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New Ground

Hempstead, New York

Cause Description:
In 1991, NEW GROUND was formed as a not-for-profit, 501 c (3) tax-exempt corporation under New York State law. NEW GROUND is a unique agency committed to educating and empowering families who were once caught in the vicious cycle of homelessness. NEW GROUND recognizes that the key to solving homelessness is not only to help those families who are homeless but also to prevent it in the future. NEW GROUND’S goal is to decrease recidivism and to empower individuals to function independently. The hope of breaking the cycle of homelessness lies in catering to the children, therefore NEW GROUND focuses on the needs and issues of the children in these families. It is a priority at NEW GROUND to ensure that each child is provided with direct and indirect educational advocacy to empower the parent and the child to reach their full academic potential. When accepted into the program, children are assessed for math and reading skills; if needed, tutoring is provided and tailored to the child’s individual needs. Tutors will visit each child in their home as often and for as long as necessary. If need be, the children are assessed psychologically and academically to see if learning disabilities are present in order to guarantee academic success. It is NEW GROUND’S aim to extract children from low performing school districts and place them in higher performing schools where the focus is on academic achievement. Through the generous support of private benefactors, six of our children have benefited academically and have been given the opportunity to become educated in private schools. Because the children in our program have experienced devastation well beyond their years, NEW GROUND also meets the children’s social needs and creates positive childhood memories by providing the opportunity for each child to attend summer camp as well as other social/educational programs. One such program is “Getting Focused”, which teaches children the art of photography through learning how to use a 35mm camera, working with digital imaging on the computer and participating in a photo exhibit which travels to various locations on Long Island. Throughout the year, NEW GROUND places much effort into helping families celebrate holidays and create a positive atmosphere within the home which matches the families’ culture and beliefs. NEW GROUND identifies, screens, and responds to families at risk by placing them in the Interfaith Nutrition Network’s (The INN) Long-Term Housing Program. Coupled with long-term, affordable, low-income housing, NEW GROUND then ensures that the entire family’s basic nutritional and physical needs are met. Additionally, educational, vocational and mental health support is provided through intensive case management. In addition to working with the families, in 1995 NEW GROUND began providing the same services to residents of the Catherine Martin INN, a transitional housing program for male veterans in recovery, The main objective is to support the men in their recovery while assisting them in achieving their career and independent living goals. NEW GROUND’s team approach utilizes specialists with expertise in social work, substance abuse, education and vocational rehabilitation. A staff of full-time professionals and part-time employees supplies the intensive case management and educational advocacy our families and men need. Our multifaceted approach provides services, which stabilize the lives of the families and men, and empowers them to function independently.

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