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Trenton, NJ 08625
(609) 292-3703


February 11, 2008


DHS Awards $1.7M for Supportive Housing Services for People Receiving Treatment for Substance Abuse

Funding Would Help Homeless or Those at Risk of Becoming Homeless
TRENTON – The department's Division of Addiction Services (DAS) has awarded annual contracts totaling $1.7 million to two agencies to develop supportive housing services for 62 individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and receiving treatment for substance abuse, Department of Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez announced today.
Separate annual contracts of $871,000, which are renewable for four years, were awarded to John Brooks Recovery Center in Atlantic City and Resources for Human Development in Philadelphia , which will have a satellite office in Camden .

Each agency will assist 31 individuals in a pilot program to provide links to services and supports that can assist in their recovery and help them maintain a home. The individuals will be referred from mobile medication units operating in the cities of Trenton , Paterson , Camden and Atlantic City . There are no geographic restrictions on the referrals, so both agencies will be able to serve individuals referred from any of the four cities.

“People with substance abuse problems are far more likely to respond to treatment and recover if they are living in a stable environment,” said Commissioner Velez. “These contracts will allow us to help individuals find and maintain a home and focus on their own recovery with the assurance they will always have a roof over their heads.”

The agencies will use the funding to create teams of professionals who will develop supportive relationships with their clients and be available to assist them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The goal is to be flexible and responsive to an individual's specific needs.

The teams, which are expected to be in place and providing services by late spring, will assist individuals to find, lease and--where appropriate--furnish an apartment. Rental subsidies are also available. The teams will also work with individuals to encourage them to seek substance use and/or mental health treatment, to adhere to their medication regimens and to seek vocational education, employment counseling or any other community service such as transportation, child care and referrals for medical services and psychological evaluations.

The supportive housing services contracts are a component of DAS' Needle Exchange Treatment Initiative, which is funded through a $10 million appropriation from the Bloodborne Disease Harm Reduction Act of 2006. The treatment initiative also includes mobile medication, outreach, office based treatment services, and sub-acute enhanced medically managed detoxification.

This pilot program is based on a growing body of research demonstrating that

stable housing is a cornerstone to addiction recovery. This research has shown that people suffering from chronic diseases like addiction achieve better outcomes when they have secured housing and receive support services.

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