Residences of the Year

Cadence Square,  Finger Lakes Addictions Counseling and Referral Agency & Cazenovia Recovery Systems

Cadence Square embodies the concept of community: For the 17 at-risk veterans and their families that live there, for the surrounding neighborhood, and for the broader society of veterans of Western New York. Small surprise that the Canandaigua apartment complex was the result of myriad collaborations on every level.

First, there was the unprecedented support at the federal level, starting with Senator Chuck Schumer successfully advocated for renovating – rather than closing – the Canandaigua VA campus and the VA Cares Panel choosing the team of the Finger Lakes Addictions Counseling and Referral Agency and Cazenovia Recovery Systems to redevelop the buildings.

Then there is the unprecedented support of the neighbors: a local Eagle Scout troop built both a community garden and benches surrounding the flagpole that graces the Square; the East Street Neighbors have welcomed the Square residents; the local Veterans Service Organizations have provided gifts, holiday celebrations and mentorships.

And Cadence Square Tenants give back to the surrounding community as well, volunteering at the neighboring Sonnenburg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park.

The Square itself  has everything: its own police and fire department and in the summer, a fabulous farmer’s market.

Tenant services are also a collaboration. The VA provides a full range of health, behavioral health and employment services the innovative Compensated Work Therapy Program that has led to extroarodinarily high employment rates, complemented by services funded by the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services.

Funding was DEFINITELY a collaboration. Capital came from Key Bank, Key Community Development, NYS Homes and Community Renewal, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, The NYS Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services, Key Community Development Corporation,  Key Bank, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York Affordable Housing Program through Network member M & T Bank. Operating and service costs are covered through VASH vouchers and OASAS. Christa Construction was the project’s builder and  Fontanese/Folt/Aubrecht/Ernst were the architects.

But the fiercest and most important community comes from the residents themselves, who have come together in ways large and small, often using the glorious rotunda/community room for these convenings be they tenant meetings, family gatherings, holiday celebrations, bingo night, and even, once, a baby shower!

We are proud to honor Cadence Square as the Network  2015 Outstanding Residence of the Year.

Kingsbridge Terrace – Jericho Project

It is not uncommon for supportive housing residences to be the most beautiful buildings on the block, but even for supportive housing Kingsbridge Terrace is a standout…literally. Perched atop a steep windy street, one is first struck by the building’s sleek angularity and the abundance of windows, calling to mind a ship’s bow. Then the back-wall of the outdoor basketball court comes into view with a 30 foot mural of veterans from each branch of the service and the message could not be clearer: veterans are honored here.

Respect for the 76 veterans calling Kingsbridge Terrace home is evident in every physical detail of the residence – the use of dark grey and blue in the wall colors, the ‘floating’ staircases, the multiple terraces, and the dozens of stunning giant nature photographs on every wall.  OCV Architects clearly put their hearts into the building’s design.

The building’s beauty is matched by the warmth of the community inside, which builds on the natural camaraderie shared by those who’ve served in the military. Innovative on- site services include meditation instruction, urban gardening, yoga, and creative writing workshops, supplementing case management, career counselling, psychiatric services, and job placement. Additionally, Jericho Project has made family reunification a priority helping veterans repair frayed relationships. One tenant used the gym to help him lose over 30 pounds, helping to control his diabetes.  Another tenant spoke about the transformative power meditation practice has had on his life. Core services are funded through the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s NY/NY III program.

Jericho has also encouraged relationship building between tenants and the community through a program called Jericho Advocates. This program trained six veterans from Kingsbridge to develop their personal narratives in order to speak about their own experiences and to share information about Jericho’s programs.  These veterans have participated in the Network’s lobby day and hosted a site visit for members of Community Board 5, who were deciding whether or not to support another Jericho Project residence in their community: they decided to do so after the visit.

Funding for the project came from HPD’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., HPD’s SHLP, Deutsche Bank, and CSH. Jericho Project has also brought corporate resources into the building from Home Depot, the Bob Woodruff Foundation, and the Coleman Fung Foundation.

As an outstandingly beautiful and empowering environment helping those who served our country rebuild their lives in the community, the Network is delighted to honor Jericho Project’s Kingsbridge Terrace as a 2015 Outstanding Residence of the Year.