Brooklyn Community Housing & Services, Inc.
Brooklyn Community Housing and Services, Inc. (BCHS) is committed to ending homelessness in Brooklyn. We provide safe, clean supportive housing each year for approximately 700 formerly homeless women, children and men, and help them learn to live productively and independently, with dignity and hope. During our 31-year history, BCHS has helped thousands of individuals achieve independence... and we are ready to help thousands more in the future, until the day that homelessness no longer exists, and until the day that our local communities are as socially rich and as economically vital as possible.BCHS was founded in 1978 by Brooklyn-area clergy in response to the Carter Administration's call for the creation of community-based programs for the mentally ill. The agency quickly established one of the first Scattered-Site apartment programs for mentally ill adults in New York State. In 1991, BCHS opened Brooklyn Gardens, an innovative supportive housing complex for mothers with children, adults with psychiatric histories, and low-income adults. It was the first housing program in the nation to serve such a blended population in this way. In 1993 Brooklyn Gardens received the FannieMae Foundation Maxwell Award for Excellence in low-income housing development.
In 1996 the New York State Homeless Housing Assistance Program honored BCHS for "outstanding contributions" in innovative housing for the homeless. That same year, the agency established Working Community, a comprehensive vocational training program for all residents of Brooklyn.
In 2004, the NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) ranked Arbor Inn, the agency's short-term housing program for mothers with children, third-highest among 134 such programs in the city. In addition, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene gave Oak Hall its top rating.
Plans are underway to enhance and expand the agency's award-winning Model SRO Demonstration Program, which provides specialized services to formerly homeless seniors, and to ex-offenders returning to the community. In addition, BCHS, in collaboration with the Pratt Area Community Council and Martin Dunn Development, is developing the Navy Green SRO - a new residential building for 96 formerly homeless and low-income individuals.
In 2012, BCHS has opened the Brooklyn Housing Assistance Center (BHAC) Program, which is one of the most innovative homelessness prevention initiatives in the country. The BHAC Program is designed to prevent homelessness for people who are presently living in stable housing but are facing a crisis that is putting their housing at risk. This BHAC Program works in two ways: I) As a prevention initiative to help single adult males in Brooklyn avert homelessness, and II) As an aftercare initiative to prevent a recurrence of homelessness among former BCHS clients who have moved on to independent living outside of the agency.