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SHORE is an all volunteer, interfaith, not-for-profit organization that develops innovative permanent housing, and advocates policies and programs, for homeless families and individuals in central Westchester County, New York.
SHORE links a wide variety of individuals, businesses, houses of worship, and civic and business groups.
SHORE continually seeks new means of providing shelter, permanent housing, and other support services to the area’s homeless population.
SHORE (Sheltering the Homeless is Our Responsibility), a all-volunteer group founded in 1985 to help people with housing needs, draws its strength and support from the communities in central Westchester County, N.Y. where it carries on its mission to help homeless families in the county find permanent housing and get back on their feet in homes of their own.
Affordable housing is scarce in Westchester County, where the cost of living is high, pay for service jobs is usually low, and even working families sometimes must decide between buying groceries and paying their rent.
Because there is virtually no market-rate housing that earners at the lowest end of the income scale can afford, many live doubled up or in overcrowded conditions; and when these solutions do not work, families take refuge in temporary shelters operated on public assistance--often a devastating experience, especially for children.
The number of homeless people--both families and individuals--on record with the county’s Department of Social Services has fluctuated over the past 20 years; a January 2012 report published by the Westchester County Department of Social Services counts 327 families, including 515 children, now living in shelters. Their difficulty in finding housing they can afford is further complicated by the very stigma of homelessness they are trying to leave behind.
SHORE has created or acquired 22 such units of affordable housing--including 15 for rental to homeless families and 7 for first-time homeowners--in White Plains, Ardsley, and Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. The families that SHORE selects from emergency shelters for these units are able to live there permanently as tenants, signing a lease, paying rent, and doing their share of upkeep.
With lives stabilized in homes of their own, and supported by ongoing case management services, they can deal with issues of employment, school, budgeting, parenting and housekeeping and begin to resume normal lives in the community. Once accepted, the tenants pay rent at a level they can afford--set at maximum of 30 percent of their income.
- Ken Creary
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