Amy Betros, Director of St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy, has good news to share. Her plans for a 21,000 square foot new care and opportunity facility, Build Promise, which will serve the neediest people in Western New York, has take two significant steps towards construction. The City has approved the sale of vacant land needed for the facility and a significant financial contribution has been received from the William H. Greene family.
The City of Buffalo has cleared the land transfer at the corner of Sycamore and Miller for the facility across from the St. Luke Mission campus at 325 Walden Avenue. The Buffalo Common Council approved a land development agreement recently for the purchase of the sixteen parcels of long=vacant land for the full assessed value of $29,600.00.
“We need this facility and scope of services to break the cycles of poverty, addiction, and homelessness, while providing a path to a better future for the needy of our immediate area,” stated Ms. Betros.
The William H. Greene III family of Orchard Park has donated $1 million to “Build Promise”. The campaign’s chairman, Kathleen Mattar, heralded the news that Mrs. Jane Greene has come forth with the largest single contribution that “Build Promise” has received to-date. “We are so grateful for the outstanding generosity of Jane Greene and her family to our transformational project for the underprivileged population of Buffalo,” stated Ms. Mattar, “it gets us ever closer to putting a shovel in the ground!” The donation also honors the memory of William H. Greene III, Jane’s husband, who passed away in July of 2021.
Ms. Mattar has revealed that the “Build Promise” facility has more than $2.5 million donated towards the approximately $6.0 million goal. The 21,000 square foot facility will allow for “Code Blue” accommodations for men of the community and provide ancillary services to the neighborhood for personal advancement. This includes:
- A Care and Opportunity Center which will provide programs and health resources.
- Partnerships with other community agencies addressing basic needs such as health care, mental health, legal services, and more.
- A larger, more modern industrial kitchen – serving the facility as well as nearby St. Luke’s, which currently serves 600 people, two meals per day.
- An option for emergency shelter for Erie County in situations like Code Blue that can shelter up to 170 each night.
- Serve as year-round overnight accommodations for men taking the first step from homelessness.
- Provide unique service for the housing insecure (living in cars or couch surfing) to have access to personal hygiene resources. At the ReFresh Spot, they can shower, do laundry, secure fresh clothing, and use restroom facilities.
Ms. Betros sees “Build Promise” as a watershed moment for the city. “After nearly 30 years serving the neediest, I understand that food and shelter are a start but you have to give each person access to opportunities to change their lives,” she says. “Build Promise’s partnership model brings established, efficient programs to the people where they are and then there’s life-long change.”