Project Renewal's mission is to end the cycle of homelessness by empowering men and women to rebuild their lives with renewed health, homes and jobs.
DHS first partnered with Project Renewal in the early 1990s to provide shelter and comprehensive program services to homeless adults. Over the last 20+ years, this relationship has developed and expanded; currently, Project Renewal operates four DHS-sponsored shelters, which serve more than 600 individuals with mental illness and/or substance abuse histories. At these sites, clients receive the help they need to further their recoveries and prepare to move into permanent homes.
Although most of Project Renewal's clients face a variety of challenges, the organization has worked with DHS to successfully help even long-term stayers exit shelter. Just last year, Project Renewal staff assisted 456 men and women to transition from shelters into homes, with 94 percent of these individuals still housed after six months.
In addition to needing housing, the majority of homeless adults also require ongoing counseling, medical and mental health treatment and employment opportunities to become and remain self-sufficient. Project Renewal's innovative, comprehensive and integrated programs are designed to offer this kind of holistic care.
Health: Project Renewal's end-to-end medical services begin on the streets, where state-of the-art primary care vans and compassionate medical staff address the needs of street homeless adults, meeting them "where they are," in an effort to successfully engage them. Similarly, the men and women in Project Renewal shelters work towards stable health with regular visits to the shelter-based primary care and dental clinics. Residents in transitional and permanent housing continue to have access to medical and mental health staff for onsite services, coordination of care and referrals.
Homes: Project Renewal's residences integrate medical and mental health care with additional support services to ensure that tenants have access to the ongoing help they need. This innovative housing model works: 85 percent of Project Renewal's permanent housing residents have lived successfully in their own apartments for three years or more.
Jobs: Project Renewal incorporates job counseling into every aspect of programming. In shelters, residences and recovery programs, clients are connected to employment services that are tailored to meet their individual needs. Project Renewal's Next Step Employment Program provides comprehensive job preparation and placement in living wage jobs. Vocational training programs offer on-the-job experience in growing industries including food services, organic farm-to-table sales, and municipal maintenance.
Project Renewal's commitment to renewing the lives of vulnerable New Yorkers through stable work is embodied by its employees: more than 50 percent of their hardworking and dedicated staff members are former Project Renewal clients or graduates of similar programs.
Results prove that Project Renewal's innovative and comprehensive programs work. Former shelter resident Harry Dickerson successfully moved to his own apartment three years ago and has worked as a messenger for six years.