Fall 2009: Project Renewal Matters


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Fall 2009: Project Renewal Matters

  1. 1. matters Summer 2009 Health, Homes and Jobs for Homeless New Yorkers Putting Down Roots: Renewal Farm Grows Hope Thomas Gerard, And lettuce and flowers. Now located in Renewal Farm Garrison, NY, Renewal Farm gives men Graduate in recovery a chance to rebuild their lives and their resume. The men split“It all started 22 years ago with a bad their day between substance abuse coun-choice. I was married, a responsible seling and hands-on experience growinghusband and father. Subsequently my organic produce and flowers. The coun-ex-wife and I divorced but I stayed selors at St. Christopher’s Inn, a licensedin touch with my children and lived treatment program, help the men pre-a comfortable life. Then one night I pare for a future without drugs and al-made a bad choice. At age 45, I tried cohol and provide the tools the men willcrack cocaine and fell instantly in love. need to succeed. After six months, theI was on and off with that for the next men have seen the fruits of their labors: The farmstand gives clients a chance to meet neighbors and8 years. renewed self-esteem, discipline, team learn customer service skills. I did go into treatment and spent work, good work habits, and, of course,22 months without using, but I failed harvesting and selling the vegetables,and I went back to the crack cocaine herbs and flowers they have nurtured.because I had no after-care or structure. The chefs at The Garrison are delightedAnd it led to me taking someone’s life. with the produce, and local residents I went to prison in 1995. I spent the and visitors stop by the farm stand onnext 12.5 years serving. I did the crime, Thursdays and Fridays to enjoy a freshlyI took responsibility and I knew that if I picked selection. “This has turned out tokept using drugs, as available as they are be a terrific partnership.” reports Davidin prison, I would never get out. So I Harrington, Director of Renewal Farm,embarked on sobriety, getting back into “The community has welcomed us, andthose things I knew how to do best: we have made many friends here.”working and getting involved. It was all If you’re passing through Garrison onabout me seeing my family again. a Thursday or Friday, stop by the Re- In prison I became connected to the newal Farm stand and say hello. Detailschurch and spirituality. It helped me are on our website:www.projectrenewal.through my darkest days: the isolation, org/addiction.htmlthe loneliness. I became a teacher’s Keeping potted plants watered in the greenhouse.aide. I joined a Hispanic group and theNAACP. My final release date was January 2, Stay Informed with our E-Newsletter!2008. On January 7, I went to Renewal To follow the impact of your financial support of Project Renewal, subscribe toFarm at St. Christopher’s Inn and that our monthly e-newsletter at www.projectrenewal.org. You’ll meet some of thewas the best thing that happened to people whose lives are changed because of the generosity of people like you. “Putting Down Roots”...continued on 4
  2. 2. Friends and Donors Make This Year’sGala Another Success Story!On June 11, 2009, Project Renewalwas pleased to host our 19th An-nual Gala Benefit and Auction at theWaldorf=Astoria. The annual eventraised over $650,000 to support ProjectRenewal’s programs and services forhomeless New Yorkers. A special taped message from ourfriends at The Daily Show with JonStewart delighted guests who enjoyedthe support of The Daily Show’s cast.You can watch the greeting on ourwebsite. Following the video, guests wel-comed this year’s Co-chairs, ClaudiaRosen and Mark Minter, who thankedthe Board and guests for their support Gala Committee Left to Right: Blair Stuart, Carl Rosoff, Mark Minter, Claudia Rosen, Colleen Cavanaugh, Anne Elser, Frederick Volp, Robin Leein these difficult times. “We’ve all beenaffected by the downturn of the pastyear, and it’s no surprise that homelessmen and women in our city have feltthe impact, too,” Minter remarked.“Your past support has helped us reachthousands of men and women with life-saving services. You have made manysuccess stories possible.” Especially in light of the economicdownturn, we are grateful for the loyalsupport of our friends and donors. A Trustee Nan Perell (center) attending with her daughter, son, Trustee James Davidson and Lyn McHughspecial thank you to all of this year’s and granddaughter.volunteers, who helped us run the eventand to our in-kind donors who madeour Live and Silent Auctions possible.Trustee Joseph Mack, Junior Board member Jeff Kirshen- Trustee Janet Tweed with Karen Del Prete, Gus Gusman, Sarah Schiller, Marc Schiller, and Max Ansbacherbaum, and Trustee Neil Mitchell2 Project Renewal matters | Summer 2009
  3. 3. Gala Keynote Speaker Anthony Newton A graduate of Project Renewal’s Safe Haven and an take care of myself. I learned I can’t use drugs, that artist, Anthony Newton spoke eloquently to guests I needed medication to keep my positive focus. about how Project Renewal changed his life. After I finally got the right medication to stabilize my struggling with years of addiction and alcoholism and illness. This was a down home place I could relate moving in and out of treatment programs, he was fi- to. This is what recovery was all about. I met with nally diagnosed with bipolar, schizoaffective disorder. counselors and support groups every day. The staff Thankfully, he made his way to Project Renewal. were professional. I looked up to them. They were In his own words… honest and they really cared about me. When I told “What was different about Safe Haven and Proj- them I was an artist, they worked with me to give ect Renewal? Well, for one thing, Safe Haven just me space and supplies, to help me start painting looked nice – compared to all the other places I’d again. They helped me get back in touch with my been. But Safe Haven makes you think about your family. They gave me focus and said “Love yourself.” next step. There was supervision and structure. I And that’s what I did. In one year, I worked on Anthony poses with his painting “Slice of Life,” the cover art woke at 6:30 am, learned how to make my bed, recovering mentally, spiritually, and physically.” for this year’s Gala invitation and an auction item.ScanVan Funding Cuts Hurt Women in NeedThe ScanVan, our mobile breast cancer will be cut by $8.3 million next year. through NYS CSP. This means we haveand tuberculosis screening clinic, offers This will mean that uninsured women cut visits to community sites to fourscreening at 150 sites serving predomi- who have been provided with annual, days a week from six.nately minority, non-English speak- essential, and potentially life-saving As part of their “Caring Makes aing, and low-income men and women screening mammography on board our Difference” campaign, Colgate-Palmo-without insurance. Sites mobile radiology van may be live partners with several communityinclude homeless shelters turned away. Last year we programs that provide free breast cancerand drop-in centers where screened 3,200 uninsured screenings for women in need, includ-we do chest x-rays for men women. This year we have ing our ScanVan. Colgate-Palmolive’sand women as well. funding to cover only 1,200 support highlights the importance of A victim of budget A cancer survivor aboard the ScanVan getting regular mammograms. You canshortfalls, the New York receives a kiss from her son. “I am so thank- hear testimonials on our website at:State Cancer Services Pro- ful for life. Everyday that you have breath in www.projectrenewal.org/whats_new.gram (NYS CSP) budget your lungs is a good day.” New It has been a year of ups and downs for our MedVan, first destroyed by fire, then clinic also has running water, phlebotomy equipment, a centrifuge, a microscope, an MedVan renewed by the generosity of our do- nors who helped us rebuild. Now we are EKG machine, a nebulizer and more. Visiting 13 sites throughout Manhattan Arrives pleased to report that the new MedVan has arrived. Following licensing inspections, it and Brooklyn, our MedVan is particularly important for our clients’ transition from will hit the streets with an 80 hour weekly homelessness to independent living, not schedule. only in offering free, quality healthcare, The new MedVan is a fully heated and but in introducing our clients to the other air conditioned mobile medical clinic, forms of assistance available to them. with wheelchair access, a restroom, two MedVan is a point of entry to our range of private exam rooms, an intake area, a con- services, from job training to housing, as sultation room, diagnostic equipment, and well as a key tool for helping clients attain 100 commonly prescribed “over-the-coun- good health. ter” and prescription medications. TheProject Renewal matters | Summer 2009 3
  4. 4. “Putting Down Roots”....cont’d from 1 Project Renewal works because theyme. It was a great match. We went out provide a multitude of services. Not Board of Trusteesevery morning clearing away the land, only do you become sober, you can Mary Lynn Putneycutting down trees and bush. I was find housing and employment. I have Chair67, and I never thought in my wildest obtained an apartment. I’m back in the Neil S. Mitchelldreams that I would be embarking on a community. It’s all because of Project Vice Chairnew career as farmer! We worked and Renewal and how they integrate you Edward I. Geffnerparticipated in support groups four days with support mechanisms at all junc- President & CEOa week. In April the land was starting tures. I’m back doing those things that Bradley Abelowto take shape and we planted our first normal people do. I’ll always remember Alan Belzercrops. That’s the idea of the program: this: I had taken a life, and I was given Russell S. Bermanget out in the fresh air, plant something a second chance at life. That’s very Suzanne Henry Boiesand see your work come before you and humbling. Colleen Cavanaughsee the results. James S. Davidson Michael Field Helping Hands Anthony S. Kendall The Hon. Richard B. Lowe, III Joseph P. MackFood Drive Earl MonroeBoard Member Colleen Cavanaugh and Mark H. Minterher colleague Jacqueline Siladji organized Nan Perella food drive at Western Asset Manage- Chuck Pol Jules M. Ranz, MDment to stock the food pantry at Holland Paul H. RichHouse, our supportive housing complex Claudia Rosenfor 307 men and women who are either Carl Rosoffformerly homeless or have a very low income. Thank you to Colleen and Jackie and Marc L. Silverman, Esq.everyone at Western Asset who participated! James W. Stevens Caverly (Lee) Stringer Antonio TedescoPlanting a Garden for Samuel M. WassermanOur Clients Junior BoardBoard Member Carl Rosoff and his col- Christopher Bellapiantaleagues at Cullen, spent an afternoon at Nicole Bonicaour Third Street Shelter planting a garden Thomas Evrardfor residents. Renewal Farm supplied the Kristin Fehrenbachplants and containers. The space, which Brandl Freyis often used for barbecues and events, Jeffrey Kirshenbaum Robin Leehas never looked better! Thank you Carl David Rowleyand our friends at Cullen! Jenny Sharfstein Nicholas Sklar Anna ValeoIMPRINTS Wants Your Business Frederick VolpIn April, 2009, our Next Step employment program re-launched its IMPRINTStraining program in a unique public-private venture with Workforce Enterprises(WE-NYC), a commercial social enterprise specializing in document imaging. TheIMPRINTS program draws upon the expertise of NextStep and WE-NYC to pro-vide clients a well-balanced program of technical training and support services. Thisapproach integrates classroom study with practical training in a ‘real world’ printshop environment. 200 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014 Give IMPRINTS the opportunity to compete for your next printing, copying or 212-620-0340scanning job. Call Joe Hunt at 212-586-4513. www.projectrenewal.org4 Project Renewal matters | Summer 2009