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Letter from the Executive Director
The Interfaith Assembly addresses the crisis of homelessness and the shortage of affordable housing in two ways. Through our empowerment programs we help those who have been homeless to recover from the trauma associated with their homelessness, and with our advocacy partners we work to “Build the Blessed City Together” and promote public policies that will – produce affordable housing; prevent homelessness, provide important services; and promote income and employment.On both these fronts, there has been much recent activity.
In the area of empowerment, thanks in part to a generous grant in memory of Andrew Stallman, in recent years the Assembly has been able to assist community partners in replicating the very effective life-skills program that we helped to establish in 1990 with New York Catholic Charities. These include "Coming Home", established in 2009 partnership with the Reformed Church of Bronxville, to assist men and women to re-enter society after incarceration; "Panim El Panim" - for homeless men and women, established by Congregation Ansche Chesed, with support from All Angels Church, the Collegiate Church Corporation and other congregation partners; "Living Well", established in 2011, to assist women who have become homeless as a result of domestic violence - with support from Presbyterian Women (Presbyterian Church USA), the Collegiate Church Corporation, First Presbyterian Church and others; "Coming Home Brooklyn", established in 2010, in partnership with the Brooklyn DA's Office for men and women coming home from prison; and in 2012, "Home Coming" for veterans of military service who have experienced homelessness. In addition we are working with Fordham University's Beck Institute to document the long term effectiveness of this program model and help us to build the capacity to share this very effective program model with others.
In the area of public policy advocacy, following a successful effort as part of the Real Rent Reform Campaign to advocate for stronger rent regulations to help stem the loss of affordable housing, the Assembly is now part of an effort to urge the Mayor to re-establish a rental subsidy program to help those in shelters get back into secure housing. This December, in partnership with Habitat For Humanity and others, we are launching our "Mayoral Accountability Project" to call on all candidates for Mayor in 2013 to produce a comprehensive plan to address the crisis of homelessness and the shortage of affordable housing.
We welcome your help and encourage the participation of your community in any or all of these efforts.
Please explore our website to see how you might work with the Interfaith Assembly to help those who have been homeless to get back on their feet and help to “Build the Blessed City Together.”