Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Somerset, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, recently held a ribbon cutting for the first home to be completed as part of its Healing Homes Social Impact and Community Investment Initiative.
The renovated two-bedroom ranch home, located across the street from the hospital, will provide housing for 18 – 24 months for an individual or individual family in Somerset County who has a chronic or acute health condition that causes financial hardship and leaves them unable to afford housing and/or the basic cost of living.
With the help of an assigned case manager, Healing Homes gives an individual or family the opportunity to learn to manage their finances, take care of their health and become successfully independent.
“It is our mission to serve the people of our community beyond the walls of our hospital and to address the social factors that affect health outcomes,” said Tony Cava, president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “Healing Homes will allow us to provide sustainable solutions for our neighbors who encounter both economic and health challenges and are in need of a healthy and safe environment in which to live,” Cava said.
The transitional housing initiative allows an individual who is approved to participate to occupy a RWJUH Somerset-owned residential home with his/her immediate family for the duration of their participation in the initiative, not to exceed 24 months. To be approved, an individual must complete an application and be selected for participation.
A case manager will work with the family to assess their clinical and social service needs, and provide ongoing training and support including assistance with transportation, financial counseling, mental health services and permanent housing.
“Research demonstrates that those with safe, affordable and stable housing have improved clinical and mental health outcomes; reduced stress; improved educational and professional attainment; and reduced incidence of food insecurity,” said Michellene Davis, executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer. “As a continuation of the system’s efforts to provide safe and affordable housing for those in need, this initiative will provide the participants with the support and resources they need to become self-sufficient.”
The second home part of the Healing Homes initiative will begin renovation later this year.