Program Department is comprised of a variety of individual services that meet the needs of Schenectady City and County’s homeless and working poor population.
- A Safe Haven offering fellowship and community
- Daily community meal
- Showers and laundry
- Mailboxes and storage lockers
- Food Pantry
- Hygiene kits
- Household goods
- Emergency Services
- Representative Payee Financial Management Program
- Women’s Support Group
- Information and referral services
Case Management Services
- Emergency/Crisis Assistance – primarily assists homeless adult individuals and occasionally, families navigate the complex system of care to receive emergency shelter placement and other basic needs as quickly as possible.
- Housing/Outreach Case Management – assists guest to stabilize income and find the most suitable housing that is both safe and affordable. Includes renting from reputable landlords, applying for Section 8 Housing, Municipal Housing or other housing programs.
- Representative Payee Financial Management Program – manages SSI and SSD benefits for disabled guests particularly those with a history of chronic homelessness in spite of their steady monthly income. These individuals are often easily victimized and lack the ability to make sound financial decisions. Bethesda House Case Managers work with each guest to establish a budget to ensure that rent, food, medical care and other basic needs are met prior to the guest being given a personal spending allowance. This program has ended the cycle of chronic homelessness for every participant who was homeless at the time of entry.
- Women’s Support Group – Facilitators include staff from Bethesda House, the Rape Crisis Center and YWCA.
Residential Programs:The agency’s sixteen-bed Liberty Apartments and seven beds of the Lighthouse Program are permanent supportive housing residences for chronically homeless adults with a history of untreated severe and persistent mental illness and other disabling conditions. The Housing First model provides housing first for the chronically homeless population, and then combines that housing with supportive treatment services in the areas of mental and physical health, substance abuse, education and employment. We provide advocacy, housing and a safety net for our residents. Staff addresses the needs of the whole person focusing on self-respect, personal growth and discovery of one’s gifts. The sixteen beds and seven beds of the permanent supportive housing follow this model. The Lighthouse Program also has three emergency shelter beds for Veterans. Liberty Apartments is located on State Street and the Lighthouse facility is located in Mont Pleasant. Both programs provide safe and affordable housing for adults with a history of chronic homelessness with one or more disability. Back to Top
Housing First Principals:Housing is a basic human right, not a reward for clinical success
- Once the chaos of homelessness is eliminated from a person’s life, clinical and social stabilization occur faster and are more enduring.
- Move people into housing directly from streets and shelters without preconditions of treatment acceptance or compliance.
- The provider is obligated to bring robust support services to the housing. These services are predicated on assertive engagement, not coercion.
- Continued tenancy is not dependent on participation in services.
- Units are targeted to the most disabled and vulnerable members of the community.
- Embraces harm reduction approach to addictions rather than mandating abstinence. At the same time, the provider must be prepared to support resident commitment to recovery.
- Can be implemented as either a project-based or scattered site model.