Eastman Commons Community

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How can I help a person sleeping on the streets?
Any time you see a homeless person in distress, please call 311. The operator will contact the appropriate Monroe County Agency or one of our service partners.
Should I give to panhandlers?
No. While it’s not easy to walk past someone who seems to be in dire straits, it is difficult to distinguish the truly needy from professional panhandlers and addicts. Research indicates the majority of money given to panhandlers goes to drugs and alcohol and enables the individual to continue a life on the streets rather than accept help with housing.
What is supportive housing?
Supportive housing combines affordable housing with access to social services on-site and in the community that promote health, wellness and independence. Eastman Commons connects residents with medical and mental health services, skills training and employment opportunities, substance abuse counseling, and quality of life services, e.g., computer, personal care, social networking, cooking, and exercise classes. Supportive housing has proven to be a dramatically cost-effective solution to homelessness.
Will Eastman Commons tenants pay rent?
Our tenants will pay 30% of their income towards rent, whether the source is income from earnings or from government benefits.
How long will tenants typically stay?
The average length of stay for permanent supportive housing tenants is 4.8 years. Our partner and co-sponsor (Common Ground) has an extremely low eviction rate of 0.9%, far lower than the eviction rate in New York City’s private rental market. Tenants can typically stay as long as they like, and have rent-stabilized leases. Often, after stabilizing their lives, tenants move on to larger independent living accommodations, private housing and or reconnect with family members.
Who will be eligible for Eastman Commons housing?
Our housing will be available to working or retired adults with low incomes (as defined by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development) and formerly homeless individuals that have been referred from our community service partners (or other agencies) and qualified as ready for permanent supportive housing and independent living. Income guidelines are published annually by HUD and adapted locally by the Rochester Housing Authority in its rental payment standards.
Why should I donate to Eastman Commons
Eastman Commons provides solutions by giving our most vulnerable people a decent, affordable
home along with the tools they need to get back on their feet. Our approach costs far less than the alternatives: shelters, hospital emergency rooms, and jails. It improves the lives of individuals and communities.