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Shelter House opens ‘housing first’ project to combat chronic homelessness in Iowa City

THE GAZETTE | The new facility is a “housing first” model, operated with the mentality that stable housing should come before prerequisites such as addressing behavioral health issues or completing programs. Cross Park Place, which was debuted during an open house Wednesday, will begin filling its 24 single-occupancy apartments this month with residents who fall under the FUSE category.

FUSE stands for Frequent User System Engagement and refers to people who are caught in a cycle of jails, shelters, emergency rooms or other crisis services. The facility will offer common spaces such as a laundry room and an exam room for case workers, as well as health and behavioral health professionals.

“We can save lives and we can offer hope and opportunity for folks to change the entire trajectory of their lives,” said Crissy Canganelli, executive director of Shelter House. “This is where we choose to dedicate our time, to being part of a solution.”

So far, six future residents have completed paperwork and meet the definition of chronic homelessness. They’ll pay 30 percent of their income as rent and can live at Cross Park Place without expectations beyond that of a typical lease.

The project was awarded $2.7 million from the Iowa Finance Authority and another $463,000 from the Housing Trust Fund of Johnson County. Cross Park Place is a “demonstration project” — the first of its kind in the state, to state and nonprofit leaders’ knowledge.

“What we have done here is entirely replicable. Each community has its different nuances, its different strengths and challenges,” Canganelli said. “I hope that they’ll be inspired by this.”

FUSE stands for Frequent User System Engagement and refers to people who are caught in a cycle of jails, shelters, emergency rooms or other crisis services. The facility will offer common spaces such as a laundry room and an exam room for case workers, as well as health and behavioral health professionals.

“We can save lives and we can offer hope and opportunity for folks to change the entire trajectory of their lives,” said Crissy Canganelli, executive director of Shelter House. “This is where we choose to dedicate our time, to being part of a solution.”

So far, six future residents have completed paperwork and meet the definition of chronic homelessness. They’ll pay 30 percent of their income as rent and can live at Cross Park Place without expectations beyond that of a typical lease.

The project was awarded $2.7 million from the Iowa Finance Authority and another $463,000 from the Housing Trust Fund of Johnson County. Cross Park Place is a “demonstration project” — the first of its kind in the state, to state and nonprofit leaders’ knowledge.

“What we have done here is entirely replicable. Each community has its different nuances, its different strengths and challenges,” Canganelli said. “I hope that they’ll be inspired by this.”

FULL ARTICLE: https://www.thegazette.com/shelter-house-cross-park-place-opens-housing-first-project-to-combat-chronic-homelessness-in-iowa-city-20190117

Madison Arnold, New Reporter
(319) 339-3172; maddy.arnold@thegazette.com

 

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