FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEGrand Opening;
St. Nicholas House
646 St. Nicholas Avenue
200 Varick Street
New York, New York 10036
New York, New York 10036
Press Contact: Claudette Blackwood (212) 620-0340 ext.436
94 Units of Supportive Housing Open in West Harlem
"Being alone is difficult. Here in St. Nicholas House it's like family. I hope they keep building complexes like this." --Sonia, building resident
New York, 7 October - For 37 years Project Renewal has been transforming the lives of homeless men and women in New York enabling them to achieve health, homes and jobs. Today marks the grand opening of St. Nicholas House, a model of permanent supportive housing and a critical piece in the organization's mission to end homelessness in New York City. Erected on an abandoned lot in West Harlem that had been a gaping eyesore for decades, the impressive seven-story building features 94 studio apartments. Thirty-three of the apartments are dedicated for low-income area residents. Working closely with Community Board 9 during the past two years, Project Renewal has fulfilled a vision and a promise to the community. The building will offer all tenants on-site comprehensive medical, mental health, recovery and employment services. Among the features at St. Nicholas House are a vocational library, computer lab and community recreation area. The handsome architectural design of the structure complements the community ambiance of Harlem. Throughout the building's common spaces and within each apartment are distinctive and tasteful art posters, wall coverings and furnishings that evoke a sense of being at home.
Funding for St. Nicholas House came from the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) through its Supportive Housing Loan Program ($6.6 million), the NY State Homeless Housing Assistance Program ($2.1 million) and proceeds from the sale of Low Income Housing Tax Credits syndicated by MMA Financial ($4.2 million). A federal Shelter Plus Care grant and operating contracts with the NYC Departments of Homeless Services and Public Health and Mental Hygiene subsidize rents and fund the on-site support services.
Founded in1967, Project Renewal pioneered an alcohol detoxification program which set the course for the organization's commitment to creating replicable models for helping homeless people to achieve self-sufficiency. It has led the way in establishing public policies for solving the problem of homelessness. Project Renewal is the only non-profit agency in New York -and one of the few across the nation-that provides everything the chronically homeless population needs to move from the streets to independent living in the community. Its focus is on the neediest within the indigent population: men and women who struggle with mental illness and addiction to drugs or alcohol. Project Renewal's comprehensive progression of services begins on the street where its mobile psychiatric and medical outreach teams, among the first of their genre, connect with homeless people where they struggle to survive. The organization then helps them to move into residential programs through which clients can recover health, learn to manage their mental illness or achieve sobriety, recover their self-esteem and find jobs.
St. Nicholas is the latest achievement in Project Renewal's proven record of constructing and operating supportive housing in which residents sustain their recovery while living in the community. For the tenants of St. Nicholas House residency here marks their return to self-sufficiency.