Unity House has named Christine Nealon to the position of Director of Poverty Services. Starting in late April, Ms. Nealon will oversee the Bethany @ Unity congregate meals program, the Unique Boutique Thrift Store, the food pantry and other forms of assistance for people needing help with life’s essentials.
It’s an exciting time for our poverty services program and Unity House as a whole. The poverty services program is temporarily located at 309 8th Street, the original home to Unity House in 1971. The space is inadequate for the needs of the program, so staff and consumers alike look forward to the fall when Unity House can consolidate services at our site on Sixth Avenue and the Hoosick Street bridge. Long the site of our “street ministry” program, the new building currently under construction will be called The Front Door and will be a welcoming community resource center for all.
The Front Door will provide 36,000 square feet of space and is a $4.4 million dollar investment in the community. With this new facility, Unity House expects significant savings on annual rent costs, and looks forward to dedicated space for services such as employment, case management and mental health programs. We also anticipate greater participation in Unity House’s popular volunteer program, efficiencies by having administrative and program staff co-located at the ponit-of-entry site for most of our clients, and an estimated 25% more people served. There will be room for a larger thrift store, an expanded food pantry, and a commercial kitchen for the Bethany congregate meals program.
Funding for these investments comes from Unity House’s Capital Campaign, a mission to raise $8 million to build The Front Door and Sojourner Place, Unity House’s shelter for victims of domestic violence which opened last year. For more information on The Front Door or a chance to meet the new Director of Poverty Services, please contact us at 274-2633, x352.