Unity House Capital Campaign to Benefit
from Howard & Bush Foundation Challenge
Troy, N.Y. – The Howard & Bush Foundation has lent its support to Unity House’s Capital Campaign by agreeing to match new campaign donations dollar for dollar up to $250,000. For every dollar donated or pledged to Unity House, the foundation will provide a match helping Unity House get $500,000 closer to its campaign goal.
“This challenge will certainly help push us closer to our goal and for that I am very grateful to the Howard & Bush Foundation,” said Unity House CEO Chris Burke. “We have been very fortunate to have the support of some of the region’s most successful and generous organizations.”
“We are very pleased to help Unity House reach their campaign goals and complete work on two buildings that will provide valuable support and assistance to so many residents of Troy and Rensselaer County,” said Deborah Byers, Howard & Bush Foundation administrator. “Unity House is one of the most important service organizations in the region and we are proud to have been supportive of them now and over the decades of their work.”
In February, Unity House announced the public phase of its $8 million capital campaign, undertaken to raise funds to build The Front Door, its new community resource center, and its new domestic violence shelter, Sojouner Place, which opened in Troy in the spring of 2012.
To date, Unity House has raised $6.5 million toward the campaign goal. In addition to the Howard & Bush Foundation, major donors include E. Stewart Jones and Kimberly Sanger Jones, KeyBank, Massry Charitable Foundation, The McCarthy Charities, SEFCU, and the Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation.
Unity House officially began construction of The Front Door in February. The center is intended to be an integral part of the Troy community, allowing Unity House to provide enhanced services for people in need throughout Rensselaer County.
The 2431 Sixth Ave. location is highly visible, within walking distance for people who need services and on a major public transportation route. Services to be offered include emergency housing assistance, mental health, housing, employment training and case management services. Unity House’s thrift store, the Unique Boutique, and its food pantry will also be housed there. Unity House’s congregate meals program, Bethany @ Unity House, will also move from its current location at St. Paul’s Church in Troy to The Front Door. The estimated cost for the new facility, which is expected to be complete in late fall 2013, is $4.4 million.
The domestic violence shelter, Sojouner Place, has capacity for 33 beds and flexible spaces to accommodate families of many different sizes. The main floor has common space to serve residents, and the second floor is dedicated to women with children. The top floor features space for single women with mental health issues and other special needs. Sojourner Place also features a commercial kitchen capable of preparing nearly 40,000 meals annually and a family-style dining area. A community room and library with telephone and computer access to help facilitate residents’ housing and job searches and program and counseling offices are also part of the facility. The cost to construct and furnish Sojourner Place was $3.7 million.
Since 1971 Unity House has been assisting members of the community with issues involving poverty, hunger, joblessness, homelessness, violence, developmental delays and mental illness. Funds raised through the campaign will assist the organization in replacing two failing facilities so that it can better serve an increased number of people in the community.