Tilden Gardens

Organization Name: The Bridge, Inc., Sponsor/Developer; DeLaCour, Ferrara & Church Architects, P.C.

Project Title: Tilden Gardens

Project Location: East Flatbush, Brooklyn

Project Goals:
Opened in March 2015, Tilden Gardens’ long-term goals are to: • Assist tenants to build transferable skill sets so they can move into permanent, independent housing within 2-5 years; • Serve as an industry model for ‘blended’ supportive housing serving adults and young adults with special needs; • Operate an energy-efficient, sustainable building through the use of Energy Star appliances, highly efficient mechanical systems, a green roof, and a water storage tank to catch rainwater for irrigation; • Offer innovative services, i.e., a professional chef conducts cooking/nutrition classes and the Horticultural Society conducts gardening workshops; • Encourage tenants to stay active on the half basketball court and outdoor calisthenic exercise equipment; • Focus on the development of healthy living skills and utilize the services of an on-site nurse to reduce the number of preventable hospitalizations.

Project Description:
Tilden Gardens offers extended stay housing with services to 60 homeless (NY/NY III) tenants, including 45 adults referred from psychiatric hospitals and shelters and 15 young adults, ages 18-24, aging out of residential treatment centers and foster care. On-site services include 24/7 front desk coverage, case management, linkages to community-based mental health, substance abuse, and educational services, crisis intervention, health services from a full-time nurse, ADL skills training, a computer lab, laundry rooms, and a community room with commercial kitchen for evening meals. Enhanced services for the young adults include educational opportunities and vocational counseling. Financing came from NYS-OMH, DASNY bonds and 4% LIHTC from HCR. Rent subsidies and service dollars are provided through OMH. Tilden Gardens was selected as the New York State representative for the Affordable Housing Finance LIHTC Yearbook.

Community Impact:
Research shows that people with serious mental illness in the U.S. die on average 25 years earlier than the general population, often from treatable medical conditions. In addition to the availability of cooking/nutrition classes, exercise equipment and on-site nursing services, Tilden Gardens’ focus on healthy living is highlighted through its Urban Farm initiative. Developed in collaboration with The Horticultural Society of New York, a long-standing partner of The Bridge, the 2,500 square foot farm provides residents with training in horticulture, paid employment (through private grants), access to free fruits and vegetables, physical and psychological benefits of therapeutic gardening, nutrition education and composting lessons. This unique feature helps tenants to build valuable work-related skills, achieve greater economic independence and learn healthy living techniques from experts that can be carried forward in their recovery.

Organization Description:
The Bridge’s mission is to change lives, by offering help, hope and opportunity to the most vulnerable in our community. Now in its 61st year, it operates 50+ programs in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn including housing for 800+ individuals, mental health and substance abuse treatment, health care, community case management services, ACT Teams and health home coordination. In all, 2,300+ New Yorkers are served each year. The Bridge is a leading nonprofit housing agency that has achieved national recognition for its housing innovations. Its housing model offers a continuum of care consisting of licensed and unlicensed transitional, extended stay, and permanent supportive housing providing individuals with the opportunity to live in the most appropriate, least restrictive setting that meets their individual needs. Our housing serves mentally ill adults and young adults, the homeless, formerly incarcerated adults and veterans.

    Community Room & Basketball Court (credit J Moyer)

    Front of Tilden Gardens (credit J Moyer)

    Green Roof (credit J Moyer)

    Rear Yard & Urban Farm (credit E Olivo)

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