Updated COVID Procedures for All MUC Sites

Please see below for a summary of COVID procedures for each of our MUC locations, updated as of September 28, 2020.

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 x231 for more information.

Senior Services – Our Senior Services staff continue to provide case management via phone. We will see 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 Shelter Supervisor at (716) 893-7222 x327.

 

Matt Urban Hope Center: 385 Paderewski Drive

Our Hope Center has partially re-opened for food pantry and Urban Diner services only. Our food pantry is open on Tuesdays from 12:00-4:00 p.m. Our Urban Diner is open Monday through Friday from 2:00-5:00 p.m. for grab-and-go meals only. Both pantry and Urban Diner clients will be served at the front entrance of 385 Paderewski Drive. A mask is required for service. 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 buildings are closed to the public at this time. Our Community Hub will be opened to registered students in grades K-8, between the hours of 7:00 am and 6:00 p.m. on weekdays. Parents will NOT be allowed in the building.

The food pantry at the T.J. Dulski Center (129 Lewis Street) will continue to serve clients in the rear of the building. Clients are still able to have client’s choice during pantry.  The food pantry is held every Wednesday from 10:30am-2:30pm

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

 

Hope Center Urban Diner Re-Opening

After a long closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are thrilled to announce that our Urban Diner at the Matt Urban Hope Center will be re-opening for to-go operations on Monday, September 21!
All meals will be distributed outside the front entrance of our Hope Center at 385 Paderewski Drive. A mask is required and we will have markers on the sidewalk to assist with social distancing requirements. We encourage families to send one member to pick up on behalf of their household. Distribution of the grab-and-go meals will run Monday through Friday, from 2:00-5:00 p.m. or until meals run out.
Please contact Cherise Carson, Hope Center Coordinator, at 716-893-7222 x329 for more information.

Donation Spotlight: Cricket Wireless

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Miss Joy Smith and her team from Cricket Wireless at 1105 Broadway for their incredibly generous donation of food items for our Hope Center pantry! The Cricket crew delivered a carload of groceries to our Paderewski location earlier this week. We’re so grateful to have neighboring businesses who give back to our community!

Hope Center Food Pantry Re-Opening 8/4

We’re excited to be kicking off the month of August by re-opening our Food Pantry at the Matt Urban Hope Center!

The pantry will re-open on Tuesday, August 4 and will be open weekly on Tuesdays from 11:30AM to 3:30PM.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, pantry clients will be served outside in front of the main entrance at 385 Paderewski. Clients will be asked to provide their name, address and phone number. Bags will be pre-packed, so client choice of some items may be limited.

Please contact Cherise Carson, Hope Center Coordinator, at 716-893-7222 x329 for more information.

Our 2019 Annual Report

We’re excited to release our 2019 Annual Report to the Community!

Our agency closed out 2019 having served over 19,000 residents of the City of Buffalo’s East Side and surrounding towns through a variety of human service programs – whether they were homeless clients or homeowners in our neighborhoods, students in local schools or senior citizens. That number alone speaks to the tremendous impact of our agency’s diverse programs and the tireless dedication of the staff who report to work here every day. We strive every day, and every year, to fulfill the simple mission of serving individuals and families in need.

Here are just SOME of our programs’ 2019 accomplishments:

  • 62 Homes Weatherized – Saving residents money on their utility bills by making their homes energy efficient
  • 30 Homes Repaired – Helping homeowners in Fillmore and Lovejoy Districts make health safety repairs to their homes
  • 111 Homeless Clients Housed by Street Outreach – Connecting individuals living on the street with safe housing and resources to improve their quality of life
  • 834 Children Served – Supporting youth development through after-school, summer, and teen workforce programming
  • 120 Permanent Supportive Housing Placements – Helping homeless clients secure safe, long-term housing through MUC sites and our local landlord partners
  • 995 Senior Citizens Supported – Providing elderly clients with resources to help them stay in their homes and out of assisted living
  • 619 People Given Shelter – Providing homeless women and children a safe place to stay in our Hope House emergency shelter
  • 10,344 Meals Served – Offering daily hot meals at our Urban Diner in partnership with Friends of Night People

Click here to see the full report.

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.

Black History Month Celebration

The Matt Urban Hope Center will host a Black History Month celebration event, featuring a cultural meal and a presentation with facts about famous African American men and women and their accomplishments. The event will take place on Thursday, February 20 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Urban Diner at 385 Paderewski Drive. For more information, contact Cherise Carson at (716) 893-7222 x329 or ccarson@urbanctr.org.

Re-Pack the Bag Community Resource Fair

Join the Matt Urban Center and BlueCross BlueShield of WNY for a community resource event featuring a variety of vendors and a backpack giveaway for youth. Event runs from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at the Matt Urban Hope Center, 385 Paderewski Drive. For more information, contact Cherise Carson at (716) 893-7222 x329 or ccarson@urbanctr.org.

Amazon BUF5 Donates Winter Clothing to Hope Center

We’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to our friends at the Amazon.com BUF5 site for hosting an employee-driven winter clothing drive on our behalf. They dropped off their donations to our Hope Center last Friday, and the results were amazing: 50 winter hats, 50 pairs of new underwear, 35 pairs of gloves, 9 winter coats, 3 pairs of winter boots, 52 pairs of socks, and 3 boxes of women’s and kid’s winter clothing!

Thank you to the awesome crew at Amazon for partnering with us and helping keep our clients warm this winter!

MUC Homeless Outreach Team In the News

Our hardworking Homeless Outreach team’s efforts earned some well-deserved media recognition this month!

On January 22, Mayor Byron Brown and officials from Norstar Development announced that demolition would commence on the long vacant Shoreline Apartments complex on Niagara Street. Our Homeless Outreach team was tasked with working with local police to ensure the safety of individuals who might be staying in these buildings and getting them connected to the services they need. They began sweeps prior to demolition starting, and will continue them weekly until the process is completed this summer. Read the full story here.

On January 28, The Buffalo News commemorated the one-year anniversary of Larry Bierl’s death due to exposure with an article summarizing his impact on the Williamsville community, the pervasiveness of homelessness throughout our region (not just in the city), and how agencies like the Matt Urban Center and our partners are providing support to those living on the streets. The article quoted our Homeless Outreach Team lead, Skylar Diamond, in discussing local agencies’ response to Mr. Bierl’s death and how efforts have evolved in the past year. “We’ve definitely started working on positive changes in Larry’s honor,” Diamond said.  Read the full story here.