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

 

 

Medical Respite Opens Its Doors

Benita Zahn of Channel 13 News visited IPH’s new Sister Mavis Jewell Medical Respite program to share our guest’s stories.

http://wnyt.com/health/interfaith-partnership-shelter-services-for-homeless-after-hospitalization-troy-rensselaer-county/4434554/

TROY – Managing health issues can be daunting when you’re homeless. To help ease that burden, a unique shelter opened this week. Run by the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless, it provides shelter and services for the homeless following a hospitalization.

“I’ve been really, really scared going through this process,” admitted Christopher LaClair.

A series of unexpected circumstances left LaClair homeless three months ago, just as he was diagnosed with stomach and throat cancer. Awaiting discharge from the hospital, he worried about managing his medical needs in a traditional homeless shelter.

He was spared that concern thanks to the opening of a new medical respite program, tailored for people like him.

“I thought, ‘Wow, the heavens have just opened for me, really,'” he recalled.

The Sister Mavis Jewell Medical Respite, run by the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless, is housed in St. Mary’s Hospital in Troy.

“There are people out there who have no one coming to visit and don’t want to be released to go home ’cause there’s no home to go to and there’s no one to take care of you, or pick you up from the hospital and bring you home and let you rest and help you take care of your needs,” explained Janine Robitaille, the executive director of the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless. “We’re here to change that.”

 

More Media Coverage of IPH’s Sister Mavis Jewell Medical Respite:

Catholic Health World, June 1, 2017  https://www.chausa.org/publications/catholic-health-world/archives/issues/june-1-2017/a-sister’s-stick-to-itiveness-on-behalf-of-poor-brings-medical-respite-to-st.-Mary’s

 

CBS 6

Sleep-out spotlights homelessness, under Code Blue conditions

CBS 6 News, Albany visited our Sheridan Hollow Drop-In Center to talk to guests who used to sleep outside in the bitter cold. Nurse Nikki discussed the dangers of extreme cold, and two brave guests told their stories about nights outside spent before they found our Safe Haven program.

http://cbs6albany.com/news/local/sleep-out-spotlights-homelessness-under-code-blue-conditions

Crave the Date

CRAVE THE DATE: May 4, 2017

5:00-8:00pm
NYS Museum

A Taste of Albany is a culinary showcase and benefit for IPH. Sample delicious creations from over 30 Capital Region restaurants and celebrate with entertainment, live and silent auctions and more!  Held annually, the event raises critical funds to support the programs and services of IPH.

Purchase tickets at www.atasteofalbany.com

Pinky

The Story of Pinky

Instantly beloved, Pinky puts those around her at ease with her honesty and good will. A stranger is soon a new friend, smiling at her stories and artwork.

Born Jamaine in 1960, and nicknamed by her grandmother, Pinky is a fixture at the IPH Shelter and Sheridan Hollow Drop-In Center (SHDC). She started visiting the SHDC 4 years ago while living with a caretaker. She would come for the meal and stay to socialize and lend a helping hand. Open, kind, trusting, and generous are Pinky’s biggest strengths and, at times, her weaknesses. The home Pinky shared with her caretaker had long been one of her favorites, and she was devastated to learn that, after many years living together, her dear friend and caretaker had been taking advantage of her finances. IPH staff felt her heartache and were determined to help in any way they could.

 

With the help of many partners, Pinky moved into the IPH Emergency Shelter, while staff worked together and focused on finding her the right type of housing. Pinky suffers from a seizure disorder and cognitive deficits, most likely linked to the domestic abuse and severe injuries she suffered in her marriage. She acknowledges that drugs and bad choices led her down a tough path that included homelessness. Her memories are fuzzy, though she doesn’t focus on the hardships. Her optimism won’t let her. Instead, she tells crystal clear stories of her childhood in Trinidad, the vivid colors and smells emblazoned in her memory. She remembers later moving to NY with her birth mother, and panic fills her eyes as she recalls the fire that burned her and her husband’s house to the ground. Other memories are not as clear, but perhaps that is a blessing.

 

Pinky’s complex medical needs made locating appropriate housing especially challenging. However, IPH staff never gave up, and Pinky persevered.  In August, after 11 months at the Shelter and surrounded by her IPH family, Pinky received the keys to her new home.  She is settling in, stocking her fridge with her favorite foods – pancakes and sausage – and is getting to know the other residents where she lives.  Since moving, Pinky returns to the SHDC each day to volunteer with the Health & Wellness Program. Once a nursing student, she loves to care for those in need and helps Nurse Nikki by stocking supplies and talking to guests.  Though she has moved on, she will always be a part of IPH.

 

Pinky is humbled by all who have helped her and is grateful for the support she continues to receive.  Whether listening to her play her harmonica or watching her dance along to a favorite song, Pinky is a reminder of the sweetness found in second chances.

Giving back never felt so good

With your contribution, you help more guests like Pinky by strengthening the programs and services of IPH so that wherever they are on life’s journey, IPH gives them the tools they need at that time. It is this continuum of services that allows IPH to strengthen our relationship with guests and provide essential support. Your donation will allow us to keep assisting those with stories like Pinky.

With your contribution, IPH can give more second chances.

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