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NYS Announces Opening of Supportive and Emergency Housing Complex in Rochester Friday, November 12, 2021

The Catholic Family Center’s Joseph Avenue Apartments and Francis Center Includes Nine New Apartments

Supportive Services Available to Residents with Mental Illness, Substance Use Disorders and Those Recently Leaving Incarceration

The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance today announced the completion of the Joseph Avenue Apartments and Francis Center project in Rochester which rehabilitated an existing emergency shelter and created nine new permanent supportive housing units for formerly homeless individuals. The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s Homeless Housing and Assistance Program provided more than $4 million to complete the $4.1 million project.

“We are proud to partner with the Catholic Family Center to refurbish a 40-bed emergency shelter while adding nine new apartments with supportive services,” Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Executive Deputy Commissioner Barbara C. Guinn said. “Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, New York continues to demonstrate its commitment to providing housing options that are essential in addressing homelessness.”

The Catholic Family Center, which sponsored the project, is a leader in providing emergency and permanent supportive housing in Rochester. The reconstructed Francis Center shelter for adult men experiencing homelessness will provide 40 emergency beds.

The building also houses the nine new permanent supportive housing units that will serve individuals re-entering the community following incarceration, as well as those with serious mental illness or substance use disorder. Support services provided include case management, preventive medical services, and support system building.

The Homeless Housing and Assistance Program provided over $4 million in capital funding with the Catholic Family Center providing $50,000 for the project. Operating funding will be provided by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI).

Senator Jeremy Cooney said, “As downtown continues to be revitalized, it is essential that affordable, accessible, and supportive housing be available. I am grateful to Governor Hochul for her support as well as Catholic Family Center and the state funding partners that came together to make this project possible. I look forward to the benefit this will have for our community’s most vulnerable members and the Joseph Avenue neighborhood.”

Assemblymember Demond Meeks said, “The completion of the Francis Project and Joseph Avenue apartments is a major step towards improving living conditions for the marginalized residents of our community. Providing safe and reliable housing is one of the most effective ways to uplift our struggling families and disenfranchised residents. Housing insecurity is a long-standing issue that can only be addressed through effective leadership and tireless effort. Thank you to Governor Hochul, our state colleagues, and the Catholic Family Center for demonstrating their commitment towards serving the members of our community.”

Rochester Mayor-elect Malik Evans said, “Affordable quality housing is critical as we work to build stronger neighborhoods. The Joseph Avenue Apartments will not only strengthen Joseph Avenue but will provide high quality affordable housing to residents in our city. I would like to applaud Governor Hochul and Catholic Family Center for their leadership in ensuring the completion of this important project.”

Catholic Family Center President and Chief Executive Officer Marlene Bessette said, “We are grateful for the funding and support of New York State, the Governor, OTDA, ESSHI, the City of Rochester, and our sustaining, loyal supporters. Joseph Avenue Apartments is a celebration of their support. Together, we are providing permanent, supportive, freshly updated and accessible apartments to our city.”

The Homeless Housing Assistance Program provides capital grants and loans to not-for-profit corporations, charitable and religious organizations, and municipalities to acquire, construct, or rehabilitate housing for persons who are unable to secure adequate housing without special assistance. The grants are awarded through a competitive process by the New York State Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation, a public benefit corporation staffed by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

So far this year, the program has allocated nearly $37 million to 12 projects that will create or preserve 378 units of supportive housing and repair emergency shelters throughout the state. Last year, the program provided funding to 30 projects that will add 881 units of supportive housing and repair emergency shelters.

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