Government

Shelter House apartments in Iowa City represent major shift

'Housing first' complex to break ground

IOWA CITY — In a major shift in the way communities cope with homelessness, Shelter House will break ground next week on Cross Creek Park, an apartment complex that seeks to break the cycle of jail and emergency rooms by providing housing first.

The project of 24 one-bedroom apartments will be at 820 Cross Park Ave., which is east of Shelter House.

Last year, the Iowa Finance Authority said it would award $2.7 million, which would be coupled with $463,000 from the Housing Trust Fund of Johnson County.

The facility is intended to eventually turn the tide away from coping with homelessness by taking people to jail, hospitals and treatment programs. Under “housing first,” the idea is to get chronically homeless people a place to live and stabilize, then address addictions, mental health issues and other needs.

Shelter House plans a groundbreaking celebration at the address at 4:30 p.m. April 5.

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