We’re proud to unveil the new 40th Ward Stabilization Housing Development Pilot: the Haven on Lincoln.
This past Wednesday, we held a community meeting to reveal plans for the The Haven on Lincoln: a new 40-unit stabilization housing project on the site of the Diplomat Motel site, in partnership with Chicago Department of Public Health, Chicago Department of Housing, Site Operator VOA, and Construction and Design Partner Gensler.
The Haven on Lincoln will build on the success of pilot stabilization housing program that started during the pandemic, which used hotels as non-congregate housing to improve health outcomes for unhoused people during the pandemic. The goal of the project is to provide transitional housing and wrap-around healthcare and social services to people experiencing homelessness who are also living with untreated physical and behavioral health conditions, thereby improving overall health and housing outcomes for residents.
The Benefits of Stabilization Housing to the Unhoused
The Haven on Lincoln combines healthcare and social services to reflect a “housing first” approach that works to interrupt the pattern of people living with complex physical and behavioral conditions cycling through systems.
Studies show that non-congregate housing (housing where residents have their own private room) improve health outcomes. At the Haven on Lincoln, each resident will be given their own private room and bathroom. They will also receive wrap-around services including primary and behavioral health care, individual and group therapy opportunities, transportation support, and case management services.
The goal is for each resident to be connected with permanent housing, and engaged in primary and behavioral healthcare services that will undress their underlying health conditions, and better equip them to move forward.
In previous pilot programs like Hotel 166, the outcomes were overwhelmingly positive:
- 60% of residents exited to permanent housing or residential treatment programs
- 28% of residents living with a mental health condition were newly initiated on psychiatric medications
- 62% of residents reported that their mental health improved or stabilized during their stay in the program
The site operator chosen by the City of Chicago is VOA Illinois, an organization with a record of providing strength-based, trauma-informed, gender-responsive and culturally sensitive programs and services at high standards. You can hear about some of the results of that work firsthand in this video:
The Benefits of Stabilization Housing to the Community
It’s not just the residents who will benefit from the Haven on Lincoln; the community will benefit as well. The current demand for housing has increased exponentially in the past few years. If we don’t step up to create more housing, we will see more people on the street, and more tents in our park.
The Haven on Lincoln addresses this need by providing safe housing through its referral system, so that those experiencing homelessness in the 40th Ward can have a place to live as they find the stability to find long term employment and housing.
The transition of this site from the Diplomat Motel to the Haven on Lincoln also represents an improvement to public safety. Unlike the current site, the Haven on Lincoln will be staffed 24-7 with security and professional staff, and all of its resident staying there will be screened and known to the staff.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the benefits of the Haven on Lincoln, as compared to the current site:
- Unknown Population
- Transient stays
- Limited video surveillance
- No on-site security
- No full-time professional staff
- No security fencing
- No secured entries to parking lot or building
- No control over visitors
- No accountable owners/partners/operators
- Fully vetted, assessed, and unknown population
- 3 – 6 month stays until placement into permanent housing
- Robust video security and surveillance system
- Fully secured site 24/7
- Fully staffed site with professional and management staff
- Fully fence and landscaped site to secure perimeter
- Single secured entryway to site with locking gate
- Robust and controlled visitor policy
- All partners are accountable to City and community
In addition to the above, VOA will also be in regular coordination with CPD and the 20th District to ensure coordination of safety and security, as well as partnering with the 40th Ward and other key healthcare and community partners to ensure that it is living up to its charge of benefitting both the community and residents.
The Haven on Lincoln also represents an aesthetic improvement, as one the newest additions to the Lincoln Avenue North Streetscape! The City of Chicago has chosen construction and design partner Gensler to provide architectural planning and redesign of the property from a trauma-informed lens, to transform the site from the Diplomat Motel to The Haven on Lincoln. You can see some images of the current design below:
Timeline and Next Steps
Our office is confident that the Haven on Lincoln will be a huge benefits to the neighborhood, and we look forward to welcoming it to the neighborhood later this year.
After the project goes through the zoning process (scheduled to take place this month), the City will officially acquire the site, with an anticipated groundbreaking of Q2 of this year. Construction will likely begin in Q3, and we anticipate being able to celebrate with a ribbon-cutting by the end of the year. We hope to have community updates throughout the year at key milestones, so stay tuned!
Check out the full presentation from the community meeting below:
If you weren’t able to attend the community meeting, you can view a recording at this link. You can also review the presentation in full below: