Spring 2011: Project Renewal Matters
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Spring 2011: Project Renewal Matters

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Spring 2011: Project Renewal Matters Spring 2011: Project Renewal Matters Document Transcript

  • matters Spring 2011 Health, Homes and Jobs for Homeless New Yorkers Howard Kelly: Out of the House and On the JobH oward Kelly learned about Re- newal House at Project Renewal’sThird Street Detox, and started theprogram on August 31, 2009. He began Renewal House Celebrates 40 Yearswork with the Alliance the next day,and, in May of 2010, went on the Alli- As a Community of Recoveryance’s payroll as a part-time employee. L ocated in the Fort Greene area of Director Gil Fagiani and Associate Director Victor SanchoCould you briefly describe your experience at Brooklyn, Renewal House isn’t (center) with residentsRenewal House? your conventional transitional the guidelines of the program.I’m a two-time client, you could say, so housing program. Modeling the Thera- After 40 years in Brooklyn, Renewalmy experience this time is of a better, peutic Community approach, Renewal House will be moving to the Bronxknowledgeable recovery. The program House has developed its own indepen- next year once the construction ofhas a lot of structure to allow a person dent living community of 20-24 men the new residence on Fletcher Place isthat’s recovering to be independent. We working together on recovery and work finished. This will be a big change, ashave guys that have been together for a skills. Residents are given keys and the community has come to embracelittle while, so we start to develop a type the freedom to come and go from the and appreciate Renewal House and itsof unity. And it’s recovering a day at a house. However, in order to participate residents. “The neighbors treat us liketime, you know, it’s a recovery process in the program, residents are required to family,” says graduate Lance Frankie- groups and meals, cleaning up, and have a previous amount of clean time, Tucker. However, Tucker believes thatgetting along together. to participate in treatment groups at no matter where Renewal House is lo- our Outpatient Clinic, and to accept cated, it will continue to be a place thatWhat did you like about the Renewal House job placement with the Times Square provides men with a chance to get theirprogram? Alliance. Responsibility is put on the lives together.It’s a place to stay that’s drug-free, residents to maintain sobriety and obeyalcohol free, gives us freedom to comeand go, be responsible from the start,do some things on your own, and come Times Square Alliance: Workforce Trainingback. They send us to Times Square for Renewal House ResidentsAlliance...and we’re there, like a training For almost 20 years, Renewal House has part- proud of this partnership, “We have a longstand-process, three days a week, and at the nered with the Times Square Alliance (TSA) to ing, familial relationship with Renewal House.end of the eleventh month of working provide workforce training and development for Our sanitation workers come from the program,there, there’s a possibility that we can residents. Among other things, the Alliance pro- and we’ve had phenomenal success. Our goal is toget hired on payroll. So I got the job! It’s vides core neighborhood services with its Public have people come here first with the program anda nice experience because I’m learning Safety Officers and Sanitation Associates. Up to 20 then to hire a percentage as part-time workers.something and I’m working at the same Renewal House participants work on the Alliance’s We have Renewal House graduates as full-time sanitation team at any given time. Tom Harris, the workers, and we even have some who are nowtime, and it’s opened up new ideas. Senior Vice President of Security & Operations, is supervisors.” continued on page 2
  • Dolan Byrnes on How to Land a Job…And Keep ItM y goal for my clients is to to stay in their jobs. We have an exten- have the confidence to go in sive program where we follow individu- and land a job. It’s a whole als for up to a year in their employment. Dolan Byrnes, Retention & Alumni Service Coordinator,team effort taking clients through the We coach, council, provide a shoulder, with his team: Tanya Jenkins and Ashley Jones.workshops and mock interviews. People and sounding board for them. We tellwith a criminal background are afraid them to never walk off the job or quit. My third goal is to help clients ad-they’ll be asked about it. They are afraid They should call us and talk it through. vance in their job. We have people thatto even fill out an application because Problems with a supervisor or cowork- go in at a low level position and thenthey don’t know what to say. They say, ers can be typical in a workplace so we become supervisors. One of our clients“No one is ever going to hire me.” But talk with them about how to handle started in a maintenance position andthat’s not true…a lot of companies will it. We are on the phone with them is now a building manager. We are sohire them. We walk them through that every week or every other week. We proud of this client because he workedwhole process…to not deny anything, have a 90% retention rate after 30 days, really hard. One of the things we doto accept it and express regret for having 75% stay for 3 months, 60% stay for 6 is a quarterly recognition dinner. Wedone it, to talk about what they have months and 50% will stay for a year. So announce who has been employed fordone since to make their lives better you can see from the beginning of the 6 months to a year. When they are onand increase their skills. They should be process to the end, there can be quite a the job for a year we give them a goldenable to say, “As a result of this, I’m going drop off. Some clients have not been ladder pin as a medal of their success.to be a much better employee for you to work in a long time or never had a They love it. Everybody needs recogni-if you just give me the chance.” That’s job. That is the greatest challenge – tion. They know they are supported,number one. keeping the greatest number of clients recognized, and always have someone to My number two goal is getting them employed. talk to.Howard Kelly...continued from page 1 Help a ClientWhat do you do for the Times Square Alli-ance? Why do you think the Renewal House pro- gram worked for you? Take the NextI work on Duffy Square. Duffy Squareis the TKTS island, with the stands, and Right now I’m one year, two months, and three weeks clean and sober, and Step to a JobI do the maintenance work over there. that’s one thing. And the job oppor-I talk to a lot of people, they ask me a tunity, with the aftercare as far as job Can you make an introductionlot of questions about the shows, the readiness and learning at the Next Step to a potential employer?days and times they’re opening. I was at program. We have outpatient counsel-“Broadway on Broadway,” I saw some ing too where we learn everyday living For more information, callof the acts. I get to see things like that; skills. I just look forward to being hired Monica Roquitte,meet people, famous people and things full-time at this job, having some inde- Next Steplike that, news reporters, actors, singers pendent living, housing - just something Program Director– I see all that stuff. And even on my off safe, clean, and I’m looking forward to 212-620-0340 ext. 355time, I come by here, I shop and things my recovery to be ongoing.like that – eat, movies. No Broadwayshows yet, but in the future – in thefuture.2 Project Renewal matters | Spring 2011
  • COOKING UP NEW SKILLS By Octavia Penn, Comfort Foods employeeW hat happened was, I was us- Hughes, the Director, hired me for a per focused, and I’m doing something I ing drugs, and I knew that diem position at Comfort Foods. I did love. Project Renewal gave me a chance; that wasn’t the way to live a couple of catering gigs with her. She is they believed in me. They have my backanymore. I tried a couple of different great because she is always open to new 110%. As long as I stay on the rightrehabs, but they didn’t seem to work. I ideas. road, I know I’m going to succeed.knew I needed some long-term treat- I’ve been working at Geffner Housement to re-establish myself. One of my for about five and a half months. Thepeers was in culinary school at Project job that I’m doing is very, very good. I Comfort FoodsRenewal. He was telling me so much really enjoy it because I get to be cre- Catering to Your Needsabout it that I decided to try it out. ative. I like the challenge. I noticed that The Culinary Arts Program was just since I’ve been here, my skills have en- Cater your next party, corporate meeting or special occasion with Comfort Foods…or let uswhat I needed because they don’t just hanced drastically. I’m getting muscles design and deliver a delicious, nutritious mealwork on your culinary skills, they help too; today I can lift those pots easily. I program for your organization.you learn people skills as well. I could have high standards when I’m cooking. Each menu is tailored to meet your tastes,call my counselor any time, and what- That’s very important to me. lovingly prepared by our experienced staff.ever I was going through, she would Some days I might not be feeling so Together we’ll design a menu or meal programalways keep me uplifted. That’s what great, but I’m going to get through it that meets your requirements. Comfort Foods Catering is a social-purposemakes it totally different: they help you and I’m going to make the food even enterprise run by Project Renewal, offeringreach your personal goals and give you a better, and whoever eats my food is go- excellent food and stellar service while fulfillingstrong foundation. ing to enjoy it. I’ve learned that it’s not an important social mission: providing jobs for Chef O’Connor is the best: he’s about you all the time, it’s about making graduates of our award winning Culinary Artscompassionate with the students and he someone happy. When people enjoy my Training Program. Contact Barbara Hughes, Ex-expects a lot. I graduated on time, and food, it makes me feel great. ecutive Chef at 212 533-8400, ext 162, barbara. hughes@projectrenewal.org I was valedictorian of the class! Barbara I feel good today. I’m clean, I’m Help homeless men and women leave the streets for health, homes and jobs… with your donation. It’s safe, fast and on-line at www.projectrenewal.org. Look for the “Donate Now” button on every page.Project Renewal matters | Spring 2011 3
  • Making a Difference – One Stitch at a Time Board of TrusteesS tudents at Frederick Douglass Academy VIIIin Brooklyn brought holiday Neil S. Mitchell Chair Alan Belzerwarmth to homeless men and Russell S. Berman Suzanne Henry Boieswomen. Twice a week after Colleen Cavanaughschool 40 students, teachers, James S. Davidson Anthony S. Kendalland parents gathered to sew David J. Koeppelsleeping bags that were hand The Honorable Richard B. Lowe, IIIdelivered to Project Renewal’s Mark H. Minter Earl MonroeMedVan. Rolled up inside each sleeping bag is a hat and toiletries. Each has a pil- Nan L. Perelllow with one seam open for stashing money, papers and other crucial possessions. Chuck Pol Geoffrey ProulxGenesis, a student said, “It makes me just want to cry to see how homeless people Mary Lynn Putneycan just be without sleeping bags. Together we make a difference.” Jules M. Ranz, M.D. Paul H. Rich Claudia RosenBT Employees Give Back Carl S. Rosoff Laura J. RothschildBT employees reached out to Geffner House tenants with their annual holiday food drive. Employees collected non-perishable food, beverages, and toi-letries to deliver to the food pantry at Geffner House, just around the corner from James W. Stevens Caverly “Lee” Stringer Mitchell NetburnBT’s midtown headquarters. Ellis Eisner, Recreation Director at Geffner House, President & CEOthanked BT staff for thinking of their neighbors. “Our residents are on fixed Junior Boardincomes, and the food pantry plays an Christopher M. Bellapianta Colin Meagher Bernie Shaw (2nd from left) who organized the annual food Vijay Desiraju Keenan Reillyimportant role for many who struggle drive at BT poses with her co-workers and the donations! Scott Donohue David Rowleyon a limited budget. Tenants can select Thomas Evrard Jenny Sharfsteinup to 6 items every other day, and it Brandl Frey Nicholas Sklar Jeffrey Kirshenbaum Christopher Smajdormeans a lot to receive a donation like Robin Lee Frederick H. Volpthis which adds to the variety of items PROJECT RENEWALavailable in the pantry.” 200 Varick Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10014 Thank you, BT employees, for the 212-620-0340 • www.projectrenewal.orgholiday cheer!Junior Board’s Fall Ball a Great Success! 21st Annual Gala Benefit & AuctionO ver 400 guests filled The Bowery Hotel for the Fourth Annual FallBall, a wonderful evening of music, Junior Board Frederick Volp, Robin Lee, and Jeffrey Kirshenbaum Thursday, June 9, 2011 at The Waldorf=Astoriaraffle prizes, dancing, and cocktails.Over $15,000 was raised to fund life- Save the date and join us for an evening to helpsaving programs that help homeless men homeless New Yorkers. Live and silent auctions,and women leave the streets and return cocktails and light buffet. Proceeds benefitto health, homes, and jobs. Project Renewal programs. For information on tickets, sponsorships, or auction donations Thank you to our Junior Board and Junior Board Christopher Smajdor (center) with guests contact Nicole Scanlin, Special Events Director,Event Host Committee for their hard at 212-620-0340, ext. 323work and dedication. A special thankyou to our beverage sponsors Diageoand Yuengling. For more informationabout the Junior Board, call Tiffany Liuat 212-620-0340 x. 396.4 Project Renewal matters | Spring 2011