Maybe you see the Unity House banner at Troy Little League every weekend. Perhaps you ate a hot dog cooked up by Unity House at the recent Freedom Fest at the Sanctuary for Independent Media in North Troy. Or maybe you saw Unity House march in the Memorial Day Parade.
No matter where you spotted Unity House, chances are it was not far from home base: The Front Door located at 2431 Sixth Avenue in North Central Troy. Of course, our Domestic Violence Services program is still in downtown Troy and our Unity Sunshine program offering daycare, preschool and special education services for the littlest among us is still at their two Troy locations and one Albany location.
Since consolidating many services under one roof at our Community Resource Center in 2013, Unity House has not only been able to hone services to better assist those who come to us for help, but in having a home base has allowed us to be out in the community more.
Unity House started a Peer-to-Peer Ambassador program to help with street outreach. Part of this program involves a weekend food backpack program that offers a backpack of necessities to individuals who are homeless. The idea is to meet people where they are since not all are willing or able to seek out help at The Front Door. In this way, people have access to items they need and can meet someone – a peer – they can relate to. Ambassadors can explain, “I was once in similar shoes. I can vouch for Unity House being a safe place for you.” The Ambassador program also offers those who were once struggling the dignity of work and the opportunity to make a difference.
We’ve also made efforts to make Unity House’s Front Door a welcoming space for Veterans. While Unity House has always served veterans, many in our community are not aware of the particular strengths our organization has and the ways we can help with the issues that are sometimes unique to Veterans. Unity House has worked to identify community partners and staff have gotten the benefit of training specifically geared toward assisting our Veterans as part of the Unity House Veterans Welcome initiative.
So keep an eye out for Unity House in the neighborhood. Whether we are serving food, cheering on the team or marching in solidarity, we are proud to be a good neighbor and grateful for the opportunity to make a difference.
On behalf of those we serve, Thank You.