BronxWorks Helps Seniors Navigate Housing Court

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Older adults are one of the most vulnerable groups of people when it comes to risk of homelessness.  To address this, BronxWorks has created the Seniors Homelessness Prevention Project (SHPP) to help borough residents 60 and above navigate eviction proceedings.  SHPP was one of several programs geared toward the elderly that was featured at the first Senior Housing Forum BronxWorks held this past winter.  Scores of seniors attended the gathering at the BronxWorks Carolyn McLaughlin Community Center next door to Bronx Housing Court.  

Thanks to SHPP, BronxWorks is able to have staff onsite at Bronx Housing Court to help seniors to better understand their rights, means to seek redress, and obtain arrears assistance.  In 2014, the program helped 109 seniors who owed nearly $420,000 in back rent.  All of the seniors avoided entry into the shelter system.

The success of SHPP was a deciding factor in it being selected by the Council of Senior Centers and Services (CSCS) as one of the 12 most innovative programs in the United States serving seniors.  BronxWorks program director Marie Edwards attended a CSCS conference where she created a poster display describing SHPP.  More than 450 delegates from over 150 organizations attended, with many interested in SHPP and how it could be replicated.

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