West End Intergenerational Residence (WIR) is a unique mixed-age housing facility catering to three generations. Since opening our doors in 1989, our creative, flexible services and dedicated staff have helped thousands of young families secure housing stability and provided a permanent, affordable home with supportive services to low-income older adults.
WIR provides temporary housing with support services to 54 homeless young mothers aged 18-24, who are pregnant or with one or two children aged 7 and younger. All families are referred by the New York City Department of Homeless Services.
The homeless mothers we serve are the youngest heads of household in the shelter system. In addition to suffering the trauma of homelessness, roughly two-thirds of these women are also survivors of domestic violence. West End Residences provides these women more than just temporary shelter. During their stay at West End Intergenerational Residences, young mothers receive comprehensive educational, vocational, life skills and child development programming. Our goal is to help women become self-sufficient by giving them the tools and support they need to continue their education, find employment, live independently and break the cycle of violence for themselves and their children.
Additionally, WIR is a permanent home to 40 single low-income adults aged 55 years and older who are capable of independent living, are free of alcohol/drug dependence and are without severe psychiatric disorders. Applicants may be referred by the New York City Department of Homeless Services or Community Based Organizations. For these residents, we provide a welcoming and stable permanent home, with a room of their own and the onsite services they need to remain healthy and independent.
True Colors Residence, a project of West End Residences and partners Grammy-award winning artist Cyndi Lauper and her manager, longtime WIR volunteer Lisa Barbaris, builds upon our history of pioneering new models to serve the most underserved and vulnerable New Yorkers. True Colors Residence is New York’s first and only permanent, supportive housing for LGBTQ young adults with a history of homelessness. This profoundly underserved population is estimated to make up nearly 40% of homeless youth in New York City.
Opened in September 2011, True Colors Residence provides young, formerly homeless LGBTQ individuals aged 18-24 upon admission, a safe, stable and supportive environment in which they can rebuild their lives. Residents are responsible for paying affordable rent based on their income. True Colors Residence houses 30 studio apartments, each equipped with a kitchen and bathroom. Residents also have access to shared indoor and outdoor community space, a computer lounge, a small library, and laundry facilities.
Residents receive case management and ongoing assistance with every aspect of independent living as well as obtaining employment best suited to their individual interests and skills. Comprehensive support services, available on a purely voluntary basis and tailored to each individual, include: benefits and entitlement advocacy, counseling, HIV/AIDS counseling and education, medication management, job readiness and placement assistance and help with such practical details as cooking, money management, health issues and other independent living skills. A range of additional services, including GED classes and healthcare, are available through linkages with other nonprofit agencies.
Residents are referred to True Colors Residence by the New York City Department of Homeless Services, Department of Youth and Community Development, and local community-based organizations.
View a video, produced by True Colors Residence funder and opening day sponsor Citi Community Capital:
True Colors Bronx replicates our original and highly successful True Colors Residence in Harlem and opened early Fall 2015.
Casa Cecilia and Seton House
West End provides building management and support services for formerly homeless and low-income tenants of Casa Cecilia in Hamilton Heights and Seton House in East Harlem.