As one of the nation’s largest providers of supportive housing services, the Center for Urban Community Services | CUCS gives homeless individuals and families the housing, care, and encouragement needed to break their cycles of homelessness for good.
The Hegeman, a supportive housing residence in Brownsville, Brooklyn that CUCS operates in partnership with Breaking Ground, was one of the first new buildings to dedicate apartments to chronically street homeless individuals.
Since it opened in 2012, CUCS has provided all the social services, psychiatry and primary medical care to the men and women at the Hegeman.
Meet some of the men and women who, after years living on the streets, now call the Hegeman home.
Randy was living in a broken-down donut cart on a dead-end street he called ‘Kill Street.’ Violence was a daily reality. He was drinking and using drugs and by his account weighed only 90 pounds. Existence was bleak on Kill Street.
His focus had been on getting $5 or $10 dollars a day to live. But life has changed dramatically for Randy since coming to the Hegeman in 2012 as one of the building’s first tenants.
Today, Randy is no longer a victim of the throes of addiction and he continues to work on his recovery. He is a pillar of the Hegeman’s community, supporting his neighbors in creating a safe, recovery-focused community. Randy also just got engaged.
Jane worked for years as an accounting professional until drinking took over her life. She quickly spiraled down into homelessness.
Like Randy, Jane found a home at the Hegeman in 2012. It wasn’t easy at first as alcoholism continued to ravage her life. But with lots of hard work, and the help she received from CUCS, Jane recently marked three years of sobriety.
For the past four years CUCS staff has managed Jane’s finances at her request. Now, though, Jane is slowly taking them over. She recently met with a financial adviser about her retirement and just opened her first IRA account.
This is David’s first week at the Hegeman. Adjusting to life in his new home will take time.
David was severely injured after being hit by a car, leaving him with memory loss and physical disabilities. After being evicted from his Queens apartment, he ended up homeless.
A self-confessed loner, David’s support system eroded after his parents died. Slowly adjusting to life at the Hegeman’s welcoming community, David is finding a new support system with CUCS.
CUCS helps people rise about poverty, exit homelessness, and be healthy. We excel at developing affordable housing and providing programs that link housing, health and social services for individuals and families. Each year more than 50,000 people are served by CUCS.