Genesis Horizon has over 10 years of experience managing housing and support services for vulnerable populations. This experience includes establishing and managing multiple group homes and apartments. Genesis Horizon currently operates 32 units of Community Based Residential Treatment that is supported by funding from Florida Agency for Person with Disabilities and Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration. In addition we operate 8 units of affordable and supportive housing targeted to low income, disabled and/or formerly or at-risk homeless households that is supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Continuum of Care funding. Across our portfolio, our residents have a 90% or higher housing retention rate. This success is a result of our mission commitment, compassion, utilization of best practices, and experience managing/operating supportive housing facilities. We expect to duplicate this success at the San Juan Village Project (the Development).
The most basic human need is a quality place to live. Creating a supply of quality, affordable, and supportive housing to serve persons experiencing homelessness is a community priority. Many adults experiencing homelessness and adults living with a disability have no choice but to pay excessive amounts of their income for rent else they be forced to remain in group homes, nursing homes, and other costly and overly restrictive institutional facilities simply due to the inability to find an affordable place to live.
Given the inherent personal challenges faced by individuals who have been homeless, and often living with one or more disabilities, it is important to develop a housing model that recognizes the challenges presented in the context of the barriers to accessing and remaining in permanent housing for this population.
Genesis Horizon’s policies are designed to screen-in rather than screen-out applicants. Our policies are aligned with our mission to provide a lifetime of compassionate, high quality care to ensure every person’s dignity and independence. This includes the provision of housing to persons with the greatest barriers to housing, such as having no or very limited income, poor rental history and past evictions, poor or no credit, and/or criminal histories. Tenant selection is done in a nondiscriminatory manner in accordance with program requirements and the Fair Housing Act. Tenant selection policies are reviewed annually to ensure that Genesis Horizon is operating in the best interests of the people we serve.
Integration into the community is essential to the success and stability of persons living with a disability and persons that have experienced homelessness. According to the Corporation for Supportive Housing: Dimensions of Quality Supportive Housing Guidebook, one of the key aspects of designing quality, supportive housing is that “housing units are located within neighborhoods that meet the needs of tenants, including safety and security, and are located near opportunities for employment, schools, services, shopping, recreation and socialization.”
All tenants who qualified at move-in as Homeless or as having a Disabling Condition will have access to case management and peer support services. Services shall be individualized, self-directed, and based on best practice principals as detailed in the U.S. HHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Permanent Supportive Housing Toolkit. Service delivery will be flexible, tenant-driven, focused on helping tenants maintain housing, and will leverage community-based services to meet tenant needs. All services are voluntary and are
not a condition of the lease agreement. These community-based services will include a wide range of options dependent upon each tenant’s needs and goals. Genesis Horizon has also developed an extensive network of partners serving low-income, homeless and disabled persons. This network will provide multiple on/off-site services, examples include:
- Agency for Person with Disabilities – access to community-based services, treatment, and residential options for persons with developmental disabilities
- Lutheran Social Services – representative payee services, food assistance
- Elder Source – information, referral, assistance and answers on all aging issues
- Duval County Health Department – providing wellness training and health screenings
- Goodwill Industries of North Florida – providing assistance with clothing and employment needs
- The Independent Living Resource Center – providing educational opportunities, vocational training, and employment services specific to the needs of people with disabilities
- Jacksonville Alliance for the Mentally Ill – providing advocacy and referrals for persons living with mental illness
- Lutheran Services Florida – providing tenant identification and referrals, funding for behavioral health support services and rental assistance, and data on tenants’ use of crisis and emergency services
- Second Harvest Food Bank of Jacksonville – providing nutritional assistance, healthy living, and smart shopping education
- The Sulzbacher Center – providing emergency shelter for homeless, and health, dental and vision care
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – providing specialized case management and licensed clinicians for eligible veterans.
San Juan Village is fully integrated into the community with convenient access to shopping, recreation, socialization, education, employment and health care. In addition, a full range of voluntary individualized support services are offered to enable tenants to achieve self- sufficiency and maintain housing stability. With over 10 years’ experience in providing services to the disabled, Genesis Horizon has helped many people to lead fuller and more independent lives and is committed to continuing to do so in this project.