WELCOME HOME 1
In early 2012 RCHP-AHC forged a partnership with homeless shelter providers in New Brunswick, responding to their desire to provide permanent housing for homeless individuals living on the street, rather than just long-term shelters (with rarely any vacancies) or seasonal shelters that rotate among the various New Brunswick churches and synagogues. The Welcome Home collaborative was formed and RCHP-AHC purchased a modestly priced 3-BR home in New Brunswick with funding from the New Brunswick HOME Investment Partnership program. After making extensive use of volunteer labor to assist with renovations, RCHP-AHC and Elijah’s Promise, the social service partner for this project, opened its doors on Redmond St. in May 2012, providing permanent housing to five men who had collectively been homeless for 37 years! Four formerly homeless men current reside there (it was too crowded with five) and, in order to make the rent affordable, RCHP-AHC charges well below the fair market rent allowable for house. The residents pay for all utilities, keep the house in immaculate shape and are a stabilizing force in the neighborhood, mowing their neighbors’ lawns, hosting BBQs in the summer, and keeping up on neighborhood needs as to who is not well, who needs a meal delivered, and the like.
WELCOME HOME 2
RCHP-AHC purchased a second home in New Brunswick utilizing funds from the New Brunswick HOME Investment Partnership program and the Middlesex County Homeless Trust Fund and in the summer of 2013 welcomed five homeless individuals and one very-low income Resident Assistant to their new home. Four men and two women currently share the 4-BR house with project-based rental assistance vouchers being provided by the Middlesex County Office of Human Services, Division of Housing, Community Development and Social Services. Supportive services are provided by Elijah’s Promise. Though it’s been a challenge to keep members of the Welcome Home collaborative involved in these two houses on an ongoing basis, we did receive significant support from Second Reformed Church in New Brunswick who provided a temporary home for the residents in the winter of 2015 when the furnace cracked and they had to temporarily relocate. RCHP-AHC Board current and former Board members as well as members of the HP Minyan and other community members stepped in as well during this difficult period. I addition, members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Princeton drop by the house on occasion to deliver magazines and the New Brunswick Islamic Center donated linens and towels when we were preparing to open this additional property on Redmond St.