Locks for Jobs, or How One Intern Gave Back

Viki Lazar Before

Viki Lazar Before

Former Next Step intern Viki Lazar created a fundraising event around her big decision to cut her “beloved dreadlocks” after 9 years.

She set up a page online, asking friends and family to make a gift to Project Renewal to mark the occasion. She raised $4,000 which she will match with $1 for every $2 donated for a total gift of $6,000.. “If losing my dreadlocks is like Samson losing his strength, help me give that strength to others!”

Why Project Renewal? “Next Step is an amazing place where clients find people who believe in them again. Many of the formerly homeless clients at Next Step are in recovery or were recently incarcerated. Despite having lived lives I can’t even begin to imagine, these strong and brave people want to turn things around. It was life-changing to watch clients realize that they do have something tremendous to contribute to society.”

Learn more about Next Step, the program funded with Viki’s support.

Viki Lazar After

Viki Lazar After!

News: Volunteers Bring Art to Men in Crisis

Volunteer Erika Scully creates the art display for the silent auction

Volunteer Erika Scully creates the art display for the silent auction

Pamela Bell wasted no time once joining the Board of Trustees, serving on the Strategic Planning committee, chairing our 2012 Gala and most impressively, founding a volunteer arts initiative for the men at 3rd Street Shelter.

The Bowery Arts Program, less than a year old, is an informal creative class where volunteers and clients connect while making all forms of art.  The classes – held on Wednesday and Thursday mornings—provide men struggling with addiction a creative outlet to express their emotions and foster new friendships. 

At the 22nd Annual Gala Benefit and Auction 40 pieces of client art were auctioned off, raising more than $5,300 for Project Renewal.  A very big thank you to Pamela and an amazing group of volunteers who attend the workshops each week including Shelley Sonenberg, Shelagh Herzog, Erika Scully, Laura Rothschild, Caryn Levit, Jemme Aldridge and Susan Minot. 

Interested in Volunteering?

If you are interested in volunteering for the Bowery Arts Program, please contact via email (sidebar at left).

Board Voice: Q&A With Morgan Stanley Exec Geoffrey Proulx

geoff proulx

By: Geoffrey Proulx, Project Renewal Board of Trustees

I became involved with Project Renewal because a good friend is a fellow Board member.  She knew that I was interested in becoming more engaged with the community and thought that my work in affordable housing finance would fill an important knowledge niche on the Board.  At her suggestion,  I went on a tour of Project Renewal’s Third Street Shelter, MedVan, and Clinton Residence.  After the tour I was sold by the importance of Project Renewal’s work in fulfilling its mission of providing homes, healthcare and jobs to the homeless in New York City.  Its facilities, programs, and caring staff are extraordinarily impressive and at the end of the tour I was ready to sign on and do what I can to help support Project Renewal and the web of social services it provides to the most underserved segment of our City.

In my professional life I am an investment banker in public finance.  As the Head of the Municipal Housing Finance Group at Morgan Stanley, I assist the Firm’s state Housing Finance Agency clients access the capital markets through the issuance of tax-exempt bonds, which provide proceeds that are used to fund low and moderate income multifamily developments and single family lending programs.  My professional background has been a good fit for the Board due to Project Renewal’s involvement in developing new homeless shelters and supportive housing developments.  I currently serve on the Board’s Real Estate and Audit Committees.           

I encourage anyone who is interested in Project Renewal to reach out to Board members or staff to become involved.  After you have taken a tour of Third Street or any of Project Renewal’s other facilities I would love to hear your thoughts.

News: Re-purposing an Old Building, Our New Shelter Breaks Ground in the Bronx

New Bronx Men's Shelter

Project Renewal has begun renovating its newest shelter, our first in the Bronx and the first to be owned by us.  This shelter will serve on the frontlines of our efforts to overcome homelessness by offering 108 homeless New Yorkers a safe and supportive setting and assistance in moving into permanent homes.

By customizing the design of the space and the structure of the program, which will house men with histories of mental illness, we can better serve this hard-to-reach population.  The shelter’s dorm areas will help build a sense of community and including a Peer Counselor on our staff will be of great assistance during the crucial period when clients transition from the shelter into housing.  In addition to services provided by on-site nurses and mental health providers, primary care will be available to residents through our licensed medical vans.  This shelter will help meet the record demand for shelter in New York City as well as help the City meet its commitment to provide clean and safe shelter to every homeless person who seeks it. 

On May 3rd, Project Renewal closed on the purchase of the 20,900 square foot building in the Wakefield neighborhood of the Bronx.  Formerly used as a car repair shop called Garrett’s Garage in the 1920s, the building went on to be used as a factory to make sights for bombers during WWII.  It is located on the second to last stop on the number 2 line, near the Nereid Avenue stop.

In early June our contractor, Erin Construction & Development Co., began the first stages of gut rehabilitation.  The new design by Architects Edelman Sultan Knox Wood will include skylights to let in sunlight from the roof to the second floor, resulting in an open and inviting atmosphere.  We are accepting proposals from local artists to incorporate artwork on the building’s front entrance gate.

The total development cost for the project is just under $11 million, financed by a construction loan from JPMorgan Chase Bank’s Community Development Group and the Contact Fund.

Read more about how we help homeless New Yorkers with Mental Illness.

News: NY State to Fund $2.6 Million to help 300 formerly homeless persons with disabilities who are facing imminent eviction in NYC

Following up on our post about our advocacy in Albany with client Willie McCartha, we have this update on the State budget’s Medicaid Redesign Team Housing Program (note the great news for New York’s homeless men and women in bold!):

As part of the Program, the State plans to fund some 300 rent subsidies for former Advantage tenants living with disabilities (who, like Mr. McCartha, are former “Fixed Income Advantage” recipients).We’ve heard the State wants to implement this very soon due to the obviously precarious housing situation of the affected tenants.

The subsidies are part of the Governor’s newly-created Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) Supportive Housing Development Program which was passed in the State’s 2012-13 budget in April.  The program will allocate $75 million a year to create thousands of units of supportive housing for high-cost Medicaid recipients across New York State.

The State will distribute the $75 million in funding to create as many as 4,500 capital and scattered-site units in the first year. It will allocate the funding as follows (see the full breakdown attached):

  • $25 million in capital from HCR for NY/NY III acceleration
  • $14.3 million in capital to fund the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s (OTDA) Homeless Housing Assistance Program (HHAP) for upstate supportive housing projects
  • $10 million to fund NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) Supported Housing scattered-site rental and service subsidies; 350 units in Brooklyn and 350 units in the rest of the state
  • $7.3 million to fund a 171-unit permanent supportive housing residence on land owned by Metropolitan Hospital to help move patients at Coler-Goldwater Hospital
  • $6 million to restore and fund 2,500 existing and new programs through the NYS Supportive Housing Program (NYSSHP — formerly SRO Support Services and Supportive Housing for Families & Young Adults)
  • $5 million to fund operating and services in 410 NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) scattered-site apartments throughout the state
  • $2.6 million to fund OTDA’s Disability Housing Subsidy Program, to be used to pay for ongoing rent subsidies for 300 formerly homeless persons with disabilities who are facing imminent eviction in New York City. 
  • $2.4 million to fund operating and services in 125 NYS Department of Health (DOH) AIDS Institute scattered-site apartments;
  • $1.8 million to fund NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) for 180 community-based housing units
  • $276,000 to fund a 115-unit supportive housing program — the Claremont Project — in the Bronx
  • $135,000 to fund a supportive housing initiative for eight people with developmental disabilities who are currently residing in a nursing on Long Island.  

News: Project Renewal Supports Human Services Council Campaign to Protect Funding

Willie McCartha, center, with State Senator Patrick M. Gallivan, left, and Patrick Paglen, Case Manager at 3rd Street on right.

Project Renewal joined HSC’s statewide advocacy campaign “Who Cares? I Do.” to spread awareness of the impact that funding cuts have on New Yorkers. Clients and staff travelled to Albany in March to meet legislators and share with them the importance of protecting funding for programs that provide healthcare and housing for Project Renewal clients. Specific concerns include: the implementation of Medicaid Reforms that threaten to reduce funds for human services and make access to services challenging for many vulnerable populations including homeless New Yorkers, and the suspension of the $15 million NYC shelter supplement that ended the Advantage rental subsidy for many shelter residents.

Client Willie McCartha has been directly affected by the loss of the Advantage rental subsidy. The program helped him move from our Third Street Shelter to a one-bedroom apartment in Washington Heights last year. Willie expressed his fears to NY1 News, “I don’t know which way to turn or which way to go… How can you cancel a program that help so many people? It’s sad.”

Willie travelled to Albany to share his concerns with legislators. “It was amazing to talk to people regarding the problem at hand. Each meeting was a little different and we covered all the bases. We spoke to the Social Services council, the Ways and Means Committee, and a representative of Senator Patrick Gallivan.  I spoke of my concern not just for myself but for the disabled, elderly, and children who would be forced into the shelter system.”

Watch the NY1 story with Willie McCartha.

Make your voice heard.  Sign the petition, share your story and spread the word.

March 2012

Our Secret Ingredient? Occupational Therapy Clinical Interns!

Occupational Therapy Clinical Interns

If you haven’t heard of Occupational Therapy (often called OT by insiders), occupational therapists work to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living and work skills of their patients with a physical, mental or developmental condition.

Occupational Therapists often collaborate with clinicians from other disciplines, including medicine, nursing, social work, among others.

For many of our clients coming in off the streets, living independently presents many challenges that you might take for granted. For example, developing a menu plan for the week, shopping for groceries, learning how to keep food from going bad, or how to organize your living space might be something you learned growing up. OT steps into that role for our clients, aiding them in navigating the many new problems they face.

Now imagine how much harder this can be with those who also struggle with mental illness…not easy, right?

Our students are with us doing the psychiatric rotation of their training, and they come from the Masters in Science program in Occupational Therapy at Columbia University. Their enthusiasm and helpful trainings don’t just help clients, they help the students to gain a knowledge of how the least served in our community can benefit from this useful discipline!

So get to know our summer interns—and reach out to us if you want to know more!

_____________________________

Ashley Hunsberger, Occupational Therapy Intern (Columbia University)

3rd Street Recovery Center

Q) What are you working on?

We work to help the clients take the next step in their necessary process. This includes life skills such as communication, stress management, and goal setting.

Q) If you could be any super hero who would you be?

UnderDog—he always surprised everyone by saving the day.

_____________________________

Konju Briggs Jr., Mental Health Occupational Therapy Intern (Columbia University)

3rd Street Recovery Center

Q) What are you working on?

Mental Health occupational therapy fieldwork at the Recovery Center on 3rd Street, running groups and doing one-on-one sessions with clients.

Q) If you could be any super hero who would you be?

Zen Master Bodhidharma

_____________________________

Hoan Nguyen, Occupational Therapy Intern (Columbia University)

3rd Street Recovery Center

Q) What are you working on?

I am running the Lifeskills group at the Recovery Center, as of right now we are focusing on stress management.

Q) If you could be any super hero who would you be?

If you have heard of the legendary Monkey King, a Chinese legendary god figure, I would be like him. I grew up watching the Chinese TV series with my family and he made a great impression on all of us.

_____________________________

Anna Czinn, Occupational Therapy Intern (Columbia University)

In Homes Now

Q) What are you working on?

I am running health and wellness groups and completing home visits to help individuals live more functionally and independently.

I am also assessing clients and writing letters on their behalf in order to assist them with obtaining disability funding.

Q) If you could be any super hero who would you be?

I would be Spiderman (but the female version)

_____________________________

Heidi Woo, Occupational Therapy Intern (Columbia University)

Clinton Residence

Q) What are you working on?

I’m working at the Clinton Residence this summer, developing groups to facilitate the development of functional skills, and working with individuals one-on-one to identify goals and improvement areas in their daily occupations.

Q) If you could be any super hero who would you be?

Athena (old school “superhero”)

_____________________________

Stephanie Crane, Occupational Therapy Intern (Columbia University)

Clinton Residence

Q) What are you working on?

I am working to empower the residents there with independent living skills like money management, stress coping strategies, symptom recognition, and meal planning.

Q) If you could be any super hero who would you be?

There are so few female super heroes that the choice is somewhat limited, but I would want to be Elasti-girl from the Incredibles. She is a strong, independent woman who balances her dedication to her family with her duty to society.

Want to learn more? Ask Doug Warn, our Director of Training and OT Supervisor a question!

Occupational Therapy Clinical Interns
Occupational Therapy Clinical Interns

Ft. Washington's newest piece of fine art

  The Medical Clinic at the Ft. Washington Men’s Shelter has a new piece of fine art! 
 Volunteer artist Katie Reidy, a student at the noted art school Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) painted a mural depicting an optimistic city scape with the words: 
   The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.   
  Martin Luther King Jr. , Strength to Love, 1963   



 Katie Reidy Bio: 

 I was born and raised on Long Island in a little town called Brentwood. I currently live happily in Yonkers. It’s got a lot more beauty that people just don’t give it credit for. As far as my art career is concerned, I feel I’ve only just begun. I did art as a student in High School, and enjoyed dabbling, but never took it serious until my dad told me I was accepted to SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design). I was threatened and inspired by the skills many of those students had that I simply did not. I couldn’t (can now!) draw a tree and make it look real like they could, or an apple, or a metallic surface. But what I had was my unique style and years of drawing out graffiti style behind me. 

 I decided that I wanted to go into a career where I can use that funky style. I got a BFA in computer arts to pursue that dream. While in school, I developed a program in which I teach children to draw graffiti style art using fine arts lingo intertwined. That class opened many doors for me. I was asked to develop a new mural for the town where I teach, which I did and received so much positive feedback. I was humbled by that but I also grew more confident in my work, and realized that the reason I like my job so much, is because my job is to make people feel good. I love painting to bring a smile to someones face. 

 A student said to me “it’s just so nice that I always see you go out of your way no matter what, just to make people happy…” it was wonderful to hear but I replied “I don’t know how much I am going out of my way, since that has always been the direction I was looking to go…” I think art should be done to make the world better, and that is my goal. 

The Medical Clinic at the Ft. Washington Men’s Shelter has a new piece of fine art!

Volunteer artist Katie Reidy, a student at the noted art school Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) painted a mural depicting an optimistic city scape with the words:

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love, 1963

Katie Reidy Bio:

I was born and raised on Long Island in a little town called Brentwood. I currently live happily in Yonkers. It’s got a lot more beauty that people just don’t give it credit for. As far as my art career is concerned, I feel I’ve only just begun. I did art as a student in High School, and enjoyed dabbling, but never took it serious until my dad told me I was accepted to SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design). I was threatened and inspired by the skills many of those students had that I simply did not. I couldn’t (can now!) draw a tree and make it look real like they could, or an apple, or a metallic surface. But what I had was my unique style and years of drawing out graffiti style behind me.

I decided that I wanted to go into a career where I can use that funky style. I got a BFA in computer arts to pursue that dream. While in school, I developed a program in which I teach children to draw graffiti style art using fine arts lingo intertwined. That class opened many doors for me. I was asked to develop a new mural for the town where I teach, which I did and received so much positive feedback. I was humbled by that but I also grew more confident in my work, and realized that the reason I like my job so much, is because my job is to make people feel good. I love painting to bring a smile to someones face.

A student said to me “it’s just so nice that I always see you go out of your way no matter what, just to make people happy…” it was wonderful to hear but I replied “I don’t know how much I am going out of my way, since that has always been the direction I was looking to go…” I think art should be done to make the world better, and that is my goal. 

What is new on the farm?

What’s new on the farm?

Summer has arrived in Upstate New York! Learn more about Renewal Farm, a six-month work-training program for 24 homeless men in recovery from substance abuse who are struggling to rebuild their lives.

The men learn to operate an organic farm and retail business, and the program trains men in marketable skills and places them in jobs and housing when they complete the program. Along with the vocation component, farm participants participate in St. Christopher’s Inn intensive 60 day substance abuse treatment program.

News: New Grant to Get Vets Jobs Awarded to Project Renewal

Richard McFarthing

Senator Schumer’s office called to congratulate us on our award of $100,064 to provide employment services to homeless veterans! We were one of 2 new grantees in New York City selected in this national competition.

Did you know 107,000 veterans are homeless on any given night, and 45% of veterans need help getting a job?

The press release stated:

These recipients are familiar with the geographic areas and populations to be served, and have demonstrated that they can provide effective help to homeless veterans

Funding will expand the reach of our Next Step Employment Program to homeless veterans: we will offer vocational counseling, job training, and job placement services to help vets get back to work! 

Click here to view to press release.

Photo courtesy of EsotericSapience via Flickr

News: Project Renewal's Medical Vans Front Page in Pharmacy Today

The front page of the June issue of Pharmacy Today features Project Renewal’s medical vans in glowing terms. Check out this excerpt of the interview with van Pharmacist John Conry, PharmD, BCPS, AAHIVP:

“The urban homeless population faces numerous obstacles that hinder its ability to effectively receive the appropriate health care, even in the safety net,” Conry says. These obstacles can include the lack of financial resources, lack of stable housing, social isolation stemming from prior physical or sexual abuse, social stigma, literacy and health literacy issues, and language barriers. Even the forms to get Medicaid are tough.

Imagine being on the streets and really being challenged by these issues in the application process. It really becomes unbearable for many of the patients, so they just give up.

Second, the lack of housing leads to a variety of medication issues such as proper medication storage, rules on medication carrying and storage at homeless shelters or other structured living environments, proper medication administration, proper medication monitoring, and adherence issues.

Lack of stable housing is recognized as a risk factor for medication nonadherence. So we have to be really careful in terms of educating our patients on the importance of taking their medications exactly as prescribed, using language that they can understand.

Conry added that his patients who are homeless are very interested in their medications, contrary to what many people believe about this population. His patients “sincerely appreciate the counseling sessions and disease state education.”

I hear from my students every single month. … They’ll say, wow, these patients really listen to me. They’re talking to me. They’re engaged. They’re not just there to grab their medicine and go home.

When I say the health care system has forgotten the uninsured and homeless, I’m particularly concerned with the general lack of ready access to primary and preventive care medicine and services. By no means do I intend to blame these problems on the already overwhelmed hospitals and the dedicated professionals who work there. But I do question the logic of a health care system that lets some of its most vulnerable patients proceed without proper care and follow-up.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL-TEXT PDF

John Conry, PharmD, BCPS, AAHIVP is an Associate Clinical Professor and the Assistant Dean for Service Programs at St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Queens, NY, Conry splits his time between teaching, administrative responsibilities, and university committees; and practicing on the Project Renewal medical vans and at an HIV clinic within the shelters, often with student pharmacists on rotation. His work with Project Renewal is fully funded by St. John’s University. 

News: Our 22nd Annual Gala Benefit and Auction raises over $760,000

Thank you SO much to all of our wonderful Trustees, staff, volunteers, and supporters who made our 22nd Annual Gala Benefit and Auction a great success!

We raised over $760,000 to help homeless New Yorkers find health, homes, and jobs—bringing them so much further on their journey towards a new life. The Bowery Hotel was buzzing with our guests until late in the night, and the bidding was lively on both silent and live auction items.

A special thanks to our Host Ed Helms, Gala Chair Pamela Bell, MC Erika Tarantal, Auctioneer Hugh Hildesley, and Special Guest Patrick Lee.

Check out coverage of the event on Guest of a Guest and Local Bozo, and all of our great photos on Facebook!

Project Renewal ScanVan Patient Gives Back

ScanVan patient KS Stevens is giving back! Check out the premiere June 6th of BIG EXCELLENT 20TH REUNION with a Reception at 6:30 P.M. and the show at 8pm. Stevens is encouraging audience members to Project Renewal and similar charities.

At Theatre 80 (80 Saint Marks Place, between 1st and 2nd Avenues). The show runs for a 3-Week-Limited-Engagement—more info here:

http://www.ksstevens.com/be20r.html

News: Culinary Arts Training Program Graduates 66th Class

A Culinary Arts Graduate Takes His Knives

Last Friday 23 more graduates of our Culinary Arts Training Program (CATP) received a new set of knives, firm handshakes from their teachers, and the promise that “we will stay with you, we will continue to help you.”

From their former life on the streets to this celebration on the Bowery these formerly homeless men and women have much to be proud of, and much to look forward to. Over half get jobs right out of the program, and even in this struggling economy over half are employed 6 months later.

Even in today’s job market the students are finding employment and employers are keeping them, despite an industry that sees the highest turnover (by far) than any other industry.

Our unique training program is designed to train formerly homeless men and women in entry level kitchen skills and help them get and keep jobs in the food service industry. This program includes training in customer service and other life skills necessary for our student’s continued success in the industry.

We are so proud of their continued accomplishments in not only graduating from the program but in turning their lives around. Congrats Grads!

Help: Have a new or used cookbook? Donate now to help formerly homeless New Yorker's learn to cook!

101/365: Old faithful

Imagine never having a fridge…you could only buy enough food for the day and you couldn’t plan a menu, let alone cook!

Many of our clients face this reality.

Across our programs Project Renewal needs new or used cookbooks. In our Culinary Arts Training Program students depend on cookbooks to hone their craft and residents in our transitional housing apartments use them to learn to cook for the first time. Be a part of their new life!

Please drop of cookbooks at Project Renewal’s Headquarters in TriBeCa at 200 Varick 9th Fl. New York, NY 10014 or mail to:

Project Renewal

c/o Joanna Stanberry

200 Varick 9th Fl.

New York, NY 10014 

photo courtesy of SaraSphar via Flickr

News: Project Renewal Changes Lives! Parole Support and Treatment Program Graduates Share their Stories

Parole Support and Treatment Graduates Move Into Housing

When men with a criminal history try to turn their lives around, often the doors to permanent housing are shut to them.

We came alongside the men in our Parole Support and Treatment Program (PSTP) and secured permanent housing for 20 of our graduates.

Some comments from the clients in the graduate program:

Raymond J:

One of my greatest accomplishments has been decorating my new apartment. I can definitely call it home. Dealing with my anger through groups and being aware of my triggers has allowed me to live independently in the community.

Thank you Project Renewal.

Ivan B.

Having my own apartment has been a great experience for me. After having a roommate for some time, I really feel more independent. I am able to shop for myself and come home to my own place. Thanks to Project Renewal.

Frank C.

I am so grateful Project Renewal reached out to me while I was incarcerated at Sing Sing Correctional Facility. In my life I have experienced many great things, and one of those has been Project Renewal. I am very excited about having my own apartment in the Bronx and being able to work on “my music”. Even recently diagnosed with cancer, I remain grateful for this wonderful life that I have and for the opportunity that Project Renewal has given me.

Michael K.

What I remember is that Project Renewal has always been there for me. Helping me with budgeting, and encouraging me to take my medication. Now I know why!

Having my own apartment in the Bronx I am able to do these things independently. I have a checking account with direct deposit, my own computer and some nice things in my apartment. It beats being in jail!

Thanks Project Renewal.

Warren E.

It’s like living a normal life. I used to struggle with certain things in my life, but not anymore the Project Renewal staff are always there to help me and I am glad to say things have gotten better.

Thanks Project Renewal.

Carmelo R.

It’s the freedom that I feel when I enter my apartment each day. Not having a roommate means I can cook at any time without any interruptions. Having my own apartment has allowed me to work on my personal goals. I have completed an internship with Howie T Harp and because of that, I am working as a peer specialist. This program works if you work it. Thanks Project Renewal!

E. Taylor/Case Manager

As the Graduates of PSTP made their comments. I felt proud of the accomplishments and delighted to have been a part of their milestones. In a years’ time I have witnessed improved health, financial independence, family unification, community stability, and most of all a sense of pride that shines in each Graduate. Continued Success Guys!

D. Lindsey/Housing Counselor

I would like to thank all of the Graduates for allowing me to be a part of your ongoing success. Just being able to assist and encourage you all makes my Job meaningful and for that I am grateful. Rock on.

R.. Blocker/Program Director

I am very proud to lead the teams that were the conduits of our residents successful outcomes. I am still hoping for the day that all Project Renewal clients who put in the hard work toward positive change in their lives, have an appropriate place to call home.

You guys are certainly our role models, Continued success in your journeys.

Donate to help more men like these!

More than 1/3 of homeless men are _________...

Vets Photo

Veterans!

While homelessness among the general population is a serious issue, high incidences of homelessness among the men and woman who served our country are especially disturbing.  On a given night in 2011, 67,495 veterans experienced homelessness in the U.S.   New York City alone documented 4,677 homeless veterans on a single night in 2011 – nearly 7% of the national total.

In an effort to better serve the men and women who served our country, members of the Project Renewal staff conducted a focus group with three clients who are also veterans.   Indio Casaine, Darrell Bristow and Mike Woods (pictured above) shared their personal stories with PRI staff, helping us to learn more about the unique needs of veterans and how to best help homeless veterans attain health, homes and jobs.