The city is turning to homeless prevention programs to try to tackle near record levels of homelessness. NY1's Courtney Gross got an exclusive look at one program circling some Brooklyn neighborhoods and filed the following report.
A nonprofit group is taking homelessness prevention on the road.
"We're driving in a community that has a high incidence of homelessness, and we're going to try to find a place to park to do some outreach this morning," said Melissa Mowery of CAMBA.
That neighborhood is Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant, just one of the rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods across the city, where one life change may mean you are moments away from being homeless.
"I was laid off in the beginning of the summer," said Yovani Broadus, a CAMBA client.
"Unfortunately, just fell a little short on my rent arrears," said Tanya Miller, a CAMBA client.
"I was 11 days from being homeless," Broadus said.
Miller: I had 30 days to come up with the money.
Gross: How much was it?
Both of these women were able to keep their apartments thanks to CAMBA, the proprietor of this van and the major contractor for the city for homelessness prevention programs.
The van is their latest effort to prevent homelessness before it starts. It means they can bring their services to the neighborhoods that need it most, like Bed-Stuy, which has one of the highest number of residents who are evicted and then become homeless. All CAMBA has to do is find a place to park and set up shop.
"When people buy the building, then they want to go up on the rent. That's too much," said one person in the neighborhood. "They're pushing out the low-income people."
This is one way to take the fight against homelessness from city shelters to city streets. They hope to contact about 3,000 people with this van over the next year, hopefully preventing hundreds of families from becoming homeless.
Last year, nearly 5,000 households looking for shelter reported they were homeless because of eviction. 217 of them were from this area in Brooklyn.
So now that this program is on the move, they hope that figure heads south.