Understanding and Addressing Chronic Homelessness in New York City

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On Tuesday, November 10 we welcome the staff of Breaking Ground to speak to New York Junior League volunteers about chronic homelessness in our city. Breaking Ground’s mission is to strengthen individuals, families and communities by developing and sustaining exceptional supportive and affordable housing as well as programs for homeless and other vulnerable New Yorkers.

Brenda E. Rosen, President and CEO of Breaking Ground, along with Doug Becht, Senior Program Director, Housing Operations and Programs, and Chris Tabellario, Program Director for Breaking Ground’s Street to Home Manhattan team, will be leading a panel discussion on the myths and facts of chronic homelessness, understanding the work the NYJL does to help the homeless community, and how individuals and other organizations can raise awareness and can help.

This interactive presentation will showcase:

  • The difference between episodic and chronic homelessness, including the characteristics that define the chronically homeless;
  • The scale of chronic homelessness in New York City;
  • The strategies to address chronic homelessness and roles of different groups in these efforts

Breaking Ground has created and operates thousands of units of affordable permanent and transitional housing in the northeastern United States and has approximately one thousand more currently in development. The nonprofit organization also manages the innovative street outreach program, Street to Home, which connects the most entrenched, long-term homeless individuals with housing and other critical supportive services, and their work has enabled more than 12,000 people to overcome or avoid homelessness.

Brenda E. Rosen was appointed President and CEO of Breaking Ground Community in July 2011. For the five years prior to her appointment as President and CEO, Ms. Rosen ran Breaking Ground’s Housing Operations and Programs (HOPs) department. As President and CEO, Ms. Rosen oversees the entirety of Breaking Ground’s activities, including the largest supportive housing property in the country, the Times Square on West 43rd Street and 8th Avenue, and Street to Home, a City of New York sponsored outreach program to house homeless individuals living on streets of Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. Ms. Rosen sits on the Board of the Supportive Housing Network of New York, is an advisory member of the New York State Department of Health Medicaid Redesign Team. She holds a J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and received her B.A. from Hunter College where she began her career working with the City Council as part of the Hunter College Public Service Scholar Program. Prior to joining Breaking Ground, Ms. Rosen was Assistant General Counsel at the New York City Department of Homeless Services.

Doug Becht is a Senior Program Director for Breaking Ground. He holds a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University and has been with Breaking Ground in his current position for three years. Mr. Becht oversees Breaking Ground’s Street to Home outreach and housing placement programs, located in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. He has been working in the field of homelessness for seven years. Prior to working for Breaking Ground, Mr. Becht was the Program Director for the Homeless Outreach Team at BronxWorks.

Chris Tabellario has worked with homeless individuals in various capacities for over 15 years. He has provided homeless advocacy in Washington DC, Madison, Wisconsin and New York City. Chris has been with Breaking Ground since 2006, with a short break to obtain his Masters in Social Work. Chris’s experience is largely with street outreach teams as a front line worker, Clinical Coordinator, Community Director and currently as the Program Director for Breaking Ground’s Street to Home Manhattan team. Chris has also worked for a harm reduction program in Washington Heights, where the majority of participants were homeless. Chris obtained his Master of Social Work from Hunter College in 2011 with a focus on Community Organizing.

Strengthening the families of the greater New York area.

The New York Junior League is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

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