NYC Opportunity
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NYC Opportunity

From this Year’s Annual Report: Incorporating Mental Health Services in Workforce Programming

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents have a higher unemployment rate and lower wages than the citywide average. Those needing mental health services often lack access, which can present a barrier to employment. NYC Opportunity is addressing both issues with the Jobs-Plus employment program.

Jobs-Plus, which NYC Opportunity manages with the Department of Social Services, NYCHA, and the Department of Consumer Affairs, offers NYCHA residents employment services; financial counseling; financial incentives that “make work pay”; and other services. An Urban Institute evaluation found that people who participate for one year are 72 percent more likely to be employed than similiar people who had not yet joined, and earn 32 percent more.

In 2019, the City announced plans to add three Jobs-Plus sites, and to incorporate Connections to Care (another NYC Opportunity initiative, overseen in partnership with ThriveNYC, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Mayor’s Fund) at 10 Jobs-Plus sites, providing mental health support to an estimated 6,000 participants each year.

Jobs-Plus is increasing employment for low-income New Yorkers, and making public housing a platform for economic empowerment. Jobs-Plus’s expansion and integration of mental health skills broaden its services and recognize that issues of poverty are often interrelated and require a holistic response.

You can read the full annual report.

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