The Story of Chris

 

The frigid cold finally took its toll. Despite being homeless, Chris avoided staying in shelters. Instead, he slept outside near the Capitol, in abandoned buildings, or in the park. However, the winter of 2014 was the coldest weather he’d experienced, and it forced him to find warmth and respite.

When Chris arrived at the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless (IPH) Emergency Shelter for Code Blue, he didn’t realize that he’d be changing his life and inspiring a new program at IPH.

Due to the bitter cold, the dorms filled to capacity, but Chris and 12 others slept on the couches at the shelter. IPH worked tirelessly to develop a way to provide more. IPH’s Safe Haven was opened with cots, hot meals, staff, and case managers to assist Chris and other individuals from the streets of Albany who needed these services.

Safe Haven provided warmth and safety that this community needed. Although the first signs of spring were met with enthusiasm, the adversity of the winter still hung heavily. Chris approached staff to show his gratitude… “You guys saved my life this winter.”

Alcohol and drugs influenced Chris’ decisions and led to his homelessness. “I was scared when I started sleeping on the streets, but I didn’t know how to change things,” he admitted.

Winter came again the next year, and Chris was back at Safe Haven without hesitation. He was in the same situation and knew now that he had a safe place to go. The second season saw an overall increase in guests needing shelter, in large part, because Chris and previous guests were spreading the word. Friends had died on the streets in the cold, and Chris didn’t want anyone else to suffer.

At IPH, he met staff who were accepting and motivational. Chris visited the on-site nurse, talked with case managers, and started to see another possibility for his life. Staff guided Chris towards resources. After a second try at treatment, Chris is proudly one-year sober. After 4 years of homelessness, Chris has his own apartment. After years of unemployment, he works hard every day at his new job.

The 4 year journey together is far from over. Chris moved into IPH’s permanent, supportive housing this summer and works with his case manager on his goal to maintain his sobriety, job, and housing. He’s staying steady and grateful.

Healthier, clean, and stable, Chris looks and feels like a different person. “On the street, I was just trying to survive. I felt so hopeless. Now, I am happy where I am. I am proud. I never knew this was possible for me.”

Spark new possibilities with a donation to IPH’s Annual Fund.

Stomp2018

Thank you for joining us for the 10th Annual Stomp Out Homelessness! Funds raised go directly to the programs and services of IPH.

 

www.stompouthomelessness.com

A special thank you to our Game Day Sponsor Community Resource Federal Credit Union.

Danielle’s House Trivia Night

Thank you for everyone who joined us to support Danielle’s House and the start of shelter season. We appreciate your partnership and generosity!

Congratulations to the winners- FMCC students won the Genius Award this year!

https://dhtrivia.givesmart.com

 

Campaign for Community Connections Update

We are nearing the end of a very successful $5.8 million capital campaign. With approximately $5.5 million raised, work on our 2 buildings has begun!

The necessary asbestos abatement of both properties is complete and construction began this summer. In spring 2019, IPH’s Community Connections will be moving into its new home, The Hoffman Family Center in the former St. Casimir’s School at 315 Sheridan Ave. Healthy Connections will be situated in the former St. Casimir’s Convent at 317 Sheridan Ave next door.

Hoffman Car Wash & Jiffy Lube and the Hoffman family donated over $500,000 to the project in the largest single contribution it has ever made to a non-profit. “The need is real, and it’s impossible to ignore those in the community who struggle the most- the homeless, the hungry, and the poor. Together we embrace possibility, together we will help IPH improve lives,” says Carrie Hoffman, IPH board member and Hoffman family member.

Our campaign has had great success, but we are still short of the total needed. This project has captured the imagination of many because of people like you who have extended your own support and opened doors to others.

Please know we are still welcoming new opportunities for philanthropic engagement if you should think of others who may be willing to learn more.

Contact Bonnie at 518-434-8021 x107 or [email protected]

Jessica’s Story

Hand in hand, Jessica* and her daughter walk to the school bus stop ready to start another day. Now a devoted mother, Jessica has learned to be resilient, determined, and humble. She and her daughter Jasmine* live in permanent supportive housing through Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless (IPH). They share an impeccably clean 2- bedroom apartment on a nice block as part of IPH’s Sheridan Hollow Housing. Her favorite part of her home is that she shares it with her daughter– that wasn’t always a certainty.

At a young age, Jessica started off in her mother’s footsteps and began using drugs. It was the beginning of a long, hard, dangerous road. She sustained abusive relationships, an arrest, involvement with CPS (Child Protective Services), Family Court, and being cut off from family. Lonely and desperate, Jessica continued to use drugs to try to ease the pain she was feeling.

When Jasmine was 4 years old, Jessica was arrested and her daughter went into the custody of CPS. Jasmine was brought to see Jessica in prison, and then “it hit me. I had to make a change.” After previous failed attempts, Jessica committed to rehabilitation and completed an extensive recovery program.

Now living with Jasmine, Jessica feels stronger and closer to her family than she ever dreamed. “I made a huge mistake when I chose the streets and drugs. I am not proud of it. I cannot change the past, but I will not be held hostage by it. I’m looking forward.”

Jessica is able to focus on the future in part because of the support she receives from IPH. A permanent home has given her the stability needed to focus on her recovery, her full-time job, and parenting. A Case Manager helps Jessica stay on track with her goals.

Her dedication is clear when you see her with Jasmine. Jessica is a self-proclaimed “overprotective soccer mom.” She cheers for Jasmine on the field and enjoys their heartfelt talks about values. “I have made mistakes, but Jasmine should not have to pay for them. I have the chance to make this right- for me, for her, and for our family. I am so grateful for this program with IPH and so proud to be here.”

“You opened up your doors. You gave us a fresh start.”

Almost 6 years clean, Jessica feels confident and content. She continues to share her story at an addiction program and encourages other women to take their lives back. “When you feel like everything is coming down on you, don’t give up. That is when you say, I can do it.” She is breaking the cycle of addiction for herself and her family.

 

*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of their family.

Your contribution gives more fresh starts! Now is your chance to be a part of a better future for guests like Jessica. We have grown to serve more people, and our Annual Fund goal has increased. We rely on the financial support of our community and hope we can count on you to be a part of this year’s success.

Donate to IPH at- https://www.firstgiving.com/iph

Danielle’s House 2017

Join us for a night of fun to support IPH’s Danielle’s House.

Tickets and information available at https://501auctions.com/danielleshouse

Recent Fires in Albany

In the past few weeks, two large fires have displaced several Albany families. In coordination with the City of Albany, American Red Cross, and SEFCU, IPH is assisting in emergency services for the families affected by both of these fires- North Manning Boulevard and Madison Avenue.

At this time IPH is coordinating financial donations for the fire victims. Donations made online can be directed towards either the Manning Boulevard Relief Fund or the Madison Ave. Fire Relief Fund. Donations can also be made in person by visiting any SEFCU branch.

 

Efforts look to help fire victims restore their way of life

ALBANY, N.Y. (July 19, 2017) – The City of Albany, alongside the Lark Street Business Improvement District (“Lark Street BID”), SEFCU, and Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless, has announced fundraising relief efforts being made in support of the victims of the recent Madison Avenue fire, which took place the evening of Monday, July 17. The fire has resulted in the demolition of 406, 408, and 410, with efforts being made to stabilize 412 Madison Avenue.

Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless (IPH) is coordinating financial donations with the City of Albany and SEFCU through the Madison Avenue Fire Relief Fund. Parties may donate funds to the individuals and families impacted by the Madison Avenue fire at any SEFCU branch or by visiting www.InterfaithPartnership.com and noting Madison Avenue Fire Relief Fund on their donation.

At this time, clothing donations – although appreciated – are not being accepted. Those who are in need of clothing or linens should contact IPH by calling (518) 434-8021.

“The response to Monday’s fire on Madison Avenue is another example of how our community comes together when our neighbors need it most,” said Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan. “Thank you to the Lark Street BID, SEFCU, and IPH for helping those who have lost everything.”

“It’s beyond saddening. Our hearts go out to all those affected by this tragic fire. I know that if we come together, all of the businesses and residents along Lark Street can make a difference in restoring the victims’ lives in a meaningful fashion,” said Daniel S. Atkins, chairman, Lark Street BID.

“The fire, was undoubtedly heartbreaking and devastating for the residents affected. It is in these times of seemingly insurmountable challenges that a community such as the Lark Street quarter, comes together. We believe by working together and helping out our fellow neighbors on Madison Avenue, that brick by brick, piece by piece, they will be able to put together their lives in a more expedient way in order to move on in their lives,” said Shauna M. Collins, executive director, Lark Street BID.

Efforts are being put forth to provide immediate relief for those impacted by the fire, as well as prevention for the future. The fire has left people temporarily homeless and many with damaged or even destroyed belongings. There are multiple ways for the community to get involved and help those affected by the fire.

On Saturday, July 22 at 8 p.m., Savoy Taproom (301 Lark Street) will hold a fundraiser benefit in which proceeds will go to the relief fund. Admission is $10.

Each business on Lark Street is playing a part to help those in need through a street-wide collection drive. At each business there will be a jar or basket which will be clearly labeled. Donations to these locations will contribute to the relief fund to help those affected by the fire.

Summer Youth Program Turns 10

Happy 10th Birthday Summer Youth Program!

 

To get involved or lead an activity, contact Clarice at [email protected] or 518-434-8021 x108

 

Last year, Summer 2016:
1,033 lunches were served
Averaged 21 children per day
90 backpacks were distributed to children for back-to-school

FoodFundDrive2016

Last year, Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless (IPH) served over 50,000 meals to our guests. Hot, healthy meals for those who need it most is a priority but the budget is limited. To stretch our food budget, IPH partners directly with the Regional Food Bank of NENY to purchase affordable food for our guests. Through this partnership, every $1 spent fills the IPH pantry and fridge with $10 worth of food.

The Regional Food Bank has a unique Adopt-A –Program for its partners including IPH. Donations are made directly to this program and can be reserved for IPH groceries. We’ll fill our cart with the nutritious foods needed to feed our guests at the Food Bank’s low prices, and donations will cover the costs.

IPH’s cost of one meal for an individual is only $1.65.

$35 feeds one person for a week and $150 will feed him for a month.

Please consider making the gift of food to the guests of our programs. Your contribution to the Adopt-A-Program will have 10 times the impact and fill our guest’s bellies with food and hearts with comfort.

For more information or to make a donation online, visit http://regionalfoodbank.net/adopt-a-program/

 

 

 

 

 

$150,000 raised

Over $150,000 was raised this year at A Taste of Albany. Thank you to our generous sponsors, restaurants, Honorary Committee, volunteers, and all who attended! All funds raised go directly to the programs and services of IPH.

For photos, food, and all of the delicious details, check out https://www.facebook.com/atasteofalbany/

Red Carpet Photos: https://kevindemassiophotography.shootproof.com/gallery/4371804/

 

 

Photo Booth Photos: https://kevindemassiophotography.shootproof.com/gallery/4371277/

 

 

Times Union SEEN Photos: http://m.timesunion.com/seen-events/article/SEEN-Taste-of-Albany-2017-11124083.php

Join us again in 2018 for the tastiest event of the year!

May 3, 2018

 

 

There are so many ways that you can help us help others.

We are so grateful for the partnership and support of APD! Thank you for the delicious breakfast for our guests and… https://t.co/xGFERrrU4u