The target population of the project is medical assistance eligible adults, ages 18-23 years old, with diagnoses of any mental illness, substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders. These young adults will be transitioning out of CYS/JPO/HealthChoices placement settings with no resources.
Historically, this population has not met the diagnostic criteria or serious mental illness; rather they typically have behavioral disorders or autism. They also tend to not have any substance abuse disorders. Therefore, they do not qualify for a main Permanent Supportive Housing Plan.
The project involves the construction of 6 unit apartment building. Three of the 1-bedroom units will be leased by the youth while a fourth 1-bedroom unit will be the residence of the site manager. The building will also contain two 2-bedroom units that will be leased to the general population. The youth will pay 30% of their month income for rent and utilities. The site manager will be provided the unit at a reduced rent and be required to pay utilities.
The site manager will provide a physical presence of an adult, particularly during overnight and evening hours. During normal business hours, the manager will function as a case manager providing services such as linkages to community resources from education to employment and facilitation of referrals to any treatment services the youth may need. The site manager will be an employee of a nonprofit provider.
Financing will be provided by Berks County MH/DD Office, Berks County HOME Program, and a tax-free loan.
Status to date:
1. Site in 500 block of North Ninth Street in Reading is under agreement.
2. Funding in place.
3. Architectural plans have been prepared.
4. Project being reviewed by Reading Planning Commission.