Common Ground's mission is to end homelessness. We have created more than 2,000 units of affordable permanent and transitional housing in New York City, Connecticut, and upstate New York; we plan another 4,000 units by 2015. We address the needs of individuals and families at risk of homelessness, and those who are chronically homeless. We bring together service providers, government agencies, landlords, businesses, and members of the community to support homelessness prevention and housing initiatives.
- Common Ground has three strategy components:
- Affordable Housing- We build and operate a range of housing options for homeless and low-income individuals and families. Our affordable housing is attractive, well managed, and linked to the services and support people need to rebuild their lives.
- Outreach- We identify and house the most vulnerable: those who have been homeless the longest, have the most disabling conditions, and are least likely to access housing resources.
- Prevention- We strengthen communities and prevent homelessness by addressing the multiple factors that cause individuals and families to become homeless.
- Common Ground's client population is approximately 51% African American, 1% Asian/Pacific
Islander, 14% Latino, 33% white, and 1% unknown or other races. 32% of its clients are
- Common Ground's program beneficiaries are low- to very low-income people, those in
greatest need, and their communities. One-hundred percent of Common Ground's clients live in a
household with income at or below 80% of area median income. Virtually all of them live in major
- Most Common Ground housing residents previously lived in emergency shelters,
on the streets, or in rental housing.
- Common Ground has directly housed over 4,000 homeless and low-income individuals; inspired
others nationally and internationally who have served thousands more; and, since early 2007, is
directly assisting partners in 15 cities in implementing our strategies. We have created 2,000
units of supportive housing and operate successful social ventures (property development,
management, space rental companies). An additional 1,375 units are now in development, with 4,000
new units are planned by 2015. The Street to Home program reduced street homelessness by 87% in the
20-block Times Square neighborhood, and 43% in the surrounding 230 blocks. By developing programs
that address the root causes of homelessness, and that provide permanent solutions instead of
emergency relief, we are transforming communities as well as people's lives.
Identical twins, Chris and Michael, struggled growing up in Brooklyn, New York. By the mid 1980s, the brothers went their separate ways on the streets and both became involved in drug use. Chris and Michael almost completely lost touch except for occasional chance meetings or messages via friends. In 2008, Chris entered rehab and decided to change his life. He was able to be placed in Common Ground's Prince Transitional Residence. His brother Michael had been placed in Common Ground's Times Square Hotel. By finding permanent housing through Common Ground, both men believe Common Ground saved their lives. Full Story