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Salisbury aims for community at village for homeless

today04/24/2023 31

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SALISBURY, Md. (AP) — Anne Street Village will soon be teeming with life; a sense of relief, hope and security overflowing from the brand-new gated community.

The city of Salisbury announced the completion of Anne Street Village, the city’s first transitional housing community for homeless residents, April 6. The village, located in the city’s historic Church Street neighborhood, will welcome its first group of residents in May 2023.

The non-congregate shelter features 23 private units, a 4-unit central personal hygiene facility, courtyard area, and wellness center, which will provide wraparound services to all residents including mental and physical health care, addictions counseling and workforce development registration.

Each unit will house one of Salisbury’s homeless residents, and includes a bed, refrigerator, HVAC units, fire suppression system and standard set of additional amenities to make each resident feel at home.  The village’s vibrant color scheme, a medley of pink, purple, yellow, green and blue, was inspired by its surrounding neighborhood.

“We have a large Haitian American population here in this general area,” said Ron Strickler, Director of Housing and Community Development. “If you’ve been down to the Caribbean, it’s all bright and vibrant. We wanted to promote that atmosphere here.”

What’s next for Salisbury’s new homeless housing village – a structured roll-out will take place, allowing six individuals at a time to settle in, ensuring that each resident is given enough time to properly acclimate to their new surroundings. The acclimation period is intended to last three weeks.

“This will be a really strong test for us, but I think we’re going to find success,” said Strickler.  According to Strickler, the shelter has 23 individuals on the waitlist ready to get moved in.  In collaboration with case managers, each resident will participate in a three-tiered program to facilitate the transition into permanent supportive housing through the city’s Housing First program. Residents will work with their case manager to develop daily living skills, savings and budgeting plans, and self-determined SMART Goals in preparation for obtaining permanent housing.
Those who qualify for the program must be 18 years or older, a Wicomico County resident and considered chronically homeless.

The goal of Anne Street Village is to transition residents into permanent supportive housing by month 12, whenever possible. This time includes an initial acclimation period of up to 60 days. However, Strickler acknowledged that one year may not be possible for everyone.

Source: AP – All contents copyright 2023 Associated Press.  All rights reserved.

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