We provide interim and transitional supportive sober housing to psychiatrically disabled veterans, who would otherwise be homeless
CO-OPERATIVE APARTMENT PROGRAM
The group home is located in a historically significant mansard Victorian. The founders purchased this building with their own money specifically for the purpose of creating a new and innovative program for veterans with psychiatric disabilities. This house consists of ....
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Located right next door is a five unit apartment building. There are four apartments for veterans and a meeting room/office. This program was opened in 1992 as a direct response to the need of veterans who had stabilized at the main house and desired a less restrictive, more independent, yet still supported setting. In this environment veterans ....
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The founders of HP have many years experience in the social service field and working in various state service delivery systems. Both have college educations. Susan Campbell has a degree in Counseling and Spirituality from the Graduate School of Leslie College in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The founders met while working for a non-profit serving developmentally delayed adults. They used to spend their lunch hours discussing ideas for opening a home for the disabled. While doing some private consulting on the North Shore, Susan Campbell became aware of how many of the homeless on the streets of our communities were veterans. Of those veterans, many were struggling with psychiatric disabilities. Due to her own personal loss of her nineteen-year-old cousin, Stanley Egan, in Vietnam, this population held a special place in her heart. Had Stanley made it home alive, but with a disability, would he have been relegated to living on the street?
As a result, she approached the Veterans Administration (VA) in Boston to see what resources were available to this population. She found that the VA had a Community Residential Care Program (CRCP). This program operates on somewhat of a foster care model. Members of the community, known as sponsors, who may have an extra bedroom or two would bring a veteran into their home. However, often what we heard from veterans was a feeling of being the odd-man-out in this situation.
Susan and Bernadette felt it may be even more beneficial to create a community of psychiatrically disabled veterans in a group setting were they could get additional support not only from the sponsor, but from each other, as well. In a group situation the veterans could derive understanding and support from their peers, who were struggling with the same types of obstacles that each was facing, due to their disability.
Susan then went home and spent the better part of a year writing a proposal to the VA for the purpose of establishing such a home. Working with a social worker from the VA, Susan developed a plan and met all the requirements for a Federally Licensed Continuing Care Home and was granted status as a sponsor under the Community Residential Care Program (CRCP) in 1989.
Although we were now federally licensed, the organization received no federal or state funding. For the first eight years of operation the home ran on the contributions of the veterans, as set by the CRCP guidelines and the remainder Susan and Bernadette personally financed out of their own pockets. As the founders could not afford to do this indefinitely, in 1995 they sought out and were granted a 501(c) 3 non-profit status and the organization now known as Habitat P.L.U.S., Inc. was established.
The founders chose this name for the organization because they wanted to be more than just a habitat in which to eat and sleep. They wanted to create a home environment where people would be learning useful skills that would keep them from decompensating and thus break the cycle of re-hospitalization and homelessness.
In 1998 the legislature saw fit to award HP state funding for a portion of our budget, through the Department of Veterans’ Services. However, the majority of our funding is derived from the veteran’s contributions, donations and fundraising.
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