Essay: Helping homeless population with one-stop services – Democrat & Chronicle

Essay: Helping homeless population with one-stop services

by: Kathryn Bryan

One thing we all enjoy is the opportunity to go to the mall, where everything we need is under one roof.  Without this convenience, we could spend all day driving from one location to another to complete errands.

Now imagine running your errands without a car; our errands would take days to complete.

This is the experience homeless individuals have every time a need arises.  Accessing the necessary services to move out of homelessness is critical to their success.  To many homeless individuals this is the stepping stone needed to get out of homelessness.

The Project Homeless Connect Steering Committee is committed to coordinating an annual event to bring together the necessary service providers for a day of services, a day of caring.

Project Homeless Connect allows homeless and at-risk individuals to access a plethora of services in one day.  The event, held this year on September 14 at the Blue Cross Arena, brought together service providers who offered medical, housing, employment, education and veterans’ services to the homeless.  Last year , Project Homeless Connect brought together over 75 service providers, 300 volunteers and 700 participants.  This year, we had  over 85 service providers for the 2017 Project Homeless Connect.

 During Project Homeless Connect, the energy in the arena is vibrant as participants, organizers and volunteers greet each other with dignity and respect.  A volunteer is partnered with each participant to navigate services to ensure each personreceives what is needed to become self-sufficient.  Barriers that prevent homeless individuals from accessing many necessary services are removed.

The goal of Project Homeless Connect is to provide information and a connection to essential, ongoing services  including housing, employment, government benefits, veterans’ benefits and legal services. In order to meet immediate, basic needs, the event offers lunch and provides access to medical and dental check-ups, haircuts and hygiene services.

PathStone Corporation became the lead agency for Project Homeless Connect  in 2011.  The program is a natural fit for PathStone.  PathStone is a private, not-for-profit regional community development and human service organization providing services to low-income families and individuals, farmworkers and economically depressed communities.

To learn more about Project Homeless Connect and to see a full list of participating service providers, please go to homelessconnectrochester.org.

Kathryn Bryan is Senior Vice President, Property Management, at PathStone.

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Lake Ontario Flood Relief Home Repair Program Application

The application period closed Friday, September 29, 2017 at 5:00 PM.

Your supporting documentation, estimates and additional information will continue to be accepted if your application was in by the deadline.

Procedural update.
The legislation providing the Flood Relief funding required that we prioritize situation that pose imminent health and safety risks to the occupants. This includes damage to structure, walls and septic systems. This application will be served before stand-alone shoreline applicants. Stand-alone shoreline damage application will be reviewed and applicants will be contacted if additional information is needed at such time as we are able to serve them. Once you have applied no further action is needed until you are contacted by our staff.

The best way to communicate is via e-mail to floodrelief@pathstone.org.
We can respond to at least 10 emails in the time that is spent on one phone call. Please help us help you more efficiently.

 

 

It’s Not Too Late to Apply for the Lake Ontario Residential Recovery Program – Deadline Friday September 29th 5pm

It’s Not Too Late to Apply for the Lake Ontario Residential Recovery ProgramDeadline Friday September 29th 5pm

 If You Have Not Yet Applied

  • You still have two weeks to apply, the deadline is 5pm on Friday, September 29th for online or in-hand applications. Applications being mailed in should be postmarked through the 29th.
  •  It is NOT necessary to have supporting documentation available to apply.
  • To be eligible, you must submit the application with just your basic information by 5pm on September 29th, even if you do not yet have estimates or other supporting documentation. 
  • Your supporting documentation and additional information will be accepted after the deadline if your application is submitted by the deadline.
  • Contact us today for questions and help applying.

 If You Have Already Applied

We are working hard to process applications as quickly as possible and no further action is needed now.

For details information on this and other recovery programs, please visit: http://www.nyshcr.org/Programs/NYS-Flood/

Please note that the September 29 deadline is only for those applying for NYS Homes and Community Renewal’s Lake Ontario Residential Recovery Program.  Empire State Development’s deadline for applications from small businesses, farms, not-for-profits, homeowner associations, and owners of multiple dwellings is December 31, 2017.

Register now to take part in the 3rd Annual Pedaling For PathStone event!

September 23rd is quickly approaching! Register now to take part in the 3rd Annual Pedaling For PathStone event! The dollars raised by this fully supported 62-mile, metric century bike ride through the beautiful rural farmlands southwest of Rochester to the Genesee Country Village & Museum will support PathStone Corporation‘s unwavering mission to provide opportunity and self-sufficiency to families living in the Finger Lakes region. We hope you consider supporting by joining us as a rider or sponsor. #PedalingForPathStone

pedaling for PS

Click here to register!

 

City accepting pre-applications for Owner-Occupant Roofing Program – 13wham.com

City accepting pre-applications for Owner-Occupant Roofing Program

by: WHAM

Rochester, N.Y. – The City of Rochester is now accepting pre-applications for its Owner-Occupant Roofing Program.

The program distributes grants funds which can be used to cover costs of roof, gutter and related repairs. The city says a limited number of homeowners will be selected for the grants in a drawing scheduled for October 3.

 Pre-applications will be accepted through September 28. The process is open to owner-occupants 62 or older who have not previously filed for a pre-application. Applicants must also own a single-family, residential property in the city.

Individuals can check to see if they are already on the application list by visiting their Neighborhood Service Center.

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Key Bank begins $16.5 billion Community Benefits Plan – rbj.net –

Key Bank begins $16.5 billion Community Benefits Plan

by: Gino Fanelli

In an effort to better support small businesses, low-income housing and charitable endeavors across the country, Key Bank has pledged $16.5 billion, or approximately 12 percent of the bank’s assets, over the next five years into the National Community Benefits Plan.

The plan, announced in March 2016, is a collaboration with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, an organization dedicated to injecting capital into underrepresented communities in order to spur economic development, led by an 18-member National Advisory Council announced on Aug. 16. Following the acquisition of First Niagara Bank in 2016, Key Bank pledged $20 million to the First Niagara Foundation, a community reinvestment program focused on education, mentoring, workforce and neighborhood development. The Council met for the first time on Thursday, Aug. 3.

Additionally, of the 18 members of the Key Bank’s National Advisory Council, two are based in Rochester: Hubert Van Tol of community development nonprofit PathStone Enterprise Center and Ruhi Maker of Empire Justice Center. Along with the National Advisory Council, the Plan has established Regional Councils for Western New York, the Great Lakes Region and Albany.

The Community Benefits Plan has invested $1 million over the course of five years, Van Tol said, with $200,000 already invested.

“They also took over First Niagara’s program investment in the Enterprise Center,” Van Tol said. “That is low-interest, long-term loans totaling $1 million in Rochester and half a million in Buffalo, that we in turn use to make loans to small businesses.”

As far as benefiting community through smart investment, Van Tol said his place stands as getting money into the hands of minority-owned businesses.

“We have made a commitment to try and increase the number of small businesses owned by African-Americans and Latinos by at least 15 new businesses per year,” Van Tol said. “We’re getting to that, since December we’ve loaned to 10 African-American businesses in Buffalo that were previously barely starting up. That’s the kind of impact we are focused on.”

The $200,000 awarded from the plan will be placed into staff and capacity building, Van Tol said.

While Van Tol’s focus is primarily on investment into small businesses, the National Community Reinvestment Plan aims to impact the 15 states served by Key Bank through a heavily layered mix of investment. Specifically, of the $16.5 billion, the plan pledges $5 billion to residential mortgage lending, $2.5 billion to small business lending, $8.8 billion to community investment, $3 million to product development aimed at underserved rural and urban communities an $175 million into philanthropy.

In a release from Key Bank, Chairman and CEO Beth Mooney outlined her hopes for the plan’s impact.

“The National Community Benefits plan embodies and amplifies KeyBank’s purpose to help clients and
communities thrive,” Mooney said. “We believe in the power of partnership and accountability as we carry out this mission. The National Advisory Council will ensure that we have both as we move forward.”

This sentiment of partnership and accountability was echoed by president and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition John Taylor.

“KeyBank’s commitment raised the bar,” Taylor said. “Leadership matters, and when it mattered most Beth Mooney and her team stepped up and delivered for communities. We look forward to a meaningful partnership of mutual accountability as we work together to build stronger communities.”

Key Bank begins $16.5 billion Community Benefits Plan

Military families struggle to find affordable housing – HousingWire –

Military families struggle to find affordable housing

by: Kelsey Ramirez

Affordability is a problem that plagues homebuyers and renters in most areas of the U.S., but the Military community could be some of the worst hit as home prices continue to increase.

Military families don’t get to choose what city they live in, or when they will move there. As a result, they can’t choose an area that is most affordable and meets their family’s needs.

And a surprising majority of them choose not to live on base or even in military privatized housing, according to a study, Military Families and Their Housing Choices, from LMI Government Consulting, conducted on behalf of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In fact, it showed 38% of military members are homeowners, while another 32% rent their home.

The chart below shows the breakdown of military members’ housing choices:

Click to Enlarge

military housing

(Source: LMI)

And now, more military members than ever before are staying in the U.S. as overseas deployment hit its all-time low. A new study from the Pew Research Center showed U.S. military overseas presence is at its lowest point since 1957, the earliest year with comparable data.

The chart below shows even since 2009 and 2010, U.S. military presence overseas dropped off drastically.

Click to Enlarge

military housing

(Source: Pew Research Center)

And as overseas deployment drops, that means more military members are looking for homes in the U.S.

In May last year, a Trulia study found military members at the lower end of the pay scale struggled to find housing options. In some markets such at Fayetteville, Arkansas, or Florida Keys, Florida, up to 90% of the available homes listed would take up 75% of the median local monthly housing stipend.

But from May 2016 to May 2017, home prices increased 5.8%, according to the National Association of Realtors, reaching a new high, and increased even higher through the summer, leaving 70% of the military community which rents or owns homes off the base struggling to find affordable housing.

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City releases plan for nuisance properties, absentee landlords – Democrat & Chronicle

City releases plan for nuisance properties, absentee landlords

by: Briank Sharp

Efforts aimed at increasing landlord accountability are at the center of a renewed city effort to crack down on unkept or unruly properties.

Mayor Lovely Warren and City Council member Jackie Ortiz outlined the latest actions during a news conference Wednesday at City Hall.

Efforts aimed at increasing landlord accountability are at the center of a renewed city effort to crack down on unkept or unruly properties.

Mayor Lovely Warren and City Council member Jackie Ortiz outlined the latest actions during a news conference Wednesday at City Hall.

Landlords could soon be required to provide publicly-available contact information. And the city has bolstered its efforts to publicize code violations and enforcement actions online.

The toughest actions might still be to come. But a court case out of Tompkins County has put those measures on hold, for now.

Rochester’s nuisance abatement program dates at least to 1985. It was overhauled in the mid- to late-1990s, when officials amended city code to specify 35 nuisance categories, created a point system and established thresholds for action; the ultimate penalty being closure.

Enforcement has varied, including an effort to tighten regulation of corner stores that the city dismantled after portions of the law were struck down in courts and by the state.

Last year, the city began a full program review, with help from the consultant firm of former Mayor William A. Johnson Jr. A final report delivered in June suggests changing how and what violations are counted and opens the door to penalizing tenants and lessees.

 The latest snag comes from a June decision of the New York state Supreme Court’s appellate division, striking down the nuisance abatement laws in the village of Groton, Tompkins County. In a separate case before the state Supreme Court challenging Rochester’s program, city officials have been asked to respond to how the Groton ruling affects matters here.

“We don’t want to put some (added) step in place and have it ruled unconstitutional,” Warren said.

For now, the city might bolster a landlord registry already requiring building owners to provide the city with contact information to also require a business phone for either themselves or a local property manager that can be accessible to neighbors.

City Council will consider legislation on that matter later this month.

“We have heard too many times, ‘I wish I knew what was going on … I wish I knew who to call'” about a problem property, Ortiz said, noting that the use of LLCs and PO boxes often shield landlords’ identities from public view. “Although logistically (this is) a simple change, I believe it will be a powerful one.”

The city also began posting code violation information to the property portal of its website last year and recently nuisance data and created a “Nuisance Points Map” to highlight chronic offenders throughout the city.

The toughest actions might still be to come. But a court case out of Tompkins County has put those measures on hold, for now.

Rochester’s nuisance abatement program dates at least to 1985. It was overhauled in the mid- to late-1990s, when officials amended city code to specify 35 nuisance categories, created a point system and established thresholds for action; the ultimate penalty being closure.

Enforcement has varied, including an effort to tighten regulation of corner stores that the city dismantled after portions of the law were struck down in courts and by the state.

Last year, the city began a full program review, with help from the consultant firm of former Mayor William A. Johnson Jr. A final report delivered in June suggests changing how and what violations are counted and opens the door to penalizing tenants and lessees.

 The latest snag comes from a June decision of the New York state Supreme Court’s appellate division, striking down the nuisance abatement laws in the village of Groton, Tompkins County. In a separate case before the state Supreme Court challenging Rochester’s program, city officials have been asked to respond to how the Groton ruling affects matters here.

“We don’t want to put some (added) step in place and have it ruled unconstitutional,” Warren said.

For now, the city might bolster a landlord registry already requiring building owners to provide the city with contact information to also require a business phone for either themselves or a local property manager that can be accessible to neighbors.

City Council will consider legislation on that matter later this month.

“We have heard too many times, ‘I wish I knew what was going on … I wish I knew who to call'” about a problem property, Ortiz said, noting that the use of LLCs and PO boxes often shield landlords’ identities from public view. “Although logistically (this is) a simple change, I believe it will be a powerful one.”

The city also began posting code violation information to the property portal of its website last year and recently nuisance data and created a “Nuisance Points Map” to highlight chronic offenders throughout the city.

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NY to spend $7.3M on college-in-prison program – Democrat & Chronicle

NY to spend $7.3M on college-in-prison program

by: Jon Campbell

ALBANY – New York will spend $7.3 million from bank settlements to expand college education programs in prisons, including the Albion Correctional Facility in Orleans County.

Seven colleges will begin, continue or expand offerings for prisoners at 17 correctional facilities across New York over the next five years as part of the College-in-Prison Re-Entry Program, a joint program between Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

Cuomo and Vance unveiled the colleges and prisons plan Monday.

Among them are Medaille College, based in Buffalo, which will continue its program at Albion, which launched in 2008. Cornell University, meanwhile, will be active in four correctional facilities, including Five Points in Seneca County.

In all, there will 400 to 500 new seats each year for college-education programs in state prisons, according to Cuomo’s office.

“It has never been more evident that a college education is an important stepping stone to success and by partnering with District Attorney Vance, that success will reach those who never thought they could achieve it,” Cuomo said in a statement.

 Cuomo first proposed spending public dollars to provide prisoners a free college education in 2014, pointing to studies that show lower recidivism rates among inmates who receive an education.

He was immediately met with a wave of backlash from conservatives and college students, who questioned the state covering costs for inmates at a time when expenses were rising for non-inmate students.

Last year, Cuomo and Vance came up with a compromise: Vance’s office provided more than $7 million recovered from settlements with large banks to fund a scaled-back program.

Some colleges — including Cornell and Medaille — already offered college courses to prisoners, though those initiatives were funded by foundations and other private donors. Statewide, about 1,000 prisoners currently take college-level courses, according to the state.

 Along with Cornell and Medaille, the other participating colleges in the state’s program are Mercy College, Bard College, New York University, Mohawk Valley Community College and Jefferson Community College.

The state’s program will only be open to prisoners with less than five years left on their sentence.

“We’ll hopefully equip them with very important skills that will enrich their lives once they’re on the outside and create a tool that will help them avoid returning to prison,” said Robert Eap, academic director of Cornell’s prison program.

Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor, R-Fishkill, Dutchess County, said he’s supportive of offering higher-education courses to prisoners.

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