NEWARK, NJ — On Feb. 2, Mayor Ras J. Baraka opened the Miller Street Pathways to Housing Center at 47 Miller St., a new shelter and support center for Newark’s residents without permanent addresses.
Construction and renovation of the former Miller Street Elementary School began last February, creating a new 24,000-square-foot shelter complemented by supportive social services that will help to transition Newark’s homeless residents to more stable housing.
“The opening of this center is yet another positive step forward and a major milestone in our communitywide efforts to address and eradicate homelessness. Every resident without an address deserves a pathway to permanent housing and my administration will continually strive to shelter and protect the most vulnerable in our community,” Baraka said. “Our partners in this project, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark, Claremont Development and Arc Building Partners share these ideals and we thank them for making this possible.”
The new Miller Street Pathways to Housing Center will provide individual counseling and case management, and behavioral health, social and nutritional services, including drug and alcohol addiction counseling.
The new state-of-the-art facility consists of a total of 166 shelter beds, including 84 for men, 44 for women and 21 “code blue” beds, as well as seven individual suites with a total of 17 beds for families. “Code blue” beds are reserved for individuals who are brought to the shelter due to freezing temperatures.
The daily “drop in” facility features individual bathrooms with showers, bathing and changing facilities; washers and dryers; and tables, chairs and televisions. A full commercial kitchen was installed for on-site meal preparation for people in the shelter residence and the greater community.
Newark Homelessness Czar Sakinah Hoyte, who runs Newark’s homelessness initiatives, called the project “a great example of public, private and nonprofit collaboration undertaken with the best interests of our residents without addresses in mind.”
“Under the leadership of Mayor Baraka, we continue to provide critical, low-barrier transitional support services and housing opportunities for our most vulnerable homeless residents to find safe shelter and pathways to individual independence,” Hoyte said.
As part of Newark’s focus on homelessness and community health, Catholic Charities has worked in conjunction with the city and Claremont Development for roughly five years to develop the facility, which is also home to a number of other Catholic Charities social and supportive services programs.
“Catholic Charities is very excited to partner in this initiative. The Miller Street Pathways to Housing Center not only will have an impact meeting the immediate needs of the homeless today, but will also impact their tomorrows as the center’s services build stability in the lives of men, women and children in need,” Catholic Charities CEO John Westervelt said.