MUC Staff Featured in The Buffalo News

Photo credit: The Buffalo News
The life story of our very own community health worker, Tasha Moore, was featured in an article in The Buffalo News last weekend. The piece examines “The Welfare Trap” and how the system’s current design often traps recipients in a state of dependency, rather than helping them attain self-sufficiency.
Tasha, who now holds a bachelor’s degree and is working toward her master’s, hopes to one day work in public policy and help bring positive change to this system.
Read the article here.

Welcome Our New Hope Center Director!

We’re very excited to introduce our new Hope Center Director, Kevin Glover, who started his new position there this week.

Kevin had previously held the position of Site Coordinator at Polonia Hall for our Youth Department.

We look forward to the leadership he’ll bring in his new position at the Hope Center. Congrats, Kevin!

Raising a Glass to a Good Cause

The Sultans of Swig Home Brewers Club and Buffalo Iron Works sponsored the 4th Annual “Santas of Swig” homebrewing competition and fundraiser on December 1 to benefit our Hope Center. There was a great turnout as folks lined up to sample beers from 20 different homebrewers and cast their vote for the best brew.
Guests generously donated a carload of toys for our Hope Center’s Christmas Giveaway and raised nearly $3,000 for our programs. A huge thank you to our friends at the Sultans of Swig, Buffalo Iron Works, and everyone who came out to participate and support our agency!
Happy Holidays!

Calling on City of Good Neighbors to Give Hope on #GivingTuesday

With the harsh winter season looming and an ever-growing need for supplies to serve Buffalo’s most vulnerable residents, the Matt Urban Center is participating in #GivingTuesday – a global day of giving coming on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The Matt Urban Center is a community based organization that has anchored the Broadway Fillmore neighborhood for over 40 years with the mission of providing programs that revitalize neighborhoods, serve families and change lives. The agency serves over 20,000 clients annually, from youth to seniors and homeless individuals to homeowners.

For the past 10 years, the agency’s Hope Center has been a one-stop resource center for low-income residents to receive assistance with everything from housing assistance to benefits screening, financial wellness education, computer classes, job training, clothing donations, and personal essentials and food pantries. The Matt Urban Hope Center is also home to the Homeless Outreach team, which works tirelessly to connect homeless individuals living on the street with housing, food, clothing and healthcare. This team works in tandem with the agency’s permanent supportive housing team, which partners with local landlords to secure a safe home for our clients, and our Hope House shelter, which provides temporary haven for women and children experiencing homelessness.

The Matt Urban Center’s staff has helped countless individuals to find stable, secure housing and provide them the additional supports to get back on their feet. One client was a homeless veteran suffering from mental illness and addiction issues, who had been in and out of incarceration. Our team helped him to find a safe place to stay and wraparound case management to help him tackle his health hurdles and maintain his housing.

Another client was a mother of two who was struggling with an autoimmune disease, an abusive relationship, and loss of employment. She arrived at our Hope House shelter feeling completely defeated, but our staff quickly got her on the path to searching for housing and a primary care physician, as well as securing clothing and school materials for her daughter. The team helped her find an apartment and the client was able to enroll in a Medical Coding Program to eventually find a job and get back on her feet.

In order to continue fighting for Buffalo’s most underserved, our agency relies on the generosity of local donors to continue our programs. This #GivingTuesday, we’re calling on our City of Good Neighbors to help us care for those most in need by making a donation to the Matt Urban Center. Monetary donations can be made online or via mail to Matt Urban Center, 1081 Broadway, Buffalo, NY 14212. A link to our donation page can be found at http://urbanctr.org/contact-us/donate-to-muc/.

Our Hope Services team also welcomes donations of clothing and personal essentials for their homeless clients. A donation wish list can be found at http://urbanctr.org/hope-services/donation-requests/.

For more information on giving to the Matt Urban Center on #GivingTuesday, contact Sarah Maurer, Development Coordinator, at (716) 893-7222 x232 or smaurer@urbanctr.org.

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The Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center of WNY is a multi-purpose community center located on the East Side of Buffalo. It is our mission to provide programs that revitalize neighborhoods, serve families, and change lives.

Learn more at www.urbanctr.org.

 

Give a Gift to Homeless Outreach This Season!

Doing some Amazon shopping this holiday season? We hope you’ll consider heading over to our Homeless Outreach team’s wish list and donating an item or two!

The Matt Urban Outreach team meets individuals that are experiencing homelessness where they are at. We meet individuals under bridges, in an encampment, at a shelter, or in a bus terminal, for example. We help the homeless community in Buffalo meet their basic needs by supplying items such as: blankets, food, water, socks, clothing, underwear, gloves, hats, and anything else that the client may need. Any donations made to the Matt Urban Outreach Team will be put to good use, as it will be distributed to those who are without homes this holiday season.

To see our Amazon Wish List, click here.

Trunk or Treat With Us!

Join the Matt Urban Center for our annual Halloween celebration! We’ll have “trunk-or-treating” in the Central Terminal lot and lots of fun activities at the Hope Center, including face painting, mask making, cider and doughnuts.
Date: Thursday, October 25
Time: 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Place: 385 Paderewski Drive
To register your car, contact Danyel Sease at (716) 893-7222 x403.
To volunteer or make a donation, contact Sarah Maurer at (716) 893-7222 x232.

Good Neighbors, We Need Clothing Donations!

With the weather starting to get cold, staff at our Hope Center are beginning to gear up for the winter season! We are calling on the City of Good Neighbors to help us fill our clothing closet!

We are looking for clothing of all types (men’s, women’s, children’s, etc.) Clothing donated to the Hope Center will be used in our clothing boutique, which serves the Broadway Fillmore community, as well as to help those who are homeless this winter stay warm and dry!

All donations are graciously accepted, but tops on the wish list currently are men’s clothing (t shirts, long sleeved shirts, and jeans), sweatpants, and NEW underwear for both men and women.
Donations can be dropped off at 385 Paderewski Drive during regular business hours (Monday-Friday, 11:00 AM-5:00 PM).
For additional info or to set up a drop-off appointment outside business hours, contact Skylar Diamond at (716) 893-7222 ext 305 or sdiamond@urbanctr.org.

Meet Our Hope Center Heroes!

Not all heroes wear capes – some of them work at the Matt Urban Hope Center! We want to give two of our staff members a well-deserved shout-out for being lifesavers!

Last month, a community member came to the Hope Center in a panic, shouting that their friend had overdosed in an abandoned house across the street. Latasha Colbert, assistant case manager, and Nick Arlain, homeless outreach case manger, immediately responded, hopping a fence to get to the building. They entered the building and found an individual who had overdosed upstairs. Nick administered Narcan in an attempt to revive the individual as they waited for emergency services to arrive. EMS administered additional Narcan and the individual was revived and taken to the hospital.

Thankfully, Nick and Latasha heard the individual who attempted to alert them, as it was before the Hope Center opened. Had no one heard that community member, the individual who overdosed may have died. This is one of the many stories of Nick and Latasha’s dedication to the community and going above and beyond for our clients. They make us proud!

Representing MUC in Albany

Tasha Moore, our Community Health Worker at Hope Gardens, recently traveled to Albany to attend the statewide public hearing to evaluate the continuing unmet civil legal services needs in New York.

Tasha went to show support for our partners at Neighborhood Legal Services and gave powerful testimony to the need for adequate civil legal services. Tasha’s remarks share how critical those resources have been in her own life and to the clients she serves.

Read Tasha’s full testimony here.

Climbing PoeTree Free Concert at Matt Urban Center

We’re hosting a free community concert in partnership with our friends at Open Buffalo!

Climbing PoeTree will perform on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 7-00-9:00 p.m. here at 1081 Broadway in the third floor hall. The show features Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman’s award-winning dual-voice spoken word, backed with infectious beats and multimedia theater.

This event is FREE and open to the public—all are welcome! Light refreshments will be provided.

See the Facebook event page for more info here.