It was a viewing of the client artwork and an evening of cool jazz at our 3rd Street shelter that drew a visit and subsequent praise from Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Michele Ovesey. Here is what she had to say:
I attended a wonderful event at Project Renewal’s 8 East 3rd Street Men’s Shelter Wednesday evening. Sponsored by the Joan and Alan Ades-Taub Family Foundation (a member of whom is a former Project Renewal Board member), the MSM Jazz Arts Quintet (tenor saxophone, guitar, bass and drums and vocalist) performed jazz standards and wonderful renditions of songs that Michael Jackson, Roberta Flack and Stevie Wonder made famous, for Project Renewal current and former Board members, shelter staff and clients. The Quintet is made up of graduates of the prestigious Manhattan School of Music and they were a tremendous hit with clients who shouted “Encore,” which the Quintet was happy to oblige. I have a soft spot in my heart for all things jazz since my son is studying jazz piano at the Oberlin Conservatory.
I also enjoyed seeing clients’ artwork resulting from a weekly art workshop run by one of Project Renewal’s current Board members. It was quite moving. The Arts are such an important part of what makes life meaningful and it was wonderful to see it available to homeless New Yorkers.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the delicious hors d’oeuvres served at the event, which were made by Comfort Foods, Project Renewal’s Culinary Arts Program and Catering Service.
Watch the video of the concert here!
On September 11, 2001 Warren was working in the North Tower when it was hit. “I watched people die. I was lucky to get out.” He doesn’t remember the next several months following.
Warren knew he had a drinking problem, but the day he finally walked into the Project Renewal detox everything changed for him. "They referred me to the Farm—coming to Project Renewal saved my life!"
Warren spent his whole life in New York City, but in the rolling hills of Garrison New York he found a new peace.
One day Mr. Harrington just told me I could forgive myself, let go of everything I was carrying. I will always be recovering, but now my life is back. My daughter is living with me and we have a relationship. God takes care of me and I have everything I need. I lack for nothing now.
Now Warren works two jobs—helping out as a driver on the farm and as a peer counselor at a nearby homeless shelter in Peekskill, New York. “I am a new man!” He says.
What: City Hall Press Conference about Police-Community Relations
When: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 12pm (Noon)
Where: City Hall Steps, Manhattan
The Communities for Crisis Intervention Teams (CCIT) calls for creation of specially trained crisis teams that can respond to “Emotionally Disturbed Person” calls. Too many mental health recipients are being mistreated and evendie in encounters by police officers who do not receive sufficient training. Learn more http://www.ccitnyc.org
Project Renewal (contact is Jim Mutton, Director of Residential Services), Community Access, and others helped to organize that will happen before City Council on behalf of the NYC mental health community.
More information is included in the additional links below.
Download the brochure
CCIT is a best practice model of crisis intervention involving peer specialists working alongside dedicated police officers to respond to the multitude of EDP calls via 911, which so often end in unnecessary violence, injury and/ or deaths. The model has been successfully implemented in various states across the country and more locally in Westchester and Nassau counties. The goal would be to call on the Mayor and City Council to sign a resolution to pilot a CCIT team in each borough and provide additional mental health training to NYPD and EMS personnel.
Please take some time out of your day to help make this event a success!
How did you come to Project Renewal?
As an AmeriCorps volunteer through the Avodah (the Jewish Service Corps) I wanted to get hands on front line work with clients and to be in a medical setting close to clinical work before going to medical school next year. Project Renewal was perfect for that.
The point of the AmeriCorps program is to develop leaders in urban poverty programs in the United States. I had focused on health disparities in urban poverty situations abroad so now I got to look at it in this country.
What is one thing you have learned this year?
Lack of housing and not actually a health problem at all because the lack of housing contributes to a host of problems. There is an idea in healthcare for the homeless of “housing as healthcare.” This links urban policy at a more macro scale to micro level health problems that we see.
If you were telling a friend about what you do, how would you explain it?
I do outreach with homeless people at a non-profit called Project Renewal in their medical department where I work on mobile medical vans.
This is unique and exciting because it is an incredibly low barrier way to access care and the kind of care a lot of homeless people aren’t going to get. Many people are familiar with the fact that they can walk into an emergency room and get care of a certain kind. Even though there is no barrier there in terms of insurance, often times people have to wait for hours and hours unless they are in danger of death.
At Project Renewal we go to the places where homeless people are—clinics in shelters (both our own shelters and others) as well as a mobile medical program that brings vans to where homeless people congregate such as soup kitchens and shelters without clinics inside. We don’t require people to have health insurance, and we help them get signed up for Medicaid if they qualify.
We give them kind of medical care that they can’t find anywhere else. There are a very limited number of places where homeless people can get primary care at all, there are community health centers, New York City hospitals, and private doctors. Many private doctors will not accept Medicaid, and they certainly won’t accept uninsured patients. City hospitals and community health centers by and large have incredibly long wait times to get an appointment with a primary care doctor. To have a service where patients can walk up to the medical van the day of and come in and see a primary care doctor is amazing.
There are a few other organizations where a homeless person can do that but you can count them on one hand in a city the size of New York , so what we are doing is definitely unique and valuable.
This year’s annual anniversary celebration of the Ft. Washington Men’s Shelter had a special guest—the new NYC Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Michele Ovesey.
The New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) Commissioner Michele Ovesey (center) with Project Renewal President & CEO Mitchell Netburn (Left) and Dr. Norbert Sander, executive director of The Armory Foundation at The New Balance Track & Field Center.
Commissioner Ovesey commended the width breadth of Project Renewal programs. She said,
"I was amazed that Project Renewal was working on preventing homelessness and treating the underlying causes as early as 1967, a good 20 years before they were widely known."
Congrats staff and clients on 17 years!
The nursing staff at Project Renewal has a lot to be proud of this year.
In the past 12 months Project Renewal has been:
Below are photos from the annual Nurse Appreciation Day celebrated this month. Please join us in honoring all their hard work!
Over the past 30 years, the NYU Community Fund has awarded over 1,600 grants to local nonprofit organizations totaling more than $2.5M.
At an award ceremony earlier this month, New York University’s Office of Civic Engagement awarded more than $160,000 grants to 83 community-based non-profit organizations with money raised from hundreds of NYU employees, “each of whom believes in the important work being done by these organizations every day.” said Bill Pfeiffer, director of the Office of Civic Engagement.
Medical Administrator Pat Troy holds the plaque awarded by NYU Community Fund.
Of those 83 organizations, including the United Way of New York City, Project Renewal received the Thom Fluellen Award to support our groundbreaking Mobile Medical Program:
Since 2001, one outstanding organization each year has received a distinctive $5,000 grant in memory of the former Community Fund staff director, Thom Fluellen, whose spirit and enthusiasm for this community was an inspiration to countless others. This year, the award went to Project Renewal.
Founded in 1967, Project Renewal empowers homeless men and women struggling with addiction and/or mental illness to rebuild their lives with renewed health, homes, and jobs. Project Renewal’s comprehensive and innovative approach combines healthcare, addiction and mental health treatment, employment services, and housing to ensure clients remain in permanent homes and become productive members of their communities.
“The $5,000 Thom Fluellen Award will help support our groundbreaking mobile medical programs - MedVan, StreetSmart, LifeLine and CareVan - which connect chronically homeless New Yorkers with ongoing health care,” said Mitchell Netburn, president & CEO of Project Renewal. “The award is a wonderful endorsement of our mission to improve the health of homeless men and women with complex needs who face multiple barriers to accessing high quality health care.”
“As of this year, the NYU Community Fund celebrates its 30th year of operation, proud to have awarded more than 1,600 grants totaling more than $2.5M to community groups since the program’s inception,” said Pfeiffer. “We look forward to many more years to come.”
Read more about the award via the NYU press release
How do we do it?
From the Archives! Sprint 2012
Having a key means everything
Meet the tenants of Fletcher Residence
The west wing, Fletcher Residence, is home to 55 mentally-ill men and women in their own studio apartments. Patricia was one of the first tenants to move in: “I love living here. I prayed for a place to live by Christmas and lo and behold on December 20th I moved in!”
“They are thrilled,” said Program Manager Peter Bazeley of the new tenants. “We have 13 admitted since December 20th and interviews are going on right now. We have stacks of applications, about ten applications for every opening. Most tenants will come directly from shelters, including our own shelters, New Providence and Fort Washington.”
The men and women at Fletcher Residence receive long-term training to achieve lasting stability, work on sobriety issues if necessary, work on community integration skills, and daily living skills. Explains Peter, “Independent housing is the final goal so now is the time to start developing the skills necessary to live independently in the community. Tenants are encouraged to make friendships outside of the program and engage in ordinary community activities such as going to the library, the movies or shopping. We have no curfew; residents can pretty much come and go as they please. We have medication supervision and money management when needed. We have a nurse, a psychiatrist once a week and case managers who work directly with the residents.”
As tenants settle in they are introduced to each other and have community meetings to talk about the skills they will be working on, including a cooking workshop to be held in the tenants’ apartments.
Patricia is enjoying her apartment’s many amenities. “I have a state of the art kitchen, refrigerator, flat screen TV, and a very comfortable bed with a comforter and sheets. They provide you with everything! I have a microwave, a working stove, a walk-in closet and I have a beautiful bathroom.” But more than anything, she is grateful for something that anyone else might take for granted…“It’s such a blessing to own a key to my own home. Having a key means everything after you’ve been homeless.”
Many many thanks to all who contributed to make our 2013 Gala Benefit and Auction a great success! You helped us raise almost $800,000 to fund mission critical programs.
Check out our photos of the Gala Benefit and Silent Auction here
Also check out photos of the Junior Board’s First Annual After Party