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.

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!

Permanent Supportive Housing Celebrates Black History Month

 

Our permanent supportive housing department recently celebrated Black History Month with an event at Hope Gardens! Clients and staff made decorations, sang, read poetry, played trivia, enjoyed a spoken word performance by Monique Murphy, and an African drums performance by Marvin Harris. Our Hope Gardens cook made an amazing traditional African soul food dinner, too!

 

Employment Opportunity: Housing First Case Managers

Now Hiring: Housing First Case Managers

Job Description: The Housing First Case Manager will be tasked with assisting homeless clients in securing safe housing, performing thorough assessments of client’s history, and providing linkages to medical and community supports.  

Click the link above for full listing. Please submit cover letter and resume to our Director of Permanent Supportive Housing, Kadie Skulski, at kskulski@urbanctr.org.

Permanent Supportive Housing Hosts Music and Mocktails Party

Our permanent supportive housing team recently created a positive social hour for their clients called “Music and Mocktails.” The event featured live music by local singer and musician Brian Beaudry, who is a member of several local bands including “Nerds Gone Wild.” Brian performs live music sets for nursing homes and residential sites all over Western New York.

Our clients from Housing First, Hope Gardens and HELP Buffalo attended the first Music and Mocktails event on December 4, 2019. They enjoyed appetizers, “mock tails”, and lots of singing and dancing. We’re looking forward to hosting more of these social events in the near future!

Our Impact: By the Numbers

We’re proud to share what our programs and staff have accomplished in the past year. Thanks to our funders, community partners and supporters for helping us do this work!

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.