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‘Unconditional’ Shelter House housing project near completion

THE DAILY IOWAN | An ambitious new housing project from Shelter House, an Iowa City organization that aids people who are homeless, in collaboration with a number of other Iowa City and Johnson County groups, is nearing completion and set to open in January.

The project, called Cross Park Place, located on the avenue of the same name, is unconditional, permanent housing intended for Iowa City’s chronically homeless, according to Shelter House’s website. The building, on which construction started last spring, will comprise 24 one-bedroom apartments.

Cross Park Place takes inspiration from two nationally recognized strategies, Frequent User System Engagement and Housing First. Housing First prioritizes giving permanent housing to homeless people without hinging on behavior health changes. Frequent User offers housing with imbedded support services. Steve Rackis, an administrator with the Iowa City Housing Authority, said the project is an entirely different way of dealing with chronic homelessness.

The local homeless coordinating board, of which the Iowa City Housing Authority is a member, came up with the idea for the Cross Park Place project, Rackis said.

“We’ve been a part of the project since its inception,” he said. “We came to an agreement that we will be providing the assistance there.”

Rackis said the assistance would be providing 24 housing vouchers for Cross Park Place’s tenants.

Once the facility opens, Cross Park Place program manager Laura Iosbaker said, Shelter House will provide around-the-clock service for tenants with two case managers to work more intensely with residents as well as resources to work on physical and behavioral health. Iosbaker said tenants would not be required to participate in those programs.

FULL ARTICLE: https://dailyiowan.com/2018/11/29/unconditional-shelter-house-housing-project-near-completion/

Andy Mitchell, News Reporter