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United Way Helps Bridge Gaps

It was one of those bitterly cold days where you could feel the extreme weather in your bones. A guest, we’ll call him Joe, had walked to Unity House like many of our guests do.

Joe was greeted at the Front Desk of our community resource center at 2431 6th Avenue in Troy by Pauline who, noticing he had gloves but no hat, offered him a new, free hat. Together, they found a hand-knit scarf to match.

From there, Joe sat down with a staff member to do intake in our Family Neighborhood Resource Center. Made possible in part with support from the United Way of the Greater Capital Region, folks like Joe can access an array of services that help with issues such as housing, food insecurity, clothing needs, childcare, employment search help, and more.

But first, lunch: Joe headed upstairs to the dining room where sometimes as many as 200 people enjoy a meal prepared fresh by staff and volunteers who work hard to provide nutrient dense dishes to hungry guests. The menu featured lentil squash soup. Soup was a welcome treat on such a bitterly cold day and provided a great vehicle to serve the butternut squash our kitchen received as part of Capital Root’s Squash Hunger program.

After lunch, Joe sat down with our Nutritional Outreach & Education Program Coordinator, which is a mouthful of a title that means Joe got help applying for SNAP benefits, commonly known as food stamps. Before leaving, Joe visited our food pantry where he picked out an emergency, three day supply of groceries. By picking out items of his own choosing, waste is reduced and guests have the dignity of choice we strive to offer. Joe decided to save his clothing voucher, to pick out pants from the Unity House store, for another day.

It was even colder by the time Joe left to return home but he was a bit more bundled and cared for than when he arrived. It takes the work of many staff and volunteers to make needed services and programs accessible for people like Joe and others who come to Unity House in need. Unity House is grateful to be a funded partner of the United Way of the Greater Capital Region and for all they do to help people in need.

Want to be a part of needed work? Consider volunteering your time and talent with Unity House. Our current needs are daytime volunteers during the workweek. Contact us to learn more: Volunteer@UnityHouseNY.org or (518) 274-2607 x4133

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