Volunteer Opportunity: Urban Diner

Our Matt Urban Hope Center’s Urban Diner serves a fresh, healthy meal to residents free of charge on weekdays. We are looking for volunteers to help with food preparation (10:00AM to 1:30PM) and diner service (1:30PM to 4:30PM). Due to social distancing requirements, we cannot accommodate large groups for volunteering at this time.
Those interested in volunteering can contact Sarah Maurer at smaurer@urbanctr.org or (716) 893-7222 x232.

MUC to Host PLAY/GROUND 2021 Installation

We’re excited to welcome PLAY/GROUND 2021 to the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood this summer! Sponsored by The Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art (BICA) and Resource:Art, PLAY/GROUND brings a series of public art installations to our community and downtown Buffalo from August 6-15, 2021. The Matt Urban Center will be participating as a host site for an installation. Youth and families in our summer program will collaborate with the selected artist to create the piece that will be installed at our main headquarters at 1081 Broadway. Public art proposals are being accepted on the PLAY/GROUND website now through June 4, 2021. Learn more about PLAY/GROUND 2021 by checking out this article by Buffalo Rising.

Community Clean-up Event This Month!

MUC will be joining our friends at the Greater East Side Field of Dreams Block Club Association for their annual neighborhood clean-up on Saturday, May 22 from 10:00AM to 1:00PM. Volunteers will gather at Detroit Street and Paderewski Drive and span out to clean neighboring streets. The block club is still seeking volunteers to join the clean-up effort, as well as donations of gloves, garbage bags, and bottled water. Volunteers will be provided with a thank you meal to-go. Those who are interested in volunteering or donating supplies can contact Marva Threat at mth1043938@aol.com.

Join Us This Summer on SuperStreet

Join the Matt Urban Center and our neighboring community organizations for the kickoff of Summer on SuperStreet at the green space on the corner of Clark and Kent streets. Sponsored by Jericho Road Community Health Center, this initiative will launch on May 15 from 11:00AM to 3:00PM and will continue to provide a variety of programming at the green space every week throughout the summer and early fall. Our Housing & Community Development staff and Youth Department staff will be at the Superman Corner on multiple dates in July and August, to talk with local residents about available programs while providing fun activities for kids! Visit the Summer on Superstreet website for the calendar of events and more information.

Help Us Meet Our Match Campaign Goal!

We’re thrilled to share that through the generosity of our supporters, we raised over $7,000 throughout the month of April, bringing us very close to our goal to raise $10,000 by May 31. Every donation made to the Matt Urban Center between now and May 31 will have double the impact, thanks to a matching donation from The Dolce Firm. We will also be hosting a few giveaways throughout the month on our social media pages, so keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram for posts on how your donation can get you entered to win prizes! Help us meet our goal to raise $10,000 for our essential programs by following this link: www.urbanctr.org/donate

 

Request for Proposals: Furniture Moving Services

The Matt Urban Center is seeking a qualified contractor to assist in moving donated furniture from the donor’s building (275 Brompton Road, Buffalo, NY 14221) into 15 units of supported housing at 19 Doat Street, Buffalo, NY 14211, and to the Matt Urban Center administrative building at 1081 Broadway, Buffalo, NY 14212.

To view the full request for proposals, click here.

Proposals will be accepted until Friday, April 9th at 3:30 P.M.

Via U.S. Mail or delivery to:
Will Smith, Security
Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center of WNY
1081 Broadway
Buffalo, NY 14212

Questions on this request for proposals may be directed to rundercoffer@urbanctr.org or to (716) 893 – 7222 ext: 212.

Flower Studio Co. Partners to Support MUC

Just in time for Spring’s upcoming arrival, an exciting new partnership has blossomed!
Flower Studio Co. is a local flower brand, offering a monthly subscription of beautifully curated bouquets with locally sourced, seasonal blooms. As part of their mission, Flower Studio Co. is helping to advance local causes and is partnering with the Matt Urban Center by supporting our cause and helping to bring awareness to our mission!
Flower Studio Co. is also committing a portion of proceeds from every bouquet to be donated to the Matt Urban Center in 2021. When you sign up for a Flower Studio Co. monthly flower subscription, you will receive beautiful flowers to your doorstep every month that will bring joy to you, while also helping support to our organization and those who need it most in our community.
Visit www.flowerstudioco.com to see their beautiful bouquets and SUBSCRIBE today!

Eviction Prevention Funds Available Through STAND UP Buffalo

The Matt Urban Center, in partnership with the City of Buffalo’s STAND UP Buffalo program and 211 WNY, is providing rental assistance to at-risk residents who have been economically impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Arrears assistance for a maximum of three months and up to $4500 can be provided to those experiencing a COVID-19 hardship who meet income requirements.
Community members who are interested in applying to this program must first contact 211 WNY for initial intake and eligibility assessment. Those deemed eligible will then be referred to staff at our Matt Urban Hope Center. For more information, please visit www.211wny.org 

Request for Proposals: Bus Transportation Services

The Matt Urban Center operates several after school programs in the City of Buffalo. We are seeking a qualified contractor to assist in bus transportation services from the program location (385 Paderewski Dr.) to each individual student’s home.

Please click here to view the full Request for Proposals.

Proposals will be accepted until Friday, March 19th at 3:30 P.M.

Via U.S. Mail or delivery to:
Will Smith, Security
Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center of WNY
1081 Broadway
Buffalo, NY 14212

Questions on this request for qualifications may be directed to ztenhuisen@urbanctr.org or to (716) 893 – 7222 ext: 219.

Remembering Earl Blacksheare

The Matt Urban Center suffered a tremendous loss with the recent passing of Mr. Earl Blacksheare.
Earl was the heart and soul of our Hope Center, where he worked for over a decade, performing intake with clients and making referrals to get them connected with the resources they needed. Earl’s big booming voice was the first people heard when they called the Hope Center, and his was the first face they saw when they came in for services. Earl was a bright light for many, helping guide them to the programs and services that they needed to improve their situations, whether it was assistance finding housing, benefits, or a hot meal.
Not only did Earl have a tremendous positive impact on those who came to the Hope Center for help – he also made a lasting impression on the people he worked with every day. Some of our staff shared their remembrances of Earl, in honor of his memory and their time spent working alongside him.
Earl was part of our family. Although you don’t come to work to gain friends, you kind of become family and learn to depend on them for a lot of different things. Earl left a blueprint for us and how we should treat people. We’re just going to miss him.
-Kevin Glover
Every day for the last 4 and a half plus years, I’ve walked past Earl at his desk. We always had a very similar exchange when he first got to work for the day.
“Hey Earl, how’s it going?”
“I’m just groovy man, just groovy.”
“Groovy!”
I’ve missed that exchange every single day since he’s been gone. I remind myself every time I walk past his desk that Earl is “just groovy man, just groovy.”
Earl always knew it was me walking by because he always said I was running through the Hope Center, and that I moved too fast and didn’t know how to slow down. But if I was wearing a different pair of shoes compared to normal, he would stop me and ask me what I had on my feet. He was used to me wearing sneakers and being fairly quiet when I walked past him, but when winter crept in and I switched to boots, I had a whole new sound. He’d ask me to describe what I had on my feet to him so that way he could associate that sound with me coming up the hallway in my boots.  
-Skylar Diamond
Earl always said “Good morning Melly Mel” and this was when I was walking into the building from behind him. I always wondered how he knew it was me before I even spoke to him or said anything. He will be greatly missed at Polonia Hall.
-Patricia Chism-Melvin
I didn’t work directly with Earl every day, and most of my interaction was over the phone, but even with calls that had no easy answer he was up for the challenge and ready to assist in any way. We’d often hang up with no real solution, only for my phone to ring a few minutes later with a bit more information that would point me in the right direction. You could hear his smile through every call.
-Maya Shermer
Earl was such a kind, sincere person, and that came out in every interaction I had with him – from those phone calls where he would reach out seeking information for a client, but always made sure to take a few moments to find out how I was doing, or when I would say farewell on my way out of the Hope Center and he would say “alright Sarah, you take care and be safe out there.” The Hope Center and the Matt Urban Center as a whole was made a better place because of Earl’s presence.
-Sarah Maurer