Finding clean, inexpensive, safe, appropriate housing for people with mental illness is one of the most difficult problems families face. If you are unsuccessful in finding housing using the typical methods looking in the Buffalo News or local papers or online, the following resources may be helpful.
Emergency Housing & Homeless Services
Buffalo City Mission/Cornerstone Manor
150 East North St., Buffalo, NY 14203
Little Portion Friary
1305 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14209
Adults 18+. Cannot be actively psychotic or substance abusing. Closed during August.
- Emergency Housing Shelter
1570 Buffalo Ave., Niagara Falls, NY 14303
- Hope House – The Peer Recovery Respite Center
344 Walnut St., Lockport, NY 14094
- Niagara Falls Respite
1570 Buffalo Ave., Niagara Falls, NY 14303
Erie County Housing Programs
Individuals with severe mental illness in need of housing should call Erie County Single Point of Access (SPOA) at 716-858-7059 or apply using this form to determine if they are eligible for housing assistance and other intensive coordinated services through this County program. Online application for housing programs can be made by going to the Erie County Department of Mental Health website. Family member caregivers and providers may also file a housing request and application on behalf of an individual.
A description of the Erie County SPOA housing options obtained from the Erie County Department of Mental Health website are:
Descriptions of Housing Programs
Supportive (Non-Licensed) Housing Programs:
Supported/Supportive Housing Programs (SHP) – these programs operate scattered site apartments selected by and leased by the consumers themselves. The SHP programs provide rental payment assistance, furniture, household supplies, and supportive services. Staff provide services designed to assist consumers to obtain or refine skills necessary for more independent living and increased self-sufficiency. Staff generally meet with the consumer two or more times per month depending on individual consumer needs. Consumers are expected to develop individual goals which focus on living more independently. The typical length of stay is 3-4 years. Referrals are coordinated through the SPOA and the Erie County Housing Coordinator. OMH funded SHPs require verification of significant impairment in functioning due to a mental disability. HUD funded SHPs also require verification of homelessness at the time of admission. The Erie County Housing Coordinator is responsible for agency assignment. The SHP providers include Transitional Services, Inc., Living Opportunities of DePaul, BestSelf Behavioral Health, Spectrum Human Services, Horizon Human Services, Southern Tier Environments for Living, Housing Options Made Easy, Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers, Cazenovia Recovery Systems, Restoration Society, and WNY Veteran’s Housing Coalition.
Licensed Housing Programs:
Supervised Community Residences – SCR & SOCR are congregate care facilities (group homes) which house 8 to 24 residents 18 years of age or older. These Programs are considered transitional and rehabilitative in nature, as the resident’s goal is to move to a less restrictive living environment within 24 months. Bedrooms are often shared but some programs have single bedrooms. Residents participate in the upkeep of the house which includes meal planning and preparation. Recreation activities are provided. Some group homes include an attached training apartment (TSI) for residents ready to test independent living skills. Staff is on site 24/7. SCR services are provided by The Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers, DePaul Community Services, Southern Tier Environments for Living, Transitional Services, Inc., CMI and the Olmstead (SOCR)* and Pathways Residences (SOCR).
*State Operated Community Residence (BPC)
Supervised Senior Community Residences – SSCR operate the same as Supervised Community Residences but are for consumers who are 55 years of age or older. Residents are encouraged to identify independent living goals but there is less emphasis placed on moving to an apartment. SSCR are provided by Greenwood Residences (all single bedrooms), Southern Tier Environments for Living, and Transitional Services, Inc.
Treatment/Supervised Apartments – TSA provide transitional housing in shared one, two and three bedroom apartments in the community. The apartments are either located at a single site which has staff on site 24/7 or scattered site apartments which staff visit from 3 to 7 days each week and are on call for emergencies 24/7. Staff provide services designed to assist residents obtain or refine skills necessary for independent living. Cash allowances for groceries and clothing are provided by some programs. Residents are expected to develop individual goals which focus on living more independently. The typical length of stay is 18 to 24 months. TSA housing services are provided by The Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers, Living Opportunities of DePaul, Southern Tier Environments for Living, CMI and Transitional Services, Inc.
MICA Housing – MICA – are Group Home and Treatment Apartment Programs capable of providing specialized staffing and services for consumers who are diagnosed with an addictions disorder as well as a psychiatric disability. MICA Group Homes are operated by Transitional Services, Inc. and the Waterfront Residence (BPC). Transitional Services, Inc. also operates a 10 bed supervised apartment program for MICA. Single bedrooms are available.
Young Adult Housing – YAH is a group home and supported housing program providing specialized services for individuals 18 to 21 years of age who are transitioning from Residential Treatment Facilities or congregate living environments for adolescents. Services are similar to other group settings. There is staffing capacity to provide more intensive services for individuals participating in the supported housing component of the program. YAH services are provided by Transitional Services, Inc.
Residential Care Centers for Adults – RCCA offers congregate care support facilities for transitional and extended stays for up to 101 residents. While it is anticipated that, over time, residents will move to more independent housing, there is no set time for completing the program. RCCA’s are designed to work with individuals who need more focused Adult Daily Living (ADL) skills training and other rehabilitative services. Staff is on site 24/7, and nursing staff is available 5 days a week. The RCCA is operated by BPC.
Family Care – FC provides housing for up to four adults with an unrelated family in the community. Providers offer support, furnished rooms, meals, companionship and security. The host family also provides 24-hour supervision, laundry, housekeeping and medication management services. The Family Care Program is operated by BPC.
Single Room Occupancy-CR – SRO’s provide housing that is specifically designed to offer longer term housing (but still transitional in nature) in a service-enriched setting. These programs are intended to provide housing and services for individuals who need to work on developing and improving upon daily living skills. Residential staff provide services on-site which includes medication management, money management, symptom management, assertiveness training, community integration, and other recovery-oriented services. SRO housing is provided by Living Opportunities of DePaul.
Supportive/Supervised/Subsidized Housing Resources
This list includes licensed and unlicensed housing programs offered through Erie County and other organizations. It also includes organizations that can assist you in finding housing. This list is not intended to be all inclusive. Contact the Erie County Department of Mental Health or WNY211 for additional agencies.
NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH)
Office of Housing Development & Support
SONYMA Home of Your Own (HOYO) program and CCAP (Closing Cost Assistance Program)
44 Holland Ave., 7th flr.; Albany, NY 12229