The DACKKs Group for Supportive Housing Development, a Bergen County, New Jersey, charity, is dedicated to helping the homeless make the transition to independent living. Our mission is simple. With the help of dedicated volunteers and the financial support from government and foundation grants, and private donors, we purchase properties throughout the Bergen County area , such as condominium units, single– and multi-family homes. These units are rented to people working to overcome homelessness and living with disabilities for thirty percent of their income…whatever their income.
Congress’s inaction on the national budget will return many to homelessness.…reduced funding for supportive housing programs will mean increased costs in the long run, according to the Corporation for Supportive Housing. Sequestration cuts the heart out of supportive housing for vulnerable N.J. residents.
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The DACKKs Group for Supportive Housing Development raised over $68,000 at its eleventh annual fundraising event Wine and Food: A Perfect Pairing at the lovely Brick House in Wyckoff. See photos of the event here.
Co-Chairs Donald Strangefield, Senior Vice President at Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC, and John Cavan, DACKKs Group Trustee, hosted the event which featured a wine tasting reception with a Silent and Live Auction.
This year’s honorees were Pam and Bill Keegan, Donors of the Year, and Addie Caputi, Volunteer of the Year.
The Keegans, long time supporters, spent the last year recreating our website, managing our Facebook page and keeping us in the forefront on Google’s list of homeless providers in New Jersey. A professional programmer and systems analyst for thirty years, Bill has worked primarily with corporations building systems and databases. Pam is a self-taught portraiture artist and electronics afficionado. The Keegans generously donate not only their design and maintenance skills but also the yearly cost of maintaining our on-line presence.
Addie Caputi began volunteering with the DACKKs Group in 2003. A long-time member of St. Paul RC Church in Ramsey, and its Social Concerns Committee, she first became involved with homelessness issues when she coordinated overnight shelter services at St. Paul’s for homless adults identified by the Interreligious Fellowship for the Homeless. She has served as the DACKKs Group’s Vice President since 2006 and has been a tireless supporter of the organization and its efforts to fight homelessness.
Grant Awards. The DACKKs Group was awarded two CDBG grants toward much needed improvements to two of our properties. Improvements include renovation of a seventy year old bathroom and kitchen and replacement of a thirty five year old heating/cooling system. These improvements will significantly extend the useful life of both properties.
We also obtained a renewal for the LINKs project, which provides affordable housing for five formerly homeless adults living with disabilities, and their children. The one year HUD grant partially covers operating expenses for four DACKKs Group properties.
POINT IN TIME SURVEY RESULTS. According to the U.S.Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) POINT IN TIME SURVEY taken on January 25, 2012, there were 461 homeless men, women and children counted in Bergen County. Of the 461 people where were homeless on the night of the count, 105 of them were children. The actual number of people who are homeless over the course of the year may be between two to four times larger than the number counted at one point in time. Using the statistical formula developed in the publication “Estimating the Need,” it is projected that over the course of the year, 824 adults and children are homeless in Bergen County.
The next POINT IN TIME SURVEY, a nationwide survey to measure the extent of homelessness throughout the United States, will take place on January 30, 2013. (2012 POINT IN TIME SURVEY)
National Housing Trust Fund. With the start of the new year of 2013, Congress is being called upon to start funding the National Housing Trust Fund. NHTF is a vital element to finally putting an end to the nation’s housing crisis and homelessness. With the endorsement of over 700 organizations, the plan aims to create jobs by building more affordable rental homes for middle and low income families. For more information about the NHTF, check out the NY Times editorial here. You can also visit nlihc.org for a discussion of the trust fund. In December 2009, the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders became the fourth county in the state to approve a Housing Trust fund.