Ability Housing Renovates Apartment Complexes for the Homeless in Northeast Florida

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Ability Housing is an organization that helps people in Northeast Florida in danger of losing their homes, people who are already homeless, and adults with disabilities. This is a not-for-profit organization located in Jacksonville, Florida at 126 W. Adams Street, Suite 502. Their website is www.abilityhousing.com . It is the only not-for-profit organization that provides this kind of affordable rental housing in the city.

It started out in 1992 as a group home for six adults with developmental disabilities. Not long after, it expanded into providing support services to both adults with developmental disabilities and also acquired disabilities. Through their community-based service the help can go to people in their homes rather than require them to be in a facility to receive the services. In 2004, Ability Housing was dedicated to providing affordable rental housing for the adult disabled as well as the homeless.

Ability Housing is in the process of renovating the Mayfair Village Apartment complex which is located a t 3539 beach Blvd. The complex is across the street from a grocery store and shopping. It is right on the bus line. The renovations have helped one homeless person to get employment by helping with the renovating. This project is going to provide permanent housing for people facing life on the streets, mostly families. There will be a new clubhouse added to the complex, and an upgrade to all of the mechanical parts of the units.

The projects funding came from federal funds as well as private investments. Mayfair Village was purchased in 2008 by Ability Housing and is around 60 years old. Families are referred to Ability Housing through shelters such as the Sulzhacher center and sometimes organizations working with the disabled. Families are taught self-sufficiency by the Ability Housing and their partners. They provide a safe and stable environment for the children.

Some of the positive impacts of the services provided by Ability Housing are: Less emergency room visits by more than 50 percent. Big increase in employment by 50 percent in earned income. The mental ill have a supportive environment and are kept off the streets. There is a big reduction in substance abuse. Having supportive housing gives people a way out of situations that they can not get out of by themselves. They now have stability and dignity.

In the long run supportive housing is cost effective. It is going to cost the same amount of money to keep these people out on the streets funding their crisis care and emergency housing as it would to just create a long term solution. This long term solution has helped these individuals as well as their communities.