News + Events

Unity House Service Directors to meet with VA Officials

Staff from Unity House programs – Supportive Housing, Domestic Violence Services, Unity Sunshine Program, PROS and Community Resources – are headed to Albany to meet with social worker teams from the Veterans Administration at the Stratton VA Hospital.

The visit is part of Unity House’s Veterans Welcome Initiative. Through this initiative, Unity House is working to better serve Veterans and their families. This has resulted in trainings for staff on the value of trauma-informed care and in significant outreach in the community to let Veterans and service member families know that Unity House’s services are available to all. Unity House has veterans on staff, and veterans among our consumers, volunteers and donors. Of course, Unity House has always served Veterans, but since Veterans sometimes face unique issues, it’s worth emphasizing that Unity House has the history and the resources available to those in need.

This week’s meeting is the second of such meetings: social workers came to visit Unity House’s Front Door and saw firsthand the myriad services available at the organization’s community resource center. While many of the social workers had familiarity with Unity House, few had been to the Front Door location. Touring the facility was an eye-opening experience for some and reminded them of the ways that Veterans can benefit by coming to Unity House.

This time, Unity House staff is going to the Stratton VA Hospital in Albany to present program by program to a group of approximately 70 social workers and care support staff who work directly with veterans through the Stratton VA. The goal of the visit is to reinforce those earlier connections and better understand our mutual population. By meeting regularly, the group can better take advantage of the natural synergies that come about, then talking about how to work together and have broader reach to those in need. By the end of the meeting, social workers in attendance, will have a greater understanding of programs on offer at Unity House and a better mutual understanding of each other’s programs.

Not sure about what the Unity House programs offer? Here’s a brief synopsis:

Supportive Housing- For adults living with mental illness, HIV/AIDS, chronic medical conditions, and/or chemical dependency. This program also offers case management services and Health Home care and coordination.

Domestic Violence Services- Often shortened to just ‘DV’, this program offers safe space to all victims of dating and domestic abuse. They operate the only licensed shelter for victims of DV in Rensselear County, enabling the program to offer residential and non-residential support to victims of DV.

Unity Sunshine Program- For the youngest among us, this program offers therapy and educational services in the center, home and community. They serve children ages 6 weeks to five years of age and collaborate with the school districts in Troy and Albany to offer community-based Universal Prekindergarten. The program is not just for children with developmental delays. Typically developing peers are a part of the program, so rooms are integrated in every aspect.

PROS- Stands for Personalized Recovery Oriented Systems and is for adults recovering from a diagnosed mental illness. It’s person-centric, holistic and recovery-oriented.

Community Resources- Once called ‘poverty services’, community resources focuses on helping with life’s essentials such as food, clothing, housing, and crisis management. This program is often the first point of contact for many who come to Unity House for help. A key part of this program is our food pantry and mid-day community meal.  The emphasis is on community since the label of ‘soup kitchen’ is not empowering. Instead, the focus is on the community of people in the dining room for a meal. Community Resources also has other programs under its umbrella, such as Supported Employment, SNAP benefits assistance, Holiday Giving Programs for gifts and is a popular service area for volunteers looking to donate their time and talent.

For more information on these programs and more, contact Unity House at (518) 274-2607.