A new housing project, which is a collaboration, between Interfaith Neighbors and Covenant House, is set to begin construction in the spring in Asbury Park.
Patrick Durkin, Interfaith Neighbors’ Director of Real Estate Development, said the organization purchased a 100 by 150 feet parcel of land at 520 Prospect Ave. in the city, which they have subdivided into two lots.
With funding from Interfaith Neighbors revitalization tax credit and Monmouth County Home Program, they will build a five bedroom, five bathroom home for five homeless young men enrolled in Covenant House’s Rights of Passage program.
Durkin said the young men are not homeless in the typical sense, but have unstable housing and often “couch surf” at friend’s homes.
The program is for youth who have been receiving services from Covenant House and are now ready to begin preparing to live on their own.
“They lack the basic skills to be successful,” Durkin said.
Durkin said the length of time youth stay in the program is between 12 and 18 months.
“These are the top end services,” he said.
The facility, Durkin said, will be staffed seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
“There are rules and regulations, it’s very controlled,” he said.
Covenant House, which has provided non residential outreach to city youth for several years, currently runs two other similar facilities, one in Newark and one in Atlantic City.
Durkin said although young Asbury Park men and woman have received services at these locations, they often return to Asbury Park.
“It’s still home to them,” Durkin said. “So they have not been as successful. That is why Covenant House approached us to open a facility here.”
Durkin said the project appealed to Interfaith Neighbors because funding for their 10 year old New Jersey Youth Corps program was abruptly terminated by the state in June with only 24 hours notice.