Topping-out ceremony puts final beam in place for $15 million facility, which will provide community and preventative services, emergency shelter, transitional housing, recuperative care for homeless
On Tuesday, the Buffalo City Mission announced the topping-out 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 announcement was part of a ceremonial event at the facility’s construction site. Buffalo City Mission leadership and staff were joined by elected officials, community donors and distinguished guests, including Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown; the Hon. Barbara Miller-Williams, 1st District Erie County legislator; David Nasca, CEO, President and director, Evans Bancorp Inc.; Anne McCune, long-term supporter of the Buffalo City Mission; Larry Cook, vice president, John R. Oishei Foundation; and Dr. Myron Glick, founder and CEO, Jericho Road Community Health Center.
“The new community center represents the very best of what we stand for at the mission: help, hope and healing,” said Stuart Harper, executive director and CEO of the Buffalo City Mission. “For more than 100 years, the City Mission and this community have worked together for the betterment of every neighbor. Today with the final beam in place, we once again stand together to recognize our future together in making lasting impact.”
The building – which will be known as the Alfiero Family Center of Hope and Promise – is part of the City Mission’s commitment to providing services that help prevent and, eventually, eradicate homelessness in the community. Since May 2018, approximately $12.3 million of a target $15 million has been raised, committed or is in process – all through the City Mission’s “Next Century Capital Campaign.”
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 a discharge from a hospital. The unit will also include a community health care clinic.
“Here in the City of Buffalo, we recognize that our success as a community is advanced by how many we lift up and move forward. If there are none left behind – we will have succeeded,” Mayor Brown said. “As our city enjoys a transformation, which has included over $6.7 billion in economic investment since 2012, and is bringing thousands of new jobs to neighborhoods citywide, the Buffalo City Mission’s new community center will complement my administration’s mission to ensure all Buffalo residents have an opportunity to be part of our resurgence.”
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.
“This is a truly special day for our team, for the City Mission and for this great city,” Nasca said. “As the financial partner of the City Mission’s ‘Next Century Campaign,’ Evans Bank is proud to be part of a project designed to raise the quality of life for our community’s most vulnerable and to provide preventive services so that our homelessness numbers decrease.”
"Today, we celebrate the completion of a structure that symbolizes a new beginning for every individual that comes through our doors," said Aubrey Calhoun, associate executive director of the Buffalo City Mission. "It stands as a powerful reminder that progress is here. Our city’s renaissance is real. And our mission continues. We thank every partner, donor, organization and individual who has supported us on this journey. Without them, our work would not be possible."
The current Buffalo City Mission will remain open throughout the construction process, with the new facility expected to open in 2020.
The “Next Century Capital Campaign” is $2.7 million from its goal. To learn more about the campaign and how to donate, visit buffalocitymission.org/nextcentury.
About 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 the Dick Road thrift store to serve the Western New York community. For more information, visit buffalocitymission.org or call 716-854-8181.