NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Promise House, a new unique housing development in the Second Ward is welcoming its first residents this month.

The ten-unit residence will provide permanent housing for a particularly at-risk subset of the homeless population, namely those who are physically disabled or mentally ill.

Triple C Housing, a South Brunswick-based non-profit, spearheaded the new construction project on Redmond Street.  Since 1979, Triple C has served the low-income special needs populations in Middlesex and Ocean counties.

Homelessness is typically cyclical with individuals staying in shelters until they get back on their feet only to return when the next crisis hits.  Triple C’s goal is to break that cycle with guaranteed housing for the special needs population.

"Every year, a number of housing vouchers with supportive services become available for homeless individuals with a disability," Triple C's Director of Housing and Development Cynthia Light told

Light said that Triple C serves over 100 individuals, five of whom are currently living in rental units scattered throughout New Brunswick.

While they are certainly superior to a shelter, Triple C's third-party housing arrangements can lead to additional headaches for struggling individuals.  The lack of centralized care strains already limited resources and excludes those who require increased supervision or would otherwise have to be institutionalized.

Promise House attempts to strike the right balance, by offerring residents the privacy and independence of their own apartment, while also ensuring that their support network remains close at hand.

Assisted living arrangements are also more economical, an extremely important consideration for Triple C Housing.

"We average helping one new person a month.  We must intensify funding to help our ability to get people properly housed," Executive Director Lindsay Stivale told the Home News Tribune.

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Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick.