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Showing Posts by Date: 10/2016

The Founders of Supportive Housing Recognized at the Network’s Annual Awards Gala


The founders of the supportive housing movement.
New York's supportive housing community came together on October 13th for a particularly special version of our annual Network Awards Gala in a year that saw historic commitments from the Governor and Mayor for 35,000 new units of supportive housing. We honored Father John McVean, Father John Felice, Ellen Baxter, Tony Hannigan, John Tynan, Laura Jervis, Stephan Russo, Connie Tempel, David Gillcrist (for Project FIND) and our own Bill Traylor --  the pioneers of the supportive housing movement.

More than 600 guests joined us at Capitale to celebrate these outstanding individuals of supportive housing and our amazing community. The mood was festive during the 90 minute cocktail hour as friends and colleagues revived old friendships and forged new ones.

The night’s festivities continued with our awards ceremony. This year, in addition to the distinctive recognition offered to our founders, we honored two remarkable tenants, three outstanding residences, and a Private Sector Partner of the Year, Alembic Community Development.

Network Board Chair and Richman Housing Resources President Bill Traylor welcomed the crowd, and introduced the Network’s Executive Director, Laura Mascuch, who expressed her heartfelt thanks to the Network’s Board, staff and the community for all their support.

Shatiera Freeman, of The Door and Breaking Ground, accepted the first of the evening’s two Tenant of the Year awards from the Network’s Sydney Kopp-Richardson. Ms. Freeman, a young adult who has spent much of her life in foster care, has dedicated herself to improving the lives of others, most recently in her work as a peer counselor with PAUS (Peers Against Unsafe Sex).

The Network’s Rebecca Sauer presented our upstate Residence of the Year award to Marlies Wesolowski of Lt. Colonel Matt Urban Human Services Center of Western New York for their gorgeous Hope Gardens residence, serving 20 chronically homeless women. Ms. Wesolowski spoke movingly about her own experiences growing with a single mom in deplorable public housing “as a small child I’d wake up with a rat crawling across my bed” and described how profoundly this affected her choice to work in supportive housing.

Steve Coe, of Community Access, welcomed Mark Reed of Alembic Community Development to the podium to receive our Private Sector Partner of the Year award, and talked about the huge impact that Alembic has made on New York supportive housing. Alembic’s Co-Founder Mark Reed noted that nonprofits are critical to supportive housing development.

Father John Felice of St. Francis Friends of the Poor.

Network Chair Bill Traylor introduced the special honorees from the founding of the movement with heartfelt words and the personal insight of someone who began his career in supportive housing working with these icons. He invited Father John Felice of St. Francis Friends of the Poor and the other founders in the audience to the stage to receive this Distinctive Recognition– a group in which Traylor himself is included. Father Felice spoke about the early days, and the founders got a standing ovation from the crowd in recognition of their transformative achievements in creating and nurturing our supportive housing movement.

Ms. Sauer presented the second Residence of the Year Award to Dan Johannson of ACMH, Inc., who graciously shared credit with the many amazing partners involved in creating East 144th Street Affordable Housing, all of whom are longtime Network supporters.

The final Tenant of the Year Award was presented to Shannon Landy of Community Access by Ms. Kopp-Richardson. Ms. Landy spoke in detail about the life of incomprehensible trauma that she lived before finding a new life thanks to supportive housing. She is now an advocate for survivors of domestic violence and people living with mental illness.

The magnificent renovation of Goddard Riverside Community Center’s Capitol Hall residence claimed the final Residence of the Year Award, presented by Ms. Sauer to Stephan Russo, who gave kudos to the many collaborators who came together to so effectively prepare this early supportive housing residence for the coming decades.

The evening ended with more cocktails, conversation, and delicious desserts!

You can also read more about each of our honorees by following the links here and check out the photos of the evening.

We hope to see you at next year's Gala!

| What's New, Network Events

Trolley Station Apartments Opens in Canandaigua


Trolley Station Apartments.

On September 18th, DePaul hosted an open house for its brand new supportive housing residence in Canandaigua, NY.  Trolley Station Apartments is a homey and spacious 48-unit affordable/supportive housing complex with 22 units dedicated to serving individuals with mental health challenges. The name pays homage to the site’s former use as a stop on a trolley line that transported workers at a large Civil War era orphanage.

There are numerous amenities for tenants including a computer room, a community room, and laundry on each floor. Each apartment features a flat screen tv (with basic cable!), and a fully equipped kitchen.  Sidewalks around the complex link to a network of community trails that connect to town parks offering residents a taste of nature and easy opportunity to exercise.

The building also features a rooftop solar element and state-of-the-art free standing solar panels – these are expected to save $16,000 annually by providing 58% of the housing development’s electricity.  The development incorporates “green” standards, including using Energy Star rated appliances and lighting fixtures and high-efficiency furnaces and condensing units for heating and cooling.

DePaul’s Executive Director Mark Fuller acted as MC and was joined by the numerous representatives from the private and public partners who helped make Trolley Station Apartments a reality. Supervisor for the Town of Canandaigua Pamela Helming commented that the town was committed to providing housing for people of all ages and abilities, and that, with Trolley Station Apartments’ opening, “We are one step closer to meeting that goal.” Other featured speakers included HCR’s Leonard Skrill, OMH’s  Moira Tashjian, the Ontario Mental Health Department’s Diane Johnston, Victor Sostar of First Sterling Financial, and JP Morgan Chase’s David Walsh.

The building was designed by SWBR architects and built by Christa Construction. The syndicator was First Sterling. Additional funding for a large solar array comes from NYSERDA and Solar Equity.  

The project was funded by NYS HCR with MRT capital and NYS HFA with bonds and tax credits.  The project was initiated with help from a predevelopment grant from NYS OMH, and on site services are funded by NYS OMH.

| What's New, New York State, Openings

$21.6 Million Awarded for Eight New Supportive Housing Projects


Governor Cuomo announced nearly $21.6 million in awards for eight supportive housing projects across New York State.  Awards were made through the state’s Office of Temporary & Disability Assistance’s Homeless Housing Assistance Program (HHAP) to create a total of 265 supportive housing units.

Awardees include the following, of which seven are Network members:

  • Lt. Col. Matt Urban Center (Erie County) $3,112,670
  • Utica Center for Development (Oneida County) $3,174,100
  • Concern for Independent Living, Inc. (Suffolk County) $1,308,842
  • Association for Mental Health and Wellness, Inc. (Suffolk County) $1,988,716
  • Rescue Mission of Utica, Inc. (Oneida County) $1,711,839
  • United Veterans Beacon House, Inc. (Suffolk County) $1,547,164
  • Postgraduate Center for Mental Health, Inc. (Kings County, NYC) $2,993,268
  • Concern for Independent Living, Inc. (Nassau County) $5,750,000

Governor Cuomo said "With the creation of these supportive housing units, we are helping ensure that some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers have a safe, decent and affordable place to live and are given access to the support and services that they need."

Congratulations to all of the awardees.  $40.6 million in HHAP remains available.  Please see OTDA’s website for more information.

| What's New, Funding, New York State