Brooklyn Housing Development For Single Mothers

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For more than twelve years, Brooklyn Housing Development Resource Center has presented invaluable permanent housing and ancillary support services for many who would otherwise have continued alone the fight to survive in communal shelters or on the streets.

Brooklyn Housing Development Resource Center is a non-profit, 501(c) (3) community-based organization that was founded (2001), by Eric Tenu Thomas, the organization’s Executive Director. Mr. Thomas spent many earlier years in the fields of construction, housing renovation, and real-estate development. Through this experience, he learned firsthand that just providing shelter without the provision of support services did not adequately address homelessness.

Brooklyn Housing Development Resource Center's mission is “to improve the quality of life for women and their children impacted by domestic violence, homelessness and lack of resources to make a full transition to independent living and mothers with lower income faced with limited support, poverty, and isolation.”

Brooklyn Housing Development Resource Center (BHDRC) focuses on the immediate need to empower single mothers by providing permanent physical spaces that help them prosper in a healthy and safe environment while increasing their self-esteem and motivation to improve their lives.

The BHDRC permanent housing facility for women and children is located in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn near the subway and bus transportation.

Formed in 2001, BHDRC is currently a three-story building that consists of three two-bedroom apartments. The building is essentially fully occupied and routinely has to turn people away or place them on a waiting list. This increased demand indicates that more housing units are needed as soon as possible.


The stark realities of homelessness become more evident with each passing day as thousands of single mothers are still left un-served and without shelter. Brooklyn Housing Development Resource Center was created in response to the growing number of homeless single mothers in New York and the fact that women are unsafe on the streets with their children or in abusive homes. BHDRC is expanding its outreach, as a result, is experiencing a 95% occupancy rate.

Since there is a high demand for permanent affordable housing for mothers with children and women who are homeless and pregnant, BHDRC will create a 12-20 multifamily dwelling building with amenities that include fully furnished apartments with beds and storage. The location will provide on-site day-care centers, referral services to medical care, and job and life skills training programs, mental health counseling services in a one-stop-shop setting. Our spacious and comfortable two-bedroom apartments will accommodate families and provide a safe and healthy environment for mothers to raise their family, giving voice to their dreams, to build the foundation for a bright future for their child/children.

Brooklyn Housing Development Resource Center, (BHDRC) is dedicated to assisting people who present the greatest challenge to the attainment of permanent and affordable housing. We work with people whose very disabilities make it extremely difficult to increase the incidence of residential stability — those who are without skills, women who are battered, abused, and a growing number of others with co-occurring disorders.

People in these categories are more likely to be inappropriately housed, if at all, and Brooklyn Housing Development Resource Center accepts the challenge to create permanent housing for them through the operation of a comprehensive program that increases our clients’ self-esteem and motivation to improve their lives.

BHDRC will:

·       provide case-management services to 100% of participants residing at the BHDRC facility.

·       provide case management services to not less than 150 unduplicated, homeless persons yearly who become residents of BHDRC’s Dean Street facility with co-occurring problems in the BHDRC facility and through referral to other agencies to prepare them for self-sufficiency in permanent housing.

·       provide human resource services referrals to 175 unduplicated, homeless women, and children who do not become residents of BHDRC but who come to BHDRC seeking permanent housing.

·       provide, through referral agency support, individual service plans which are updated at least every 90 days for 100% of BHDRC participants.

·       provide follow-up case-management services for at least six months to 100% of discharged program participants (case-management services will follow participants to their permanent residences)


Eric Tenu Thomas, the founder, and executive director, who had worked to house poor people scattered in the properties he owns, embarked on a small, personal effort to help address pleas for supportive services and permanent housing by creating Brooklyn Housing Development Resource Center. In the beginning, services were limited to housing families in various apartments he found for the families. Those services were delivered with such respectful cooperation between staff and clients that together they became architects of a healing environment so safe that many clients referred to the different apartments as “home.”

While developing the Brooklyn Housing Development Resource Center’s first homeless program, which serves homeless adults, primarily women, and their children, Mr. Thomas envisioned individual apartments for families to call “home” permanently. He envisioned that if homeless women could find and become stable in permanent housing, they would be in a better position to learn and develop skills necessary for permanent, self-sufficient living on a long-term basis.


The need to secure additional operational funding is crucial if the program is to fulfill its reason for being – to provide constant alternatives to what homeless women and children might otherwise face. Without more budgetary resources, acquiring more housing stock for renovation to prepare as permanent housing for women and children who lack affordable housing and skills will be in jeopardy. The current staff of two part-time personnel and one professional consultant should be increased to 5 staff members to maintain source, develop, contract and sub-contract to provide more housing units for more single, homeless women and children.

Moreover, the costs for building maintenance have increased, at the same time that funding levels have decreased or remained flat. We seek to secure additional funding to acquire and build more affordable permanent housing in which to provide entry to those on the waiting list who need permanent housing in our other soon to be developed sponsored facilities. Because we are serving more people than originally projected, and because building-maintenance costs have grown substantially, money for general operations has dwindled precipitously low.

Your donations provided would be much appreciated to meet the need to financially support the families that need your help. 

Posted by International Village Development, Inc. (International Village Development, Inc.)