Site visits give Beyond Housing conference participants the opportunity to learn more about exemplary programs that are addressing poverty and homelessness in the New York City area.
ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty)
ASTEP was conceived by Broadway Musical Director Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Juilliard students to transform the lives of youth using the most powerful tool they had: their art. ASTEP connects performing and visual artists with underserved youth in the U.S. and around the world to awaken their imaginations, foster critical thinking, and help them break the cycle of poverty. Many of their students are homeless. Conference participants will experience both interactive and discussion portions during their visit. They will join a teaching artist for either a visual arts class or a dance workshop, then discuss the rationale behind the lesson, specifically talking about the challenges and best practices that are useful to the participant’s work.
The Floating Hospital
The Floating Hospital has the largest outreach network to family homeless shelters and domestic violence safe houses of all homeless healthcare providers in New York City. Conference participants will be transported to their facilities in Long Island City and will go through mock intake screenings for primary medical, dental, and mental health services to get a feel for the patient experience. Next they will tour the building to see the comprehensive services offered, including specialty services. There will be a presentation on the program model and ample time for Q&A.
Per Scholas was founded to open doors to transformative technology careers for individuals from often overlooked communities. Conference attendees will get an overview of the student experience, including admissions, career development, and technical instruction. They will tour the facilities and meet with a group of students. Following the tour, there will be a high-level Q&A to discuss program model, how it fits in the continuum of services for those on the edge of homelessness or after homelessness, success rates, and how it fits in different communities.
Prospect Family Inn and Support Center
One of Homes for the Homeless’s Community Residential Resource Centers, the Prospect has year-round educational programming for children ages 5 to 17, early childhood education for children ages 2 to 5, a computer lab, adult education programs, and a counseling center. This is also the location of the Prospect Family Support Center, which offers free respite care for children six and under (up to 72 hours at a time), supportive services for qualifying families experiencing an emergency, and a 24/7 hotline. Following the tour, participants will meet with senior staff to discuss best practices and how the model can be adapted to their own communities.
Saratoga Family Inn
One of Homes for the Homeless’s Community Residential Resource Centers, the Saratoga houses 255 families and combines the basic services of a traditional family shelter with a full range of programs designed to meet the diverse needs of homeless families residing in the shelter and residents from surrounding neighborhoods. At the Saratoga, parents drop toddlers off at daycare on their way to work, after-school teachers greet kids as they come home from school, and families bond together at special community events. Children participate in a full range of after-school enrichment, from team sports to creative writing—and especially school work support. Adults meet with employment and housing specialists who help them prepare for job interviews, learn valuable life skills, and find apartments of their own. Participants will explore the facility, and participate in a discussion on program opportunities and challenges with senior staff.