NEW YORK, NY (PRWEB) OCTOBER 21, 2015
Jericho Project’s Kingsbridge Terrace, the state-of-the-art community serving veterans with supportive housing and comprehensive counseling, was awarded Residence of the Year by the Supportive Housing Network of New York (SHNNY) at its annual Awards Gala at Capitale in New York City.
“Kingsbridge Terrace is a shining example of what supportive housing can be: modern, strategic and effective in enabling formerly homeless veterans to regain their dignity,” said Jericho Project Executive Director Tori Lyon. “We are proud that it is advancing the mission to end veterans homelessness in New York City.”
Jericho serves over 1,600 adults and children, including 550 veterans, with supportive housing and comprehensive services including employment, substance abuse counseling and family reunification.
“Kingsbridge Terrace illustrates how public and private funding can be applied to a visionary solution to ending homelessness for New York veterans,” said Laura Mascuch, SHNNY Executive Director.
Jericho Project designed and built Kingsbridge Terrace as a LEED-certified residence for 76 homeless or low-income veterans from all eras. Opened in 2012, it is a green environment of wellness and camaraderie, with a community room, computer center, handicapped-accessible studios, fitness room and rooftop garden.
It is one of Jericho’s two new Veterans Residences that together serve 132 veterans in the Bronx, with a new residence for veterans and young adults under construction. Jericho’s Veterans Initiative also extends to employment, homeless prevention and rapid rehousing programs throughout the city.
Jericho first envisioned the Veterans Initiative in 2006, when it recognized the growing crisis of homelessness among veterans, including those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Advised by its Veterans Advisory Council made up of leaders and veterans from the military and government as well as from the private sector, Jericho proactively addresses the plight of veterans who had become chronically homeless, and works to prevent another generation of veterans from becoming homeless.
About Jericho Project:
Jericho Project was founded in 1983 to provide housing and holistic services to New York City’s most vulnerable homeless individuals. Since then, it has provided supportive housing with seven residences in New York, and counseling services to thousands of men and women experiencing chronic homelessness and substance abuse. Inspired by the belief that transformation can occur in every individual, Jericho Project steadfastly works to end homelessness at its roots by creating a community that inspires individual change, fosters sustainable independence, and motivates men and women to reach their greatest potential. It has a long track record of proven success: 95% of clients maintain housing stability and 90% of Jericho residents affected by substance abuse maintain their sobriety. https://www.jerichoproject.org
About the Supportive Housing Network of New York:
The Supportive Housing Network of New York is a nonprofit membership organization with offices in New York City and Albany. Established in 1988, the Network represents over 200 nonprofits that develop and operate supportive housing. The Network serves as a voice for the provider community, which has created the largest, best-managed and most innovative supportive housing stock in the nation.
Jericho Project, a leading nonprofit ending homelessness at its roots, was honored for its groundbreaking Veterans Initiative at Bat Day presented by Bank of America on Sunday, June 14, at Yankee Stadium.
At a pre-game ceremony on the field, Bank of America NYC President Jeff Barker presented Jericho Project with a $25,000 grant to the Jericho Project Veterans Initiative, serving more than 500 veterans in the New York area.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to our veterans, many of whom struggle with the transition back to civilian life,” Barker said. “Critical programs like the Jericho Project Veterans Initiative help get these brave men and women back on their feet.”
Jericho’s Veterans Initiative provides supportive and affordable housing options for homeless and low-income veterans, including two new state-of-the-art residences in the Bronx, Kingsbridge Terrace and Fordham Village, and a network of affordable apartments throughout New York City. Along with housing, Jericho’s individualized services for employment, education, and mental health enable veterans to regain their civilian lives with dignity.
“Jericho is grateful for Bank of America’s support in helping veterans to build the cornerstones of a fulfilling life – housing, employment, wellness and family stability,” said Tori Lyon, Jericho’s Executive Director.
Receiving the check on behalf of Jericho were Fredy Tello, Jericho Project’s Senior Director of Veterans Initiative and an Iraq veteran, and Craig Hinds, a U.S. Navy Iraq War veteran and resident at Kingsbridge Terrace.
About Jericho Project: Jericho Project is a nationally-acclaimed nonprofit ending homelessness at its roots for 30 years. Through supportive, affordable housing and customized services, Jericho enables 1,200 individuals and families, including over 500 veterans, to build the cornerstones of a fulfilling life: housing, employment, wellness and family stability. www.jerichoproject.org
Mark S. Kopinski, Chief Investment Officer, Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager for American Century Investments, has been elected President of the Board of Directors at the Jericho Project, a nationally-acclaimed nonprofit celebrating 30 years of ending homelessness at its roots.
Kopinski brings to this role a passion for Jericho’s mission of enabling transformational change and outstanding management and financial acumen. He has been a member of the Jericho Board of Directors since 2008.
At American Century Investments, a premier investment manager, Kopinski oversees the teams that manage the company’s global and non-U.S. equity portfolios. He also serves as senior portfolio manager of the American Century International Discovery and International Opportunities portfolios. He is a member of the Investment Oversight Committee, Products & Markets Committee and the Investment Management Senior Leadership Team.
“Jericho Project is honored to have an executive of Mark Kopinski’s global breadth and accomplishment. He will provide valuable leadership as we pursue our course for continued financial stability, growth and impact,” said Tori Lyon, Executive Director at Jericho Project.
Ian C. Devine, who has led the Board as President through a decade of Jericho’s strategic and significant expansion, said, “Mark represents a blend of emotional commitment and intellectual achievement that will guide Jericho well in the years ahead. He is an ideal leader to advance Jericho’s mission.” Devine will continue to serve on the Board.
Jericho Project ends homelessness at its roots by creating a community that inspires individual change, fosters sustainable independence and motivates men and women to reach their greatest potential.
“We are grateful to Ian Devine for having the vision to see that Jericho could blossom from a local nonprofit serving 250 individuals into a best-practices organization changing the lives of 1,000 individuals and families, including veterans,” Lyon added. “Crucially, he has enabled Jericho to build a strong fiscal model and board, and engage the dynamic compassion of New York’s financial, legal and real estate communities.”
Currently serving individuals and families in seven residences and supportive apartments, Jericho’s results-based programs touch the cornerstones of its residents’ lives – housing, employment, wellness and family stability.
Jericho’s Veteran’s Initiative, delivering these state of-the-art services to 300 veterans through two LEED-certified communities in the Bronx and supportive apartments, is the first of its kind in New York City in 20 years.
Kopinski has a history of leading organizational expansion and establishing lasting success.
Working for American Century Investments since 1990, he helped develop and establish American Century’s International Growth, International Discovery and Emerging Markets portfolios.
His global perspective was established early in his career. Prior to 1990, he held positions in Tokyo, including senior analyst for Salomon Brothers. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Monmouth College and a master’s degree in Asian studies concentrating on Japan from the University of Illinois. He is fluent in Japanese.
As part of their Veterans Day broadcast, Wall Street Journal This Morning host Gordon Deal spoke with Jericho Project Executive Director Tori Lyon about homelessness, an issue facing veterans of all ages. Click here to listen to the interview.
Veterans comprise a disproportionate number of the homeless. The support they need goes beyond housing. Deutsche Bank partner Jericho Project has helped many veterans move off the streets and on with life.
As a supporter of community-based initiatives, Deutsche provides assistance through its Supportive Housing Acquisition and Rehabilitation Effort (DB SHARE) program, which supplies affordable housing for homeless New Yorkers.
Ronald Haynie is a former medic in the US Army. He moved into Jericho Project’s Kingsbridge Terrace residence in the Bronx in December 2012. His story shows the effectiveness of the Jericho model of stable living conditions as a base for rebuilding the confidence of veterans and nurturing the skills needed to achieve self-sufficiency.
“Life has many peaks and valleys. I was homeless and living in a temporary shelter. Now I’m in a beautiful place where I can get all the help I need,” he says.
Ronald’s goal is to get back into medicine. Having requalified as a medical assistant at a local community college, he’s ready to work. The support team at Kingsbridge Terrace includes career counselors who give advice on resumes, how to find a position and interview skills. There’s a computer room where Ronald can use the internet for research.
Clean, safe and supportive, it’s an environment that’s a long way from life on the streets. “I’m grateful to everyone here for the support and love they’ve given me,” says Ronald. “I’m on a peak now. I feel victorious.”
See Jericho Project featured in Deutsche Bank’s report. Click here for the PDF.
By Tori Lyon, Executive Director, Jericho Project
There is no question that a difficult job market and shrinking state and city budgets have escalated the risk of homelessness for our nation’s low-income populations, including families and veterans. In New York City alone, more than 47,000 people, including some 20,000 children, have resorted to homeless shelters, the highest levels in the city’s history. And although the Veterans Administration has worked admirably to reduce veterans homelessness, there are still an estimated 2,000 veterans who are homeless in New York, a number that does not include the financially fragile veterans who “couch surf” with family or friends.
Despite the environment, the indignity of homelessness can be reduced and eventually eliminated by collaborating with the public and private sectors and engaging individual with a hope for a brighter future and concrete strategies for getting there.
While each person faces his or her own set of challenges, I have found that applying a model of supportive housing, comprehensive services and ongoing aftercare creates consistent results. About 95 percent of Jericho graduates never return to homelessness.
Here are four pillars to this approach:
A stable living condition provides the foundation for building the self-esteem and skills people need to become educated, employed and responsible parents.
Yet this can be a daunting goal for low-income people in cities where minimum wage jobs cannot cover most apartment costs. In New York, for example, half of all households are living on incomes of $28,000 or less, and almost as many are paying more than 35 percent of their incomes on rent. Unfortunately, low-income subsidies and housing vouchers that otherwise might have filled the gap have been eliminated.
Unlike a shelter system, our answer places individuals and families in residencies where they hold their own leases and pay one-third of their income for rent. Instilling confidence and dignity is fundamental to enabling a person’s long-term independence. Creating a community of wellness—with common areas, gardens, computer rooms and access to on-site support with case workers and program experts—enables residents to make the most of the supportive housing framework. Residents can stay as long as they need to, but our average stay is three years.
Increasing income is a key to independence, and tapping into an individual’s personal hopes and dreams can create long-lasting results. Aided by the stability of supportive housing—including a suite of services from resume building to interview preparation—residents move out of the “crisis” mode that prohibits them from taking time off to get the education or job training they need to win higher paying positions that lift them and their families out of poverty. On average, 85 percent of our residents participate in our Workforce Opportunities program.
Substance Abuse Counseling
Sobriety is crucial to keeping the building blocks of employment, education and family stability in place. Our residents’ success in battling substance abuse is exemplary: only 13 percent of Jericho residents with a substance abuse disorder experience relapses, a remarkable rate considering that the typical relapse rate averages between 40 and 60 percent, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Progress is rarely a straight line. We stay in touch with our residents for at least two years after graduation, offering trusted counsel when they encounter stress, troubling past relationships or negative temptations. They come back to our residences to speak as role models or to receive awards at our annual Thanksgiving dinner.
Amidst deep government cutbacks, all this can be accomplished through rigorous fiscal discipline, innovative public-private partnerships and a base of passionate donors. Homelessness can appear intractable. But by addressing its root causes and providing at risk people with stability and opportunity, we know that it can be overcome.
Tori Lyon, Wharton, class of 1989, is executive director of the Jericho Project, a 29-year-old nonprofit with the goal of ending homelessness at its roots. Prior to becoming executive director in 2005, Lyon held the role of associate executive director since 1999. Previously, she was the grants manager at Bailey House, a supportive housing program for people living with HIV/AIDS.
This article was first published in Wharton magazine.