City of Yonkers & Westhab Partner on New Innovative Street Homeless Outreach Program

Project Connect to Service Unsheltered Homelessness in Downtown Yonkers

YONKERS, NY – June 10, 2021 — Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano joined Westhab, Inc. today to announce their partnership in the launch of Project Connect, a new pilot program targeting unsheltered homelessness in downtown Yonkers.

Project Connect, housed at 100 N. Broadway, fills a void in current social service programs and conducts outreach to the street homeless population of Yonkers, working with individuals to create short and long-term goals toward ultimately attaining permanent housing. Members of Project Connect’s mobile outreach team survey unhoused individuals, those typically resistant to services, and offer a safe and private space to meet with program staff. Individuals are able to access shower facilities, meals, beds, and temporary emergency accommodations while Project Connect staff attempt to connect them with necessary services.

“Yonkers is proud to partner with Westhab in this innovative pilot program that targets the hard to reach homeless who are typically underserved by current conventional social services,” said Mayor Spano. “With this laser-focused approach, we have an opportunity to meet their needs in real time. Our hope is that Project Connect becomes a model for the County’s Department of Social Services to adopt and provide more sustainable offerings in the future.”

“Westhab is extremely grateful to Mayor Spano and the City of Yonkers for supporting Project Connect,” said President and CEO, Richard Nightingale. “This groundbreaking program fills a gap in the current system of care for the homeless by delivering zero barrier support to the street homeless while we work on longer-term engagement. Ultimately, the program is about offering hope and the critical first step on the path towards stability.”

Project Connect, operated by Westhab, is funded by the City of Yonkers through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over $2.5 million in grant funding will be used to operate the two-year pilot program. Since rolling out this spring, Project Connect has already engaged over 100 individuals, placed over 15 into shelters, and transitioned three individuals into permanent housing.

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