Food Pantry and ReStyle to stay open until 7:00 pm on Thursdays!
Unity House’s community resource center, The Front Door on Sixth Avenue, has expanded its hours to better serve people who come to Unity House for help. The Front Door, opened in 2013, consolidated many of Unity House’s human services under one roof while its child care centers and program for victims of domestic violence remained at their existing locations.
At The Front Door one can find immediate assistance for life’s essentials such as meals, clothing, a food pantry, housing support and eviction avoidance, job coaching and supported employment programs and a volunteer program. There is also access to a community library, peer mentorship, showers and laundry facilities.
Staff at Unity House have always worked with area agencies and it is with them in mind that we were able to adjust our hours to better serve our consumers. Joseph’s House & Shelter for homeless adults for example, has residents that come to Unity House for daytime respite and referral to ancillary services. Working with Joseph’s House we were able to create a weekend Backpack Program for individuals who are homeless and need access to food on the weekends. In this way, we can reach people where they are while still meeting their needs for food.
In listening to consumer feedback and working with other food pantries, we were able to expand our weekday hours to provide access to working families who may not be able to visit The Front Door during the daytime. In this way, working families- many of whom may bring home a paycheck that is just above the poverty level- can still access ReStyle, the Unity House store, our food pantry or our case managers on Thursday evenings when we remain open until 7pm.
In our community meals program, we no longer offer breakfast as we found not enough people were able to take advantage of it. It simply wasn’t meeting the needs of our consumers and was not the best use of limited resources. Instead, we’ve adjusted our lunchtime hours and are working to create a restaurant-style experience where all are welcome to enjoy a meal. In this way, diners feel welcome and safe. Up to 20% of the guests in our dining room are babies and children and we wanted to make sure that parents feel welcome to bring their children; that those with medical conditions or limited mobility have every opportunity to come for a meal. And really, it’s not just about a meal: our community meals program is as much about community as it is meals. A meal in our dining room where you are greeted and shown to a table is as much about dignity as it is about food. And food programs like a community meal or a food pantry are often gateways to other needed services.
These changes reflect the work we do every day at Unity House to help meet the unmet needs of people living in poverty. Unity House works to help individuals identify their strengths and needs, draw upon their abilities and access community resources. In this way, we strive to honor the dignity of each individual. Our core belief is that every person is worthy of compassion and respect so that they may have dignity and hope.
We invite you to come see the changes at The Front Door for yourself. Unity House will be open on Thursday nights until 7:00pm. Other weekdays until 4:30pm. Please, come for lunch on the second floor sometime, join us to shop in ReStyle, consider volunteering, talk to our staff and see for yourself the programs available at The Front Door. You can just drop in- we are on a bus line and there’s parking in the back and on the south side of the building, just under the bridge- or call if you want a more detailed tour: (518) 274-2607, x4133.
We are grateful for people’s interest in Unity House programs and services and excited to share the latest news. On behalf of those we serve, thank you.