BronxWorks senior homelessness program faces cuts

A homelessness prevention program in the Bronx may lose its funding and its ability to keep senior citizens off the streets.



Vasel Barnes says the BronxWorks senior homelessness prevention program helped her when she fell behind on rent payments after her job cut her to part-time hours.



Barnes' landlord took her to court, seeking payment, but that's where she learned about the program. BronxWorks helped freeze her rent through the senior citizen rent increase exemption and helped repay the back rent she owed.



"I thank God for it because if I didn't have that SCRIE, I would be out of my building," Barnes says. She is one of 400 senior citizens who the program has saved from homelessness, according to officials.



But the program could lose its funding. For the past three years, the European Oak Foundation has supplied $250,000 a year to the program. That will end in June.



Officials say the nonprofit provided funding to illustrate that there was a need for the program -- with the hope that the government would eventually take the reins.


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