BCHS provides vocational training and education, job readiness preparation, computer training, and a free computer lab to its residents, as well as to low-income Brooklyn residents from throughout the Borough, through the Working Community Vocational Assistance Program. The program also offers supervised internship opportunities in fields such as human resources, computers, facilities maintenance, and accounting.
Over 600 BCHS and other low-income Brooklyn residents utilized our Vocational Assistance program last year.
BCHS offers comprehensive assistance to at-risk Veterans in Brooklyn through a recently implemented Veterans Initiative. Each individual referred to the program receives a special needs assessment focused on common challenges typically faced by Veterans, including in the areas of employment skills and work experience; benefits and entitlements eligibility; substance abuse history; mental health issues such as PTSD; housing stability; and socialization needs. Based upon the results of the needs assessment, a service plan is developed, and a BCHS Veterans Services Coordinator provides (or arranges for other BCHS staff to provide) the services necessary to help each Veteran meet their goals and achieve maximum well-being.
Weekly support groups specifically for Veterans are also held. BCHS has worked with nearly 200 at-risk Veterans since the initiative began two years ago.
Created through a special grant by the Robin Hood Foundation and the Corporation for Supportive Housing, Moving On is an initiative that seeks to promote maximum independence among BCHS’ formerly homeless population. Through this initiative, BCHS’ Moving On case manager works to identify the agency’s most stable residents, then helps these residents graduate from BCHS housing and live independently on their own in the community. 37 residents have transitioned from BCHS to their own independent housing through Moving On since the program began two years ago.
Healthy Aging and Re-entry Housing—The “Model SRO”
Through the “Model SRO” initiative, BCHS provides a range of specialized services at our Oak Hall SRO to two growing client populations that face particularly daunting challenges in trying to sustain their independence—formerly homeless seniors, and individuals with significant histories of incarceration who are returning to the community.
Remarkably, the “Model SRO” program achieved a 96% success rate during Fiscal Year 2018, as 45 of the 47 participating residents were able to maintain their housing successfully or move on to other appropriate housing; in addition, inpatient hospital stays for older residents were reduced by 88%. Similar results were achieved each year since Fiscal Year 2007, when the program began, and because of these successful outcomes—and because permanent housing at Oak Hall is so much cheaper than jail, shelter, or the hospital—approximately $9 million in taxpayer money has been saved since the program’s inception.