Newark, NJ – July 14, 2021 — Mayor Ras J. Baraka today announced plans for NEWARK Hope Village II and that the City is seeking a partnership with developers and architects to help create the site. The program follows the success of the original NEWARK Hope Village, an initiative to convert shipping containers to temporarily shelter the most vulnerable residents without addresses.
“We launched NEWARK Hope Village as a pioneering strategy to ease the difficulties of residents who have often rejected shelter, and provide them with a more welcoming setting that makes it easier for them to receive critical services,” Mayor Baraka said. “It succeeded as a safe and therapeutic shelter and helped a good number of people move towards permanent housing. This second village is another important step, among the many we are taking, to fulfill our moral obligation to eradicate homelessness in our City.”
Sakinah Hoyte, the City’s Homelessness Czar, said the first NEWARK Hope Village, which opened last March, has served 27 chronically homeless people who lived in tents or makeshift shelters around Penn Station for more than a year.
“Of those 27 people, 16 are now scheduled to move into permanent housing,” she said. “Additionally, eight have found jobs, five engaged in our offered mental health services and three enrolled in intensive, outpatient drug programs. This is the desired effect of offering people a window of stability through safe, comfortable temporary housing.”
Homelessness Czar Hoyte said the City Department of Engineering will partner with her office to accept bids to design a new village of up to seven International Code Council (ICC) certified containers, which will consist of 25 units and shelter for up to 50 homeless individuals and families.
The containers will be converted into code-compliant modular residences, consisting of 25 dorm-style rooms, and two utility structures with private shower rooms and a multipurpose structure. The rooms will have simple furnishings including a heater, bunk bed with extra storage and a small dresser. Funding is being provided by the American Rescue Plan.
The site is to be determined.
To provide shelter for these vulnerable residents, the first village of seven containers consisted of 20 dorm-style rooms, and two utility structures with private shower rooms and a multipurpose structure. The rooms have simple furnishings including a heater, bunk bed with extra storage and a small dresser. Funding was provided by the CARES Act, the Essex County Division of Community Action through the State of New Jersey Code Blue Grant, and the City of Newark.
NEWARK Hope Village II will also be a “come-as-you-are” safe sleeping village where people will have access to shelter and supportive services including assistance with transition to permanent housing, as well as mental health services and substance abuse treatment programs. As with the first village, the design of NEWARK Hope Village II and its spaces will be critical to the program’s overall success.
“We will collaborate with Newark artists to create a warm and welcoming village identity, through intentional and therapeutic designs,” Czar Hoyte said. “In addition, the City of Newark will collaborate with designers and artists to create a visual system that radiates the initiative’s mission throughout. Upon checking into a residence, one will be greeted with positive messages on floors and walls, and receive outerwear and a toiletries package, designed with affirming language.”
The City of Newark’s Office of Homeless Services in partnership with the Department of Engineering will release a solicitation for the architectural design of NEWARK Hope Village II. Please contact the Office of Homeless Services at email@example.com for the details of the solicitation.
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