Updated COVID-19 Procedures

As our region continues its broader re-opening process, several of our sites and programs have updated their procedures for building entry, client appointments, and general inquiries. Please see below for detailed information by program, to ensure you are following our current safety guidelines and know what to expect when visiting or submitting inquiries to our sites.

Main Headquarters:  1081 Broadway

Our main headquarters has revised COVID-19 procedures that can be viewed HERE. Please reference this document before entering our facility. See below for more specifics regarding individual program updates:

Housing & Community Development – Our housing department continues to serve residents with all programs, however, all walk-in clients and in-person appointments are on hold until further notice. Residents applying for home repair can continue through the application process via phone, email and mail. We also continue to accept wait list applications for our apartment buildings and serve receivership tenants via phone and email. Tenants may still drop off rent payments at the dropbox in the lobby at 1081 Broadway the Main Headquarter procedures referenced above.  Please call x214 for more information.

Senior Services – Our Senior Services staff continue to provide case management via phone. We will begin seeing clients for in-person service at 1081 Broadway by appointment only. Please call our senior services department at x207 for more information.

Weatherization – Our Weatherization staff are returning to work at properties in the community under safe procedures. New and existing clients seeking information or completing an application can do so via phone with our program director by calling x218.

Hope House Shelter: 586 Genesee Street
Our Hope House shelter is still accepting referrals, but our capacity is currently at 50% to maintain a safe distance between residents. We will accept referrals as families depart through the Department of Social Services and 2-1-1. All questions regarding the shelter can be directed to our Hope Services director at (917) 717-1400.

Matt Urban Hope Center: 385 Paderewski Drive
Our Hope Center is still closed to the public at this time. Our Hope Center staff anticipate a partial re-opening for food pantry and personal essentials pantry with a tentative start date of July 21. Please continue checking our website and social media for updates on the Hope Center’s re-opening status and procedures. Please call x310 with questions.

Hope Services 2 – Permanent Supportive Housing: Housing First, Hope Gardens – 58 Oberlin Avenue, HELP Buffalo – I 368 Broadway & II 384 Broadway

Upon entry at Hope Gardens and HELP Buffalo I&II, all staff, service providers and any and all visitors are required to wear a mask, thoroughly sanitize their hands, and have their temperature taken and recorded in a daily log. At this time, both locations are not allowing unauthorized visitors. We have designated areas for deliveries.

The staff at HELP Buffalo I&II and Hope Gardens are currently providing case management with face-to-face visits in our larger open spaces, like conference rooms, where they can ensure 6 ft. distance from one another. Clients and staff are required to wear masks and carefully disinfect the entire area between these visits. Additionally, for Hope Gardens, all common areas remain closed until further notice and our door-to-door, take out style breakfast and dinner service will continue.

Our Housing First Program (scattered site) Case Managers are conducting socially distanced outdoor visits for clients with desperate needs, emergency situations, health concerns, landlord issues, and overall amplified behavioral difficulties.

Lastly, all of the Permanent Supportive Housing Programs are prepared and are hoping to accept new referrals in the fall. Please call (716)893-7222 x530 or x536 for further information on Permanent Supportive Housing programs.

Youth & Community Services: 129 Lewis Street & 385 Paderewski Drive
These locations are not open to the public at this time. Our Youth Summer Camp program will be opening for registered participants on July 6 under safe procedures. Please click HERE for more information about summer camp hours and registration.

Our youth locations will be participating in the BPS Summer Lunch program as pick-up sites. Lunches will be available for pick-up from 12pm- 1pm Monday- Friday, for children ages 18 and under. Lunch cannot be eaten on site – it must be taken home. One lunch per child will be given and children must be present in order to receive the lunch.

Our food pantry at the T.J. Dulski Center (129 Lewis St.) will continue to serve clients outside in the rear of the building. The food pantry is open Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Please keep an eye on our website for any updates to our procedures.

Employment Opportunity: Chief Community Development Officer

Now Hiring: Chief Community Development Officer

Job Description: The Chief Community Development Officer (CCDO) will serve as a critical member of the senior leadership management team of the Matt Urban Center. The CCDO is responsible for the management of the properties and housing development projects that are owned and/or managed by the agency. The CCDO ensures compliance with program delivery requirements, including owner-occupied housing rehab, homebuyer activities, weatherization, rental housing rehab and development, asset management and affordable housing finance.

Click the link above for full listing. Please submit cover letter and resume to our Chief Operations Officer, Karen Baer, at kbaer@urbanctr.org.

Employment Opportunity: Housing Specialist

Now Hiring: Housing Specialist

Job Description: The Housing Specialist’s primary responsibilities will include working with area residents to apply for grants and assist with housing department projects to further our mission of maintaining safe and affordable housing.

Click the link above for full listing. Please submit cover letter and resume to our Director of Housing & Community Development, Maya Shermer, at mshermer@urbanctr.org.

COVID-19 PROGRAM UPDATES

As a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, our agency has had to make some temporary changes to our programs and procedures. Please see below for updates from each of our sites and programs on how they will be functioning in the interim. We will continue to send updates as things change.

MUC Headquarters, 1081 Broadway
Our main headquarters is open, but we are not accepting any walk-in clients. The building is open to staff and deliveries only. Tenants may drop off rent payments at the dropbox in the lobby at 1081 Broadway if they are unable to mail them. All inquiries should be made via phone at (716) 893-7222.

ESL/GED Program
Our ESL and GED classes are suspended until April 20, per the Buffalo Public Schools mandate. Please keep an eye on our website for updates on this timeline.

SNAP Program
Our SNAP workforce development program is suspended until further notice.

Senior Services Program
Our senior services staff are no longer doing home visits at this time. Our senior services program is still working with clients via phone and can be reached at (716) 893-7222 x207 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Housing & Community Development Programs
All City of Buffalo housing assistance program inquiries – including the Emergency Repair program, HomeGrown program, and Down Payment & Closing Cost Assistance program – are being referred to call the Old First Ward Community Association at 716-856-8613 x103.

Housing staff are still supporting our receivership tenants over the phone at (716) 893-7222 x214. All tenants should be paying rent via mail to the Matt Urban Center, 1081 Broadway, Buffalo NY 14212 if possible, or at the dropbox in the lobby at 1081 Broadway if they are unable to mail them. Tenants at our apartment buildings can continue to pay rent via the dropbox at their respective buildings.

Weatherization Program
Our weatherization staff are still working Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We ask that all new applicants request information by phone at (716) 893-7222 x218 or via email at jparylo@urbanctr.org or by mail to the Matt Urban Center, 1081 Broadway, Buffalo NY 14212.

Matt Urban Hope Center, 385 Paderewski Drive
The Matt Urban Hope Center is currently closed and all services are suspended until further notice.

Hope House Shelter, 586 Genesee Street

Our Hope House shelter is still accepting referrals, but our capacity is currently at 50% to maintain a safe distance between residents. We are only accepting 25 women and children at this time. We will accept referrals as families depart through the Department of Social Services and 2-1-1. All questions regarding the shelter can be directed to our Hope Services director at (917) 717-1400.

T.J. Dulski Community Center, 129 Lewis Street

The T.J. Dulski Center is currently closed to the public. I n light of the local school closures, all youth program operations have ceased until further notice.

Our food pantry at T.J. Dulski will be open every other week on Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The next date the pantry will be open is Wednesday, April 1.

Permanent Supportive Housing Programs

Our permanent supportive housing programs are suspending all home visits and will continue to support our clients over the phone. Our staff can be reached at (716) 893-7222, x530.

HELP Buffalo I & II, 368 & 384 Broadway
No visitors are permitted at our HELP Buffalo apartments at this time. Tenants can continue to work with their case managers via phone.

Hope Gardens, 58 Oberlin Avenue
No visitors are permitted at our Hope Gardens apartments at this time. All group activities and congregate dining have been suspended. Food will be delivered to tenants’ apartments. Tenants can continue to work with their case managers on site and via phone.

Questions? Reach out to us at (716) 893-7222 or via email at info@urbanctr.org.

We hope all of our clients, partners, supporters and community members stay safe and healthy during this time!

Chef’s Tour at Hope House

We had a great time meeting with our new chef friends from The Black SheepAmy’s Place, and Swan Street Diner to give them a tour of our project at School 57, including the space where our Urban Diner and commercial kitchen will be. They helped us brainstorm how we could develop our Hope Works job training program to better utilize this amazing space. We’re looking forward to an awesome partnership with these fine folks as we build out the kitchen and develop future programming!

Creating First Time Homeowners in Cheektowaga

We are excited to announce that we have once again successfully created homeowners through our CHDO program. The Matt Urban Center’s Housing & Community Development team recently sold two properties located at 18 and 20 Randolph Avenue in the Town of Cheektowaga to low income first time homebuyers. We partnered with the Town of Cheektowaga to build two 3-Bedroom, 2-bathroom homes with garages on a vacant lot. Thank you to our attorneys, agents and housing department for continuing our mission to revitalize neighborhoods, serve families and change lives.
This opportunity is sponsored by the Town of Cheektowaga and the HOME investment Partnership Program through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Employment Opportunity: Housing Specialist

Now Hiring: Housing Specialist

Job Description: The Housing Specialist will facilitate access to and determination of eligibility for individuals seeking housing services. The Intake Specialist will work with housing staff to assist with client intake, underwriting for government funded housing initiatives, housing development projects, and project marketing.  They are responsible for performing telephone, on-site and in person screening for various programs. As an integral part of the Housing Department and the Matt Urban Center, this position involves consistent client tracking and reporting and requires an up-to-date knowledge of community and housing resources to ensure appropriate referrals.

Click the link above for full listing. Please submit cover letter, resume and one-page writing sample to our Housing Director, Maya Shermer, at mshermer@urbanctr.org.

Buffalo Urban League Homebuyer Seminar

The Buffalo Urban League, in partnership with the City of Buffalo, Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency, and Evans Bank, will host a first time homebuyer orientation at the Matt Urban Center on Thursday, December 13 from 6:00-7:00 p.m.
The class will include an overview of the home buying process, how to apply for a mortgage, tax benefits, credit repair and counseling, budgeting and more. The guest speaker will be Liz Blazely.
The class is free and open to the public, but you must register by calling (716) 250-2418. Please notify organizers in advance if you require special accommodations.