Alembic Community Development
If you didn’t know an ‘alembic’ is a "device used in alchemy to transform common materials into rare and valuable ones” (and we didn’t), you could infer its meaning from seeing the results of Alembic’s work with nonproﬁts here and in the Gulf Coast, simultaneously strengthening communities and the nonproﬁt organizations that serve them: rebuilding Chinatown after September 11th and Biloxi after Hurricane Katrina.
Much of Alembic’s magic stems from its people, notably founders Benjamin Warnke and Mark Reed. Benjamin had started a consulting ﬁrm dedicated to helping nonproﬁts focus on their core mission drawing upon the expertise he’d developed at HPD, Enterprise, and CSH. Mark had founded the Contact Fund, a mission-driven private invest-ment ﬁrm making high impact loans to New York City nonproﬁts working in low income communities, raising capital from socially motivated individuals and foundations.
Since teaming up in 2005, they’ve made a huge impact on New York supportive housing. Team Alembic has worked with a dozen supportive housing providers, both experienced providers like Services for the Un-derServed and Community Access as well as ‘first timers’, helping them develop more than 500 units of supportive housing.
As part of its long-term partnership with Community League of the Heights, Alembic helped Yvonne Stennett develop ﬁve supportive housing residences: “Benjamin and Mark, along with the awesome individuals who have worked with them, have demonstrated the willingness, expertise, commitment, hard work and joy involved in the ﬁeld of community development and have earned the honor of recognition. I am extremely proud to call them partners and friends.”
Alembic worked with Barrier Free Living to develop their ﬁrst two supportive housing residences. “Having a values driven developer made for a great work-ing relationship,” notes Paul Feuerstein.
Sr. Janet Kinney of Providence House says she knew nothing about supportive housing development when she began work on creating two residences:
“No question I asked was too small. Benjamin, a gentle man of few words, patiently answered them all. Much later I learned that Benjamin was a Quaker, and that explained the few words! Yet behind every leader is a team, and the entire Alembic staff were always responsive, so I could attend to my ‘main job’ of running a nonproﬁt organization. Thank you ‘Team Alembic’ for your profession-alism and integrity and two beautiful buildings!”
The Network is delighted to join the fan club for Alembic Community Development and honor their com-mitment and passion for developing beautiful and functional supportive housing as our 2016 Private Sector Partner of the Year.