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Buffalo City Mission announces groundbreaking of new one-stop community center

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Wed, Sep 19th 2018 01:10 pm
$15 million facility will provide community & preventative services, emergency shelter, transitional housing, recuperative care for homeless
On Wednesday, the Buffalo City Mission announced the beginning of construction of the new, $15 million community center at 100 E. Tupper St. The 75,000-square-foot flagship facility will help prevent men, women and children from becoming homeless and provide more complete care to individuals who already experience homelessness. Notable features will include space for social service agencies, case management, mental health services, medical care, job training, basic family services, legal services, food and clothing.
The building is part of the City Mission's commitment to providing services that help prevent and, eventually, eradicate homelessness in the community. Since May, approximately $11 million of a target $15 million has been raised, committed or is in process - all through the City Mission's "Next Century" capital campaign.
"Our new community center represents the very best of what we stand for," said Stuart Harper, CEO and executive director of the Buffalo City Mission. "The mission and this community have worked together for the betterment of every neighbor. Today is the tipping point where we stand together, work together, and lead together to change the face of homelessness in Buffalo."
The Community Center will feature four primary spaces, including:
•Community and preventative services - A 9,300-square-foot community space - known as "The Center" - that will feature a state-of-the-art medical clinic, mental health services, partner agency service access, case management, food and clothing pantry, and meals served 365 days a year.
•Emergency shelter - Expanding beyond the City Mission's current space, this area is designed to significantly improve guests' health and safety.
•Transitional housing - Built on the City Mission's DREAM Program - an initiative to prevent homelessness through individual empowerment - this area will include 52 independent units, a chapel, educational classrooms and a computer lab - all designed to empower self-sufficiency for all guests.
•Recuperative care unit - A facility, in collaboration with health care partners, to provide care for the physically and mentally ill following discharge from a hospital. The unit will also include a community health care clinic.
"This new center is a true symbol of hope and healing for our community," said Buffalo Common Councilwoman Darius Pridgen, senior pastor at True Bethel Baptist Church and honorary chairman for the mission's "Next Century" capital campaign. "The City Mission has always served our community's homeless by housing them in their greatest time of need. With this new facility, these men will now receive the education, training and tools needed to make a true rehabilitation. With this rehabilitation comes the opportunity for a second chance at life, which is the true gift this project presents our community."
According to the Homeless Alliance of Western New York, more than 45 percent of people in Buffalo and Erie County live below the poverty line. Through initiatives including the new community center, DREAM Program and ongoing work in the community, the Buffalo City Mission aims to alleviate homelessness - providing real, innovative solutions for people to build new lives.
"As our city enjoys a transformation, which has included nearly $6.5 billion in economic investment since 2012 - which is bringing thousands of new jobs to neighborhoods citywide - my administration continues to build a Buffalo of opportunity for all, where no one is left out or left behind," Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said. "This new community center and DREAM Program supports our continued efforts and provides more tangible evidence that we are fostering a community that includes all residents in Buffalo's growth and evolution."
The current Buffalo City Mission will remain open throughout the construction process, with the new facility expected to open in 2020.
The capital campaign is $4 million from its goal. To learn more about the campaign and how to donate, visit buffalocitymission.org/nextcentury.
About the Buffalo City Mission
The Buffalo City Mission, founded in 1917, is a nonprofit organization providing preventative, emergency and transitional housing programs to thousands of people who are homeless and impoverished every year. The mission includes a women and children's shelter (Cornerstone Manor), the men's community center, and a Dick Road thrift store to serve the Western New York community. For more information, visit buffalocitymission.org or call 716-854-8181.

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