store with two social workers shopping for a few essentials before moving into his own apartment.

He was still delusional, still without a job, and still not on the medication he needed to address his psychosis. But now, he had one angel over his street-tough shoulder that other mentally ill homeless people still foraging in alleyways didn’t — a program called Pathways to Housing, a New York-minted twist on the “supportive housing” model of tackling chronic homelessness in urban America.

Unlike other cutting-edge supportive housing techniques in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago — and being embraced in San Francisco — in which the hard-core homeless are moved en masse into residential hotels with on-site social services, Pathways to Housing snatches them straight off the street and gives them their own, individual apartments apart from other homeless people, alongside average New Yorkers. And unlike virtually any other program in the country, it does this with the hardest core population of them all: the mentally ill.

For the rest of the story posted on Pathways website: http://www.pathwaystohousing.org/news/SFC_6-14-04.html

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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