The Morris County Board of Freeholders has approved the use of nine county-owned homes located on the former Greystone Park State Psychiatric Hospital campus in Parsippany to establish a residential campus for 32 single women at risk of homelessness.
The homes, once used by Greystone, are located on a cul-de-sac street located behind the county’s nonprofit mall and adjacent to the Central Park fields on the former Greystone property, which is now owned by Morris County.
The county’s Morris Advisory Leadership Group recommended this proposal for use of all nine homes (which are currently empty) that was submitted jointly by nonprofit organizations Homeless Solutions and Family Promise of Morris County.
The Board of Freeholders were briefed yesterday on the proposal and unanimously approved it at their public meeting last night.
“There is a high level of need for supportive housing in our county which this important initiative will help address,” said Freeholder Kathy DeFillippo, who is the county governing board’s liaison on Human Services issues. “These homes will provide essential living space for women struggling with a housing crisis in a therapeutic and non-stigmatizing and non-polarizing environment.’’
Family Promise Executive Director Joann Bjornson and Homeless Solutions CEO Dan McGuire offered a joint statement: “This is an amazing opportunity to work jointly, on a new level of partnership between our two agencies. Sharing our resources and project expenses, along with the support from local community providers, will allow us to convert this property into not only housing but safe homes for vulnerable women in our community. We thank the Morris County Freeholders and the Morris Advisory Leadership Group for their trust in us.’’
Housing opportunities would target women across the homeless continuum, including but not limited to persons with developmental disabilities; mental health, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, domestic violence issues; and veterans and senior citizens.
Homeless Solutions would be the property and tenant manager, and provide an on-site supervisor responsible for monitoring the campus. Family Promise would provide management and programming, with on-site service staff and administrative staff.
A network of community providers are supportive of this project, including Atlantic Health System, Child & Family Resources, Community Hope, Community Soup Kitchen, County College of Morris, Drew University Center for Civic Engagement, Interfaith Food Pantry, JBWS, Monarch Housing, Habitat for Humanity, New Jersey AIDS Services, Mental Health Association of Essex & Morris, NewBridge Services, United Way, Zufall Health Center, and the Housing Alliance of Morris County.
- Meets a high priority social services need for housing to support single women;
- Offers an innovative collaboration of two leading social services providers, each known for offering quality services to adults and children who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
- Employs agencies that are currently leasing other county government space and have a solid record or proper use of those spaces;
- Includes a highly detailed program proposal that include assessments with consumers, facilities renovations estimates, engagement of provider network, support letters, capital funding support, and a reasonable staffing plan.
The county and the two providers, Homeless Solutions and Family Promise, will next draft the terms of a lease agreement, which could lead to the opening of at least some of the homes later this year, once some needed repairs are done.