Albany Housing Coalition's Efforts to End Veteran Homelessness in the Capital Region
Since 1987, the Albany Housing Coalition has provided supportive housing and services for homeless Veterans under our Homeless Veterans Program. We currently house and serve 70 homeless Veteran participants using the "Housing First" model, providing a continuum of affordable housing options and specialized case management services designed to encourage participants' reintegration and independent living.
180 First Street, Albany, NY
The program point-of-intake is our 32-bed Sgt. Henry Johnson Veterans House (VH) at 180 First Street in Albany, a transformative supportive congregate environment offering private rooms with shared common areas, kitchen, deck and grounds, gardens and green space. The House Chef prepares weekday dinners. VH residents have access to the kitchen for other meals and on weekends. Residents work closely with our team of case managers and the VA Homeless Program to address barriers that caused homelessness, including issues of physical health, mental health and recovery. Participants establish sources of income, learn new skills, connect with meaningful employment and exit to affordable permanent supportive housing.
1718, 1720 & 1722 Schenectady, NY
Our 3 side-by-side homes in the Woodlawn neighborhood on State Street are located on Route 5, a CDTA bus route. Typical residents are Veterans who have graduated from the transitional program at Veterans House and seek permanent supportive housing in Schenectady.
Renovated by AHC in 2006, 29 Walter Street contains 12 bedrooms on two floors with shared bathrooms, kitchen and basement laundry. Conners Residence is affordable permanent housing with rent set at no more than 40% of income. Our Permanent Housing Case Manager assists with the overall wellbeing of each resident. The House Manager, Mr. Louis Chester, provides delicious home-cooked dinners. Residents have access to the kitchen for other meals. Sited on a tree-shaded side street and wheel-chair-lift accessible, Conners Residence offers a large front deck for residents to enjoy good weather, conversation and the camaraderie of fellow veterans.
We are currently renovating two existing town homes as six units of supportive permanent housing for homeless veterans. The Clinton Avenue Veterans Apartments (CAVA) project will be renovated with funding from the City of Albany Community Development Agency and the NYS Homeless Housing Assistance Corporation, and has received conditional funding under NYS-ESSHI to support operations and participants' housing stability. Rent-up is expected in 2022.
For Veterans who require short-term transitional housing with supportive housing case management, we offer five units of supportive transitional housing at 280 Clinton Avenue, next to our Main Offices at 278 Clinton Avenue. Residents are assisted in rapidly re-housing in permanent housing in the community.
Helps homeless Veterans identify and achieve supportive permanent housing, providing rental subsidies and ongoing case management support.
Including Community Based Case Managers provide direct case management services as needed for participants who have completed their transitional program and are living in permanent housing.
The VETS program provides case management to link homeless Veteran participants with training, certification and meaningful employment/careers.
Initiative provides case management and financial assistance for Veterans seeking permanent housing, or at risk homelessness.
S +C provides supportive permanent housing vouchers for disabled and chronically homeless Veterans with ongoing case management support.
Provide Veterans treatment and diversion court with Veteran peer mentors to connect homeless Veterans with needed support, links to health services, pro-bono legal advocacy and alternatives to incarceration.
Miracle Center provides items free of charge including furniture, furnishings, household goods, etc.
Samuel Stratton Veterans Administration Medical Center: Homeless and Employment Program
Rehabilitative and Support Services (RSS)
Albany Law School
Unity House, Troy, NY
Veterans Motorcycle Club
They provide services that include connecting veterans to VA health care benefits or community health care services where Veterans are not eligible for VA care. They also provide case management and care coordination, health education, interdisciplinary collaboration, coordination, and consultation, and administrative duties.
SSVF Healthcare Navigators work closely with the Veteran’s primary care provider and members of the Veteran’s assigned interdisciplinary treatment team.
The health care navigator possesses excellent judgment and has at least two years of experience in a healthcare or social services area of practice. The health care navigator will act as a liaison between the SSVF grantee and the VA or community medical clinic and works with a population of Veterans with complex needs who require assistance accessing health care services or adhering to health care plans.
The goal is to improve the retention of housing by Veterans who were previously homeless and are transitioning to permanent housing from programs such as GPD or VA’s Healthcare for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Contracted Residential Services (CRS) Program.
Some Veterans may not have been in a GPD or HCHV program previously and may be coming from a non-VA transitional housing program.
In addition, the timing of the referral to the Case Management Program may come when a Veteran is not yet in permanent housing or when a Veteran has been in permanent housing for some time but is at risk of losing this housing.
The GPD Case Management Program does not serve Veterans who are receiving case management services from permanent supportive housing programs such as HUD-VASH, or from rapid re-housing/homeless prevention programs such as Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF).
Services that GPD Case management can provide include but are not limited to:
The Albany Housing Coalition, Inc., is assisting Veterans returning from Iraq/Afghanistan who are likely to be struggling with reintegration at home, in their community, and in the workplace.
Assistance focuses on assessing needs, referral to healthcare and/or counseling, entry into our peer to peer support system, and referral to other needed supports such as employment, financial management, debt management, domestic violence counseling, alcohol abuse counseling.
We envision working with local court systems, family members, the National Guard, and will seek to engage volunteer providers of counseling services to complement VA resources.
Our goal is to provide peer support and make referral to appropriate care to avert the all too prevalent spiral downward that ends up with a veteran’s loss of family, job, and housing that has historically occurred over a 3-5 year period for those challenged with return from war.
Emphasis will be put to the needs of women Veterans and young veterans starting out in life. The program also recognizes the need for suicide prevention strategies.
Our Veteran Community Advocacy Program, VCAP, is available to all OEF/OIF veterans in need of assistance and advocacy.
VCAP recognizes the need to support and re-integrate the Veteran who returns home from war. It involves a sensitive, creative, resourceful, proactive approach to encourage Veterans to engage in needed supports, services and benefits.
We envision acting as the “go-to” resource for Veterans returning from war, responding with encouragement, compassion, and resources. The Coalition is actively working to expand its network of community providers to include partnering with the courts in the tri-county area to divert OEF/OIF Veterans in trouble to us for assessment and referral to services. VCAP will offer referral to a continuum of services with the end goal of personal empowerment through healthcare, employment, housing and family.
We developed VetTrak as a key component of our peer support efforts. On May 1, 2010 VetTrak - a treatment court exclusively for veterans- was begun in county courts in the following counties: Albany, Rensselaer, Columbia, Greene, Ulster, Sullivan, and Schoharie.
VetTrak is characterized by a peer mentoring program that we have developed. Our Coordinator has trained Veteran mentors to appear in court with the Veteran defendant and to act as an ally and sounding board. The judges presiding over the county VetTrak courts work with the treatment team to ensure that the Veteran has access to needed care and tracks the progress of the Veteran. We are also working in Albany City court.