Showing Posts by Category: Member News
Executive Director Stephan Russo stepped down from his position at Goddard Riverside Community Center (“Goddard”) at the end of the year, succeeded by Dr. Roderick Jones, formerly the President and CEO of Grace Hill Settlement House in St. Louis, Missouri. Prior to his eight years at Grace Hill, Dr. Jones served as President and CEO of the Community Place of Greater Rochester.
Except for a stint at the NYC Department of Homeless Services, Mr. Russo spent his entire career at Goddard Riverside, starting as a youth worker in 1976 and becoming Executive Director in 1998. Under his leadership, Goddard significantly expanded its programming to vulnerable children, youth, and adults. Mr. Russo oversaw mergers with two other settlement houses. He was also honored as one of the founders of the supportive housing movement at the Network’s awards Gala last year.
The Network’s Executive Director Laura Mascuch said, “Stephan has a deep connection to his community where he is loved and admired. I had the privilege of working for him at DHS and witnessed his steadfast nature when combatting the homeless crisis, never wavering in his commitment to serving those in need. While we’ll miss Stephan, we are excited to work with Dr. Jones as he takes the reins at Goddard.”| In the Media, What's New, New York City, Member News
Gina Quattrochi, Bailey House CEO and lifelong HIV/AIDS advocate, passed away December 13, 2016 from complications due to cancer. During the 25 years she led Bailey House, Ms. Quattrochi played a key role in transforming the organization into an innovative leader in HIV/AIDS care and supportive housing.
Ms. Quattrochi became the Executive Director of the AIDS Resource Center in 1991, after serving six years on the Board, and in 1995 changed the name of the organization to Bailey House in honor of Bailey Holt House, the first supportive housing residence for people living with HIV/AIDS created by the organization in 1986. Housing was Ms. Quattrochi’s passion and her imprint was immeasurable. She was instrumental in working with the City to develop the funding streams for both scattered-site and congregate supportive housing and she helped garner the research irrevocably linking homelessness to the incidence of HIV infection. She was among the first to introduce the notion that housing is healthcare.
Bailey House’s Senior Vice President of Housing Resources and Development Jeannette K. Ruffins said, “Gina was a tireless advocate for social justice and client rights."
Charles King, President and CEO of Housing Works, said “Gina is a hero in the fight against AIDS…and a driving force behind the development of supportive housing standards in New York State and her national advocacy for housing as an affordable intervention.”
Ms. Quattrochi was former president and a long-term member of the board of directors of the National AIDS Housing Coalition. She was appointed to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's Ending the Epidemic Task Force in 2014. Ms. Quattrochi also served on the Harlem Hospital Community Advisory Board, the Board of Directors of the Ryan White Integration of Care committee, the Board of Directors of iHealth NYS, and the Board of Directors of the Supportive Housing Network of New York.
Fittingly, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene called out Ms. Quattrochi’s lifelong contribution to the cause dedicating the NYC AIDS Memorial on World AIDS Day, less than two weeks before her passing,
Ms. Quattrochi was a force of nature and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with her friends, family and the larger advocacy community.| What's New, New York City, Member News
Gary Hattem – a leading light in the affordable and supportive housing world for decades -- is retiring as President of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation at the end of the year. Mr. Hattem, was responsible for the firm’s corporate social responsibility activities in the Americas region, Deutsche Bank’s social finance activities globally and established the Community Development Finance Group in 1990. More than $2.5 billion has been deployed through these activities in the U.S., and the international work has led to over $300 million in funds under management.
Mr. Hattem inaugurated or was a lead funder in a number of game-changing innovations. Under his leadership, Deutsche Bank launched the DB SHARE (Supportive Housing Acquisition and Rehabilitation Effort) program, which provides funding to providers to cover the early costs of supportive housing development. In its nearly 20 year history, DB Share has supported the creation of over 7,000 units and the latest round of awards will support an additional 1,500 units in the coming years. Mr. Hattem also led the creation of what is now the Change Capital Fund, a collaborative of foundations and most of New York City’s banks to support community development organizations in NYC; the NYC Housing and Recovery Donors Collaborative, to support low-income communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy; and led funder support of other initiatives like the Joint Ownership Entity Initiative and the Gateway Housing Demonstration Initiative.
Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, Gary Hattem helped found Astella Development Corporation in Coney Island and was Executive Director of the St. Nicholas Neighborhood Preservation Corporation.
John Kimble, Deutsche Bank’s Vice President for Philanthropic Initiatives, said "Gary has devoted his life and considerable talents to investing in the well-being and success of the most vulnerable and marginalized among us. It has been a tremendous honor to work with and learn from a person of such passion, intelligence, integrity, and commitment to build a more just, equitable, and inclusive society."
Marc Jahr, the principal of Community Development Futures, LLC, said, “For 25 years, Gary has been instrumental in harnessing Deutsche Bank's capital to a sensitive understanding of the needs of the City's communities and nonprofits. He has been one the Nation's great social entrepreneurs, whose immense creativity has been matched by his extraordinary ambition. His presence at Deutsche Bank will be deeply missed.”
Laura Jervis, founder of West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing, said “Emerging from the grassroots neighborhood development world, Gary’s astounding achievements in the heady worlds of philanthropy and finance can be traced directly to the values and integrity he demonstrated leading the St. Nicholas Neighborhood Preservation Corporation (now St. Nick’s Alliance) in its earliest days. Always putting the needs of neighborhood people first whether relating to housing, work, economic development, or child care, St. Nick’s became the model for the community development movement. When he joined Deutsche Bank, his neighborhood became the entire world. The programs initiated under his watch all start at the grassroots, from micro-finance lending to self-expression in the arts to cleaning up water in villages, he is both a thought leader and an activist for improving the lives of low income people everywhere. For us in the New York City nonprofit affordable and supportive housing world his innovative multi-year grant/loan programs have deepened our capacity and increased our production of housing beyond measure. Always generous with advice and encouragement, we will continue to rely on his wisdom and friendship. What a mensch!”| What's New, Member News
In 2016, we continued our thriving collaboration with StoryCorps, the widely honored nonprofit that describes itself as “America’s oral history project,” and had the opportunity to record, preserve, and share the stories of 30 supportive housing tenants and staff members from Bailey House, Brooklyn Community Housing and Services (BCHS), Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS), Community Access, Housing and Services, Inc. (HSI), Housing Plus Solutions, Project Renewal, Services for the UnderServed (SUS), The Door, The Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter, St. Francis Friends of the Poor, Urban Pathways, and Volunteers of America – Greater New York.
Here are highlights from a few of these conversations - the audio links are typically just 3-5 minutes.
Dina Zempsky, Managing Director of StoryBooths, StoryCorps said “The Network - StoryCorps collaboration was an organic example of how storytelling supports the development of personal growth and self-efficacy. StoryCorps was honored to participate in this unique project and to develop a treasure trove of recordings for the supportive housing community.” Sylvie Lubow, Associate Director, Community Engagement, of StoryCorps’ Military Voices initiative continued: “While the stories ranged in topic and theme, many participants spoke about how their quality of life dramatically improved after being placed in supportive housing. It was a pleasure to work with the Network and to celebrate New York's vibrant supportive housing community through storytelling.”
Community Access tenant Shannon Landy said, "Sharing my story brought sunshine to me and to the many other other victims and advocates in the universe, giving us hope, inspiration and empowerment for our journey ahead. I represent a voice for all the victims who lost their battle to find a safe place to reside."
And here are some final thoughts from James Martin, Senior Housing Outreach Specialist for Downtown Goddard Riverside Outreach, who shared a conversation with Alexander Griffin, a veteran who spent decades homeless and living on the street, “It’s not often that we as people get the chance to sit down and replay stories of our past, and it can end up being very therapeutic when we do get that chance. Especially for people who have lived through the inherently traumatic event of having to sleep on the street. Reflecting back on those stories and experiences can help people move past those experiences and begin anew. Alexander’s story is remarkable. He spent thirty years sleeping on the street and is now doing amazing in his own apartment. That’s not an easy transition to make for anyone, and that’s often one of the biggest struggles we see people having. StoryCorps was able to further provide him with a chance to reflect on and assess the past events of his life. Recording his story, and others like his, might provide someone out there with hope for their own lives.”
A heartfelt thanks to StoryCorps, and to all our nonprofit providers, staff members, and tenants who shared their stories as part of our partnership!| What's New, Member News
On May 24th, Goddard Riverside celebrated the renovation of their Capitol Hall residence. One of the very first supportive housing residences in NYC, Capitol Hall was opened initially in 1983. Back then, plans were afoot to convert the decaying SRO into luxury housing, when a group of neighbors on the Upper West Side got together and took a stand in support of preserving affordable housing for their low-income neighbors. The building now houses 200 people including those who have been homeless and those were at risk of becoming homeless.
The recent upgrades give each tenant a private kitchenette and bathroom. The project also restored the building’s beautiful marble lobby, and added community space for social and educational activities.
The New York Times published a stirring article from a former Capitol Hall tenant on the occasion of the re-opening.
“With help from our partners, we’ve made Capitol Hall a building any New Yorker could be proud to call home,” said Goddard Riverside Executive Director Stephan Russo. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to restore this building to its former glory—and to help the people who live in it restore their lives.”
Congratulations, Goddard Riverside!| What's New, New York City, Member News
On July 1, 2016 the life and work of Ellen Baxter, Founder and CEO of Broadway Housing Communities, were featured on NPR’s Invisibilia in an episode by reporter Lulu Miller, who introduced the episode by discussing her family’s experience with mental illness. Just as Miller discussed the challenges in having a mentally-ill older sister, so did Ms. Baxter discuss similar experiences growing up with a mother living with mental illness and addictions.
Ms. Baxter’s story is a moving first-person exploration of the path her life and career took in searching for more humane treatment alternatives for families and individuals living with mental health issues. She spoke about studying psychology at Bowdoin College and having a professor’s support in getting placed (under false pretenses, putting on her best ‘depressed face’) in a mental ward for a week where she was eager to see what treatments were working – and disheartened by her growing realization that there were no effective treatments, that patients were overmedicated to the point of unrecognizability, and spent the days watching television, or looking out the windows and waiting for the bells to ring. She described the stultifying atmosphere: “One can almost see the humanity of people evaporating.”
Ms. Baxter was convinced that there had to be a better way. She haunted the library looking for alternatives, and hit upon a small town named Geel (pronounced with a guttural ‘h’ as ‘Hale’) where, as a book described it, “At the village of Geel in Belgium, it was well-known that the insane have been placed under the management of the villagers.” The town had pioneered a model of family foster care, that has continued to develop over the years, in which families host strangers who are called ‘boarders’ or ‘guests’ who have mental health diagnoses (of which the families are given no details).
Why Geel? Lore has it that St. Dymphna, the patron saint of the mentally ill, was martyred on the spot where Geel is located nearly a thousand years ago, and that in 1300, a church was built on her burial place, which attracted pilgrims seeking a cure for their mental illnesses. And so over centuries, the town became unusually comfortable hosting individuals with these challenges. By 1930, 25% of all residents in Geel had a mental health diagnosis.
Baxter was awarded a one year Watson Fellowship to go to Geel to find out how this model worked, after which she returned to New York City.
What is most remarkable in Geel is perhaps the longevity of these relationships that begin with strangers: the average length of stay with a family in Geel is 28 years; a third of all people with mental health diagnoses who are placed with foster families in Geel stay with them over 45 years.
Ms. Miller quotes Ms. Baxter’s observation that while the medical care in place in Geel is crucial, “When it comes to the day in and day out care that families are often more capable than professionals, that their hands have a healing touch in part because they aren't bound by the rules and they aren't blinded by diagnosis, but most important because they have let go of the mission to cure.”
Despite various setbacks along the way in adopting a model from a Belgian village to one of the biggest and most densely populated cities in the world, Ms. Baxter used her insights from Geel to help inform the movement that would come to be known as supportive housing, along with insights she gleaned from other founders including Father John Felice and Father John McVean of St. Francis Friends of the Poor.
The Network caught up with Ms. Baxter on July 18th to talk about other key experiences that informed her work creating our supportive housing movement.
Ms. Baxter began working for the Community Service Society after returning from Geel. In 1979, she began researching and writing the landmark report (co-authored with Kim Hopper) “Private Lives/Public Spaces: Homeless Adults on the Streets of New York City,” that was published two years later, as the movement to deinstitutionalize patients from ‘insane asylums’ gained ground and thousands of people with mental health issues found themselves with no place to go. Ms. Baxter and Mr. Hopper spoke with these individuals where they lived: on park benches, at the Port Authority bus terminal, riding the subways all night -- before the Callahan ‘Right to Shelter’ decision – when there were just 37 beds available for all homeless women in NYC, and when, according to Martin Begun of NYU, 35-55 people every night were coming into the morgue, dying from exposure.
The experience of seeing the explosion of homelessness and human suffering on the streets of NYC, and her positive experience in Geel both contributed to Ms. Baxter’s commitment to finding a more humane alternative. In 1983, Baxter founded one of the City’s oldest nonprofit supportive housing providers, Committee for The Heights Inwood Homeless (the original name of Broadway Housing Communities), now home to 7 affordable and supportive housing residences in West Harlem and Washington Heights. Ms. Baxter’s understanding evolved over time – initially, it was taboo to mix homeless individuals and homeless families, especially when mental illness was part of the mix – but with BHC’s fifth building, The Rio, their first attempt to mix these groups, it became evident that “families with children enriched and normalized a building in a very natural fashion.” Now integration -- of families and single individuals, of people with mental health challenges with others, formerly homeless individuals with low-income members of the community -- is the norm for BHC.
It was while being interviewed by Ms. Miller that Ms. Baxter realized the astounding and life-changing success of the model to which she contributed so much: there are many tenants who have been living happily in BHC’s residences for over 20 years. Baxter says “supportive housing can work in so many different forms, there’s no one perfect model. The need for significantly more housing for individuals and families with mental health challenges is so great: thousands of people with mental illness are still quartered in jails, shelters, ER rooms.”
Thank you, Ms. Baxter and Broadway Housing Communities, for the vision of a more humane New York that you have brought to fruition through decades of committed work! The supportive housing community is indebted to you.
Connie Tempel – one of the godmothers of supportive housing and a mainstay of the movement in New York City for the last twenty five years -- is retiring as Chief Operating Officer for CSH today. Ms. Tempel has made an enormous impact on our movement, including what she deems one of her proudest achievements, being present at the first meeting of the SRO Providers Group (the Network’s name for most of its early life) and co-chairing the group early in its existence. Ms. Tempel was a major force behind convincing the New York State Office of Mental Health to embrace supportive housing as an intervention to end chronic homelessness and laid the foundation for what would eventually become known as the NY/NY agreements. Another of Ms. Tempel’s game-changing achievements was shepherding the nine-year process of proving supportive housing’s cost effectiveness in what has become known as the gold standard of cost-benefit analyses, the University of Pennsylvania’s 2001 report known in shorthand as the Culhane Report.
Ms. Tempel helped design models and evaluations for a number of new populations, expanding the model’s reach and sustainability. She helped create the first service funding for supportive housing for families and youth -- the Supportive Housing for Families and Young Adults program. She helped imagine and implement the FUSE model and evaluation proving the programmatic and cost effectiveness and of re-entry housing, and, with the late Alan Epstein, imagining and implementing the use of 4% tax credits in OMH housing development. She also designed and implemented the first Moving On demonstration.
Ms. Tempel joined CSH in 1992, having worked previously at Catholic Charities, where, alongside now-Network Executive Director Laura Mascuch, she helped develop the first supportive housing project under the first NY/NY Agreement, Monica House, named after Governor Mario Cuomo’s mother. Ms. Tempel also worked with Bill Traylor then of HPD (now of Richman Housing Resources and the Network’s Board Chair) on the first NY/NY tax-credit project.
Some of her hundreds of former colleagues and admirers share their thoughts:
“Connie was the co-chair of the SRO Providers Group with me when it was created back in the 1980’s so she and I have spent years in the trenches developing affordable housing for folks who are homeless. Connie is smart, caring, committed, and persistent. Another thing I always admired about Connie is her downright competence. She’s been a real visionary in this field.” -Stephan Russo of Goddard Riverside Community Center.
“Connie embodies four qualities critical to the development of quality supportive housing: intelligence, imagination, commitment and empathy. It's no wonder that she has always been a leader in the field and no surprise that we will miss her.” -Benjamin Warnke of Alembic Community Development.
“The best boss I ever had. She taught me the importance of the long game and personified the fortitude it requires. In her unique and quiet way she skillfully orchestrated time and again the diverse energies, interests and abilities of others towards the achievement of a greater goal – more supportive housing and better supportive housing everywhere.” -David Gillcrist of Project Find.
“In the decades-long struggle to end homelessness in New York City and nationally, there are few that have done more and yet have been more unsung than Connie Tempel. One of those rare people who was trusted by advocates and government alike, Connie has been the backbone of the movement. As one of my first mentors, she ingrained in me that good policy must be grounded in programs and practice, and must above all put first the interests of people who these programs are intended to serve. In all her achievements, she tread humbly and quietly. And quiet though they may have been, her shoes will be no less hard to fill. I wish her the best of luck in her well-earned retirement.” -Richard S. Cho of Council of State Governments Justice Center
“Since our beginning years together at CSH, Connie has dedicated herself with great heart and soul to advancing supportive housing as a means of strengthening communities and the lives of those most in need. Congratulations on this milestone!” –Julie Sandorf of the Revson Foundation
“Connie deserves all the accolades we can bestow on her. From the original Culhane report to SHFYA to tens of thousands of supportive housing units developed with the help and guidance of CSH, there are very few things that happened in supportive housing over the years that didn’t bear her imprint. I can say without reservation that supportive housing would not have become the success it is today without her and her quiet but determined leadership. And of course, personally, I owe much of my career to her and her support. She should take pride in a job well done.” –Ted Houghton of Gateway Housing
“As cities across the US continue to struggle with homelessness, those who are really trying to solve the problem can find no more effective role model to emulate than Connie Tempel who I had the privilege of working with for 15 years at CSH. Connie dedicated her tremendous talents as a leader and advocate over a lifetime to champion access to housing and critical services for the poorest people in New York and across the United States. Not content to only run successful programs, she fought for policies and structural change that will impact us all for decades to come. Connie's life and accomplishments are a model for all who are not about rhetoric, but about delivering practical results.” –Carla Javits of REDF
“When I started in supportive housing in the late eighties Connie was there. She was an incredible mentor whom I have relied on throughout my career. She envisions a project or problem like no one else in the industry and she does it with a smile. Through her leadership in the NY/ NY housing work she has probably touched almost every supportive housing residence in the city. She is an inspiration to us all and will be sorely missed.” – Laura Mascuch of the Supportive Housing Network of New York
“Connie has dedicated her career to advancing innovation at the levels of policy and practice, taking supportive housing from what started as a pilot intervention in the 90s to what is now a mainstream solution. I have learned so much from her over the years and wish her the very best in the years ahead.” -Janice Elliott of Melville Charitable Trust
“Connie’s deep commitment to finding solutions through supportive housing began here in New York at CSH 22 years ago, and her innovation and determination have improved the lives of thousands of people across the entire country. Her leadership, thoughtfulness and vast knowledge reshaped the way we address the needs of vulnerable people, most especially the chronically homeless. We all wish her the happiest retirement!” -Kristin Miller of CSH
“Connie has been my personal guiding star for a lot of my life in supportive housing, most especially during my years at CSH. She always insisted that the numbers on which we based our advocacy be rock solid, that in my fervor to get out the message about supportive housing’s wonderfulness, I not cut corners on stone cold statistical accuracy. I am blessed to have worked with her on releasing the Culhane report, on NY/NY II and on spreading the word about the extraordinary supportive housing community in New York City. Plus, she taught me how to garden and introduced me to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden Members Only sale, a gift of a lifetime. She is truly one of the movement’s leading lights and I am very lucky to have worked with her.” -Cynthia Stuart of the Supportive Housing Network of New York| In the Media, What's New, New York City, Member News
The Network joins the Center for Urban Community Services in mourning the loss of CUCS’ long-time Chief Operating Officer, Paul Gualano, who passed away on July 9, 2016. He was a pillar of the supportive housing community who touched the lives of tenants, co-workers, and colleagues from other organizations within our community.
Tony Hannigan, CUCS’ President and CEO, said, on behalf of everyone at CUCS, ‘‘Paul has been with CUCS since 1988, and he is in everything that is CUCS. It is hard to believe he is gone.”
Paul began working at CUCS in 1988 as a Special Assistant, and he subsequently held numerous positions before becoming Chief Operating Officer in 2000. Paul was a key part of CUCS’ successful transition from Columbia University in 1993, and he was the architect of much of the organization’s administrative infrastructure. In recent years, he also oversaw CUCS’ property development efforts, and he was instrumental in creating CUCS’ central office, and the Lenniger and the Sydelle residences.
Cindy L. Harden of Harden Van Arnam Architects said, "Paul Gualano was more than a client - he had become a close and dear friend - so this loss is heartbreaking. Paul's tenacity and patience in getting supportive housing projects over all he hurdles to completion was abounding. His compassion and faith were inspiring, his sense of purpose an example to all, and his sense of humor just icing on the cake that was Paul Gualano. All of us at HVA who collaborated with Paul respected and admired him and we will miss him greatly."
Brenda Rosen, Breaking Ground’s President and CEO, had more moving words about Mr. Gualano, shared in particular with their partners at CUCS: “I speak on behalf of the entire Breaking Ground organization when I say we are terribly saddened by the passing of Paul Gualano. Breaking Ground has had no more important partnership than with CUCS since our founding. Our partnership is so strong and, in truth, unique for the supportive housing industry, because of the very special group of people who make up the CUCS family. Paul was a guiding force, year after year, as we partnered on new sites and improved systems. He helped ensure that our staffs had their best opportunity to achieve deeply held aspirations for making a positive, lasting and meaningful difference in the lives of our most vulnerable neighbors. We will remember Paul always and miss him terribly.”
Paul’s family is asking that in lieu of flowers, if people would like to make donations, they should do so either to CUCS in Paul’s memory or to the NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center, c/o Dr. Anna Pavlick. Below are the links:
To the NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center:
https://nyulangone.org/give/funds/melanoma-clinical-trials-anna-pavlick-md/donate| What's New, New York City, Member News
In the wake of the City and State’s recent commitments to creating 35,000 units of supportive housing over the next 15 years, Project Hospitality Executive Director Terry Troia invited Network Executive Director Laura Mascuch to present on supportive housing to this year’s Annual Staten Island Mental Health Council’s Community and Legislative Priorities Breakfast on Friday, March 4th. Some 200 stakeholders discussed the Council’s agenda next year which will focus on the importance of creating supportive housing for homeless Staten Islanders struggling with mental illness; the need for funding for children’s mental health services; the need for employment support for Island residents living with mental illness.
On hand were Assembly Member Michael Cusick and Assembly Member Matthew Titone as well as representatives from the offices of Senator Diane Savino, Public Advocate Letitia James, Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis, and Council Member Debi Rose.
Ms. Mascuch spoke about the work of the City’s Supportive Housing Task Force which she co-chairs and on which Reverend Troia sits, emphasizing the thirty year track-record of successfully helping vulnerable New Yorkers build lives in the community and supportive housing’s history of improving neighborhoods. The breakfast was hosted by the Staten Island Mental Health Council and Co-Chair Larry Hochwald, and other featured speakers included Linda Wilson, Executive Director of NAMI of Staten Island and Staten Island Mental Health Society’s Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer Libby Trainor.| In the Media, What's New, New York City, Member News
Unfortunately, when the Network presented Cadence Square Apartments with the Residence of the Year Award, co-developer Cazenovia Recovery Systems of Buffalo could not be with us. We therefore presented their award to them in Buffalo on November 20th.
Cadence Square was also honored earlier this month by Governor Cuomo as one of seven distinctive projects from around the state to receive a 2015 New York State Historic Preservation Award.| What's New, New York State, Member News