WORCESTER, Mass. - The Worcester Housing Authority broke ground on a new housing development Monday morning as part of a program to help solve the homelessness crisis in the community.

The building at 38 Lewis Street will offer 24 fully furnished studio units that have a kitchen, full bathroom, AC and appliances. Two of the units will be fully handicap accessible.

The 'A Place To Live' program is designed to provide safe housing with a range of educational and supportive services to homeless individuals, including those with chronic substance abuse problems.

The WHA and its nonprofit affiliate, Building Futures Inc., will work closely with a resident manager who will serve as a “senior peer” to the residents in the building and make sure they are getting the attention and services they need.

"This model will not only help people experiencing homelessness to achieve long term housing stability, but also improve their health and wellbeing," said Alex Corrales, CEO of the WHA. "Investments in permanent supportive housing will help decrease the number of homeless individuals in Worcester, especially when a community wide coordinated approach to delivering services, housing and programs is implemented and integrated."

"In what is suposed to be a temporary place, to be able to leave shelter, come into residency here, have someone watching out for their wellbeing 24/7 and access all of those supports to help them to be well and whole again," said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito at the groundbreaking ceremony.

They're hoping to start construction in early September, with the building slated to be complete in the spring of 2023.