Phil Armstrong

The new YWCA Hamilton PSH has opened its doors to the most vulnerable in Hamilton, Ohio, with 45 units of permanent supportive housing (PSH) for people who have been chronically homeless and a 15-unit shelter for families escaping domestic violence.

Opening the new community has been a “transformational moment,” according to Wendy Waters-Connell, executive director of YWCA Hamilton.

The organization is serving more people than it could at its original aging campus. The new development is also a catalyst for the longtime organization, which has relocated its offices to the new building, to grow and fulfill its mission. “It’s more than just bricks and mortar,” Waters-Connell says.

That’s true of the of PSH units, which are home to people with a history of chronic homelessness and mental illness. Embracing a Housing First model, the development also offers extensive case management, counseling, health services, and other essential programs from the YWCA and eight community service providers.

All the one-bedroom units are supported by project-based vouchers from the Butler Metropolitan Housing Authority, allowing residents to pay just 30% of their income toward rent.

Phil Armstrong

The new domestic violence shelter doubles the capacity of the previous site. Unlike traditional shelters that have a congregate setting, there are 15 individual, apartment-like units.

To construct the approximately $11.3 million development, YWCA Hamilton partnered with the experienced affordable housing developer team at The Model Group.

“The new project increased YWCA capacity, and it set them up on a trajectory for the future,” says Jennifer Walke, vice president of development at The Model Group. “They are able to respond to an existing and growing community need.”

The development will also have a wider benefit. It is projected that it may save Butler County taxpayers up to $945,000 year by reducing ER visits, hospitalizations, and incarcerations while improving the quality of live for residents.