New Resources for People on Brink of Homelessness
Shawanna McManus' says her world turned upside down when she and her 5-year-old twins were kicked out of their apartment and entered a homeless shelter.
"It was really stressful. It was draining. But as a mom, you always have to keep your guard up and put your Superman face on!" said Shawanna McManus, a current Mariners Harbor resident.
She says she and her little girls spent 15 days in a Queens shelter before turning to CAMBA in Tompkinsville, a non-profit that helps people get back on their feet.
"If you're at your last resort, then you need to do something."
McManus is just one of 60,000 New Yorkers looking for stable housing.
It’s here on Staten Island where the City launched a pilot program to speed up that process.
The Mayor's 5-year-plan is pumping resources into CAMBA's "HomeBase" homeless prevention services.
The organization now has extra funding for emergency financial assistance, job placement, and counseling.
"The additional tools include additional rental assistance, mediation with landlords, help to reconnect with friends and family, including financial assistance for families to take people in,” said Steven Banks, the City’s Social Services Commissioner. “We want to do everything possible to keep people out of shelter."
The Department of Homeless Services says nearly 12,000 homeless are living on the Island but with space for just 140 of them.
The City says one of the biggest goals of this pilot program is to avoid placing people outside of their home borough.
"It keeps folks and their children who are in school uninterrupted. That's a great resource to have," said Melissa Mowery, the Vice President of CAMBA HomeBase.
While McManus is still searching for a place to live, she feels optimistic.
"I'm confident, they give me confidence," McManus said.
And if CAMBA has their way, she will soon have a house to call home on Staten Island.