Order Holiday Wreaths and Centerpieces from Renewal Farm

Celebrate the Holidays with handcrafted decorations made by the men in the Renewal Farm Program.

All of the wreaths and arrangements are made with fresh evergreens and decorated with a combination of bows, clusters of pinecones and colorful holiday ornaments.

Click here for an order form

Please place orders and make payment at least one week in advance of the delivery date you select below.

Thursday, December 13th

Thursday, December 20th

Click here for an order form

Orders totaling over $75 per drop-off location will be delivered free to that location in NYC and Westchester. With your order you will also receive a Free I Support Renewal Farm Tote Bag.

Please pay by check made payable to Project Renewal-Farm.

E-mail your order to: david.harrington@projectrenewal.org or fax the order to: Renewal Farm (845) 335-1144

ALSO AVAILABLE IN GARRISON, NEW YORK

At the St. Christopher’s Inn That Nothing Be Lost Thrift Shop on Fridays from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM  Starting Friday 12/7 ending Friday 12/21

Helping our Neighbors During Super Storm Sandy

Your support of Project Renewal enabled us to not only continue serving struggling New Yorkers already in our care, but to step up and help our neighbors when they needed it most.

100 Bed “Pop-up Shelter” at Ft. Washington helps displaced storm victims

By: Awilda Morton

On Monday, November 5th the Department of Homeless Services asked us to have 100 beds ready. DHS supplied cots, our maintanence team supplied linens and Comfort Foods provided the food. By the afternoon of Tuesday November 6th the shelter was open and ready for evacuees from shelters damaged by superstorm Sandy!

It went smoothly and the visiting clients used our cafeteria and common areas and we made caseworkers available to them. By Sunday everyone was able to return.

Economic Development Corporation

By: Fred Hornedo, Assistant Supervisor, Graffiti Removal

We were on standby for the storm and then after the storm hit we started to get phone calls from the people who were hit—Staten Island, Far Rockaway. We were just waiting for the word on whether they needed help. So they said get the trucks ready and fill them all up with fuel.The city mobilized the EDC teams to respond to the most devastated areas. Project Renewal had about 20-30 guys with 9 trucks plus supervisor vehicles.

When we got out there it was really bad—no power, no heat, water everywhere. It looked awful— like a disaster area.The residents had no power to run their pumps. By giving a hand we let people plug into the generators on our trucks out there with power strips plus extension cords running lines into people’s houses. Many people needed to use them to charge their cell phones so they could contact loved ones. We moved rubble, rubbish, and debris and pumped their houses. More people started coming later, but even arriving on Friday we were first responders—the National Guard, National Grid, Red Cross came later and started pitching in. But they still didn’t have power.

We gave a hand however we could with whatever we had. People had good spirits, they were happy to see us. But after the third or fourth day people were down with no power. If they had gotten power back sooner they would have been better off.

Seeing how bad it was, I didn’t realize it just from TV, it was heartbreaking. I would have run out there by myself if I had known how bad it was—I would have volunteered my time in a heartbeat. These were just regular people who didn’t ask for this.

Osmundo Robinson, Assistant Supervisor, Area Maintenance

Just devastating, shocking almost. I was speechless. People losing their houses, taking stuff out of their houses. We went out on Friday cleaning up debris that came out of the water, and we were out there two days. It was surpising, a lot worse than anyone expected. Where I live it didn’t hit that bad. But to see how it affected them was shocking. I passed by Breezy Point and it looked just like a garbage dump. We were some of the first people to show up—and that was Friday.

3rd Street Men’s Shelter

Barbara Hughes, Director, Comfort Foods and Culinary Arts Training Program

When the storm hit we were able to get the generator running immediately, which enabled us to keep the kitchens going. We opened up our doors to the neighborhood and served hundreds of extra meals, in addition to the clients staying at the shelter!

*Photo courtesy of drpavloff under Flickr Creative Commons

Further into the Fray: Renewing New York City in 2013

According to the Annual Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE) Street Survey conducted by the Department of Homeless Services in January 2012, there were 3,262 unsheltered homeless individuals—a 23% increase from last year, and this is in addition to the 9,500 men and women in shelters on any given night.

So we will do more in 2013

  • Meet the increased demand for shelter by developing a new shelter for 108 mentally-ill men in the Bronx: renovation is underway and scheduled to open in 2013.
  • Meet the need for job training for homeless veterans by opening a satellite Culinary Arts Training Program to help 64 veterans annually learn cooking and work skills in a 6-month classroom and internship program.
  • Meet the needs of homeless veterans for jobs by adding more outreach and placement services. Veterans Employment and Training Services (VETS) provides intensive, one-on-one case management to address the complex problems facing homeless veterans.
  • Meet the need for supportive housing by developing a new residence for 56 homeless men and women struggling with substance abuse or mental illness. Studio apartments will add housing options for men and women now in shelters.
  • And continue innovating within the over 30 programs that help to end homelessness for 13,000 New Yorkers each year.

DONATE NOW to help ensure these veterans get the help they need in 2013!

How unlikely Korean War leftovers found a home on September 11th

By: Ruth Antrich, Paralegal, Legal Department

The Boots

I started working at Project Renewal in 1998 for Ernie Talbot. One of my first ssignments was to sort out the storage facilities that we had at the time at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. There was a huge room, almost a block long, that was filled with boots, army boots from the Korean War probably. Ernie had brought them down from Camp LaGuardia, a former army base where Renewal Farm was located then. What to do with the boots, which were so heavy, by the way, that I could barely pick up one boot, let alone a pair at a time. I tried a few likely places but no takers.

Then September 11 happened. Like many of us, I was devastated and in a stupor, glued to the television in the days that followed. I watched reports of the responders and volunteers at staging grounds near Ground Zero, and each day they would announce “we need masks” and another day “we need wheelbarrows” and so on. Then on Sunday, I heard them say “we’re going to need boots.” Boots, they need, BOOTS! So I rushed to the office, grabbed a boot and went down to Ground Zero.

I was sent back up to the Javits Center where hundreds of volunteers were milling about waiting to be helpful. I finally found the person in charge of requisitions and showed him the boot and asked if he wanted more of these. YES! Right away, a convoy of vans, fi re trucks, vehicles and people made their way across the Brooklyn Bridge with me. This mini-army loaded every single last boot and cleared out the storage room completely. We finished at 3:00 am.

What an exhilarating feeling after days of feeling there was nothing I could do and no way to help. Even better, not only did the volunteers and responders get heavy-duty boots to plow through the ash and debris, but we got an empty storage room at last!

Locks for Jobs, or How One Intern Gave Back

Viki Lazar Before

Viki Lazar Before

Former Next Step intern Viki Lazar created a fundraising event around her big decision to cut her “beloved dreadlocks” after 9 years.

She set up a page online, asking friends and family to make a gift to Project Renewal to mark the occasion. She raised $4,000 which she will match with $1 for every $2 donated for a total gift of $6,000.. “If losing my dreadlocks is like Samson losing his strength, help me give that strength to others!”

Why Project Renewal? “Next Step is an amazing place where clients find people who believe in them again. Many of the formerly homeless clients at Next Step are in recovery or were recently incarcerated. Despite having lived lives I can’t even begin to imagine, these strong and brave people want to turn things around. It was life-changing to watch clients realize that they do have something tremendous to contribute to society.”

Learn more about Next Step, the program funded with Viki’s support.

Viki Lazar After

Viki Lazar After!

News: Volunteers Bring Art to Men in Crisis

Volunteer Erika Scully creates the art display for the silent auction

Volunteer Erika Scully creates the art display for the silent auction

Pamela Bell wasted no time once joining the Board of Trustees, serving on the Strategic Planning committee, chairing our 2012 Gala and most impressively, founding a volunteer arts initiative for the men at 3rd Street Shelter.

The Bowery Arts Program, less than a year old, is an informal creative class where volunteers and clients connect while making all forms of art.  The classes – held on Wednesday and Thursday mornings—provide men struggling with addiction a creative outlet to express their emotions and foster new friendships. 

At the 22nd Annual Gala Benefit and Auction 40 pieces of client art were auctioned off, raising more than $5,300 for Project Renewal.  A very big thank you to Pamela and an amazing group of volunteers who attend the workshops each week including Shelley Sonenberg, Shelagh Herzog, Erika Scully, Laura Rothschild, Caryn Levit, Jemme Aldridge and Susan Minot. 

Interested in Volunteering?

If you are interested in volunteering for the Bowery Arts Program, please contact via email (sidebar at left).

Board Voice: Q&A With Morgan Stanley Exec Geoffrey Proulx

geoff proulx

By: Geoffrey Proulx, Project Renewal Board of Trustees

I became involved with Project Renewal because a good friend is a fellow Board member.  She knew that I was interested in becoming more engaged with the community and thought that my work in affordable housing finance would fill an important knowledge niche on the Board.  At her suggestion,  I went on a tour of Project Renewal’s Third Street Shelter, MedVan, and Clinton Residence.  After the tour I was sold by the importance of Project Renewal’s work in fulfilling its mission of providing homes, healthcare and jobs to the homeless in New York City.  Its facilities, programs, and caring staff are extraordinarily impressive and at the end of the tour I was ready to sign on and do what I can to help support Project Renewal and the web of social services it provides to the most underserved segment of our City.

In my professional life I am an investment banker in public finance.  As the Head of the Municipal Housing Finance Group at Morgan Stanley, I assist the Firm’s state Housing Finance Agency clients access the capital markets through the issuance of tax-exempt bonds, which provide proceeds that are used to fund low and moderate income multifamily developments and single family lending programs.  My professional background has been a good fit for the Board due to Project Renewal’s involvement in developing new homeless shelters and supportive housing developments.  I currently serve on the Board’s Real Estate and Audit Committees.           

I encourage anyone who is interested in Project Renewal to reach out to Board members or staff to become involved.  After you have taken a tour of Third Street or any of Project Renewal’s other facilities I would love to hear your thoughts.

Ft. Washington's newest piece of fine art

The Medical Clinic at the Ft. Washington Men’s Shelter has a new piece of fine art! Volunteer artist Katie Reidy, a student at the noted art school Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) painted a mural depicting an optimistic city scape with the words: The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love, 1963 Katie Reidy Bio: I was born and raised on Long Island in a little town called Brentwood. I currently live happily in Yonkers. It’s got a lot more beauty that people just don’t give it credit for. As far as my art career is concerned, I feel I’ve only just begun. I did art as a student in High School, and enjoyed dabbling, but never took it serious until my dad told me I was accepted to SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design). I was threatened and inspired by the skills many of those students had that I simply did not. I couldn’t (can now!) draw a tree and make it look real like they could, or an apple, or a metallic surface. But what I had was my unique style and years of drawing out graffiti style behind me. I decided that I wanted to go into a career where I can use that funky style. I got a BFA in computer arts to pursue that dream. While in school, I developed a program in which I teach children to draw graffiti style art using fine arts lingo intertwined. That class opened many doors for me. I was asked to develop a new mural for the town where I teach, which I did and received so much positive feedback. I was humbled by that but I also grew more confident in my work, and realized that the reason I like my job so much, is because my job is to make people feel good. I love painting to bring a smile to someones face. A student said to me “it’s just so nice that I always see you go out of your way no matter what, just to make people happy…” it was wonderful to hear but I replied “I don’t know how much I am going out of my way, since that has always been the direction I was looking to go…” I think art should be done to make the world better, and that is my goal. 

The Medical Clinic at the Ft. Washington Men’s Shelter has a new piece of fine art!

Volunteer artist Katie Reidy, a student at the noted art school Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) painted a mural depicting an optimistic city scape with the words:

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love, 1963

Katie Reidy Bio:

I was born and raised on Long Island in a little town called Brentwood. I currently live happily in Yonkers. It’s got a lot more beauty that people just don’t give it credit for. As far as my art career is concerned, I feel I’ve only just begun. I did art as a student in High School, and enjoyed dabbling, but never took it serious until my dad told me I was accepted to SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design). I was threatened and inspired by the skills many of those students had that I simply did not. I couldn’t (can now!) draw a tree and make it look real like they could, or an apple, or a metallic surface. But what I had was my unique style and years of drawing out graffiti style behind me.

I decided that I wanted to go into a career where I can use that funky style. I got a BFA in computer arts to pursue that dream. While in school, I developed a program in which I teach children to draw graffiti style art using fine arts lingo intertwined. That class opened many doors for me. I was asked to develop a new mural for the town where I teach, which I did and received so much positive feedback. I was humbled by that but I also grew more confident in my work, and realized that the reason I like my job so much, is because my job is to make people feel good. I love painting to bring a smile to someones face.

A student said to me “it’s just so nice that I always see you go out of your way no matter what, just to make people happy…” it was wonderful to hear but I replied “I don’t know how much I am going out of my way, since that has always been the direction I was looking to go…” I think art should be done to make the world better, and that is my goal. 

News: Our 22nd Annual Gala Benefit and Auction raises over $760,000

Thank you SO much to all of our wonderful Trustees, staff, volunteers, and supporters who made our 22nd Annual Gala Benefit and Auction a great success!

We raised over $760,000 to help homeless New Yorkers find health, homes, and jobs—bringing them so much further on their journey towards a new life. The Bowery Hotel was buzzing with our guests until late in the night, and the bidding was lively on both silent and live auction items.

A special thanks to our Host Ed Helms, Gala Chair Pamela Bell, MC Erika Tarantal, Auctioneer Hugh Hildesley, and Special Guest Patrick Lee.

Check out coverage of the event on Guest of a Guest and Local Bozo, and all of our great photos on Facebook!

Project Renewal ScanVan Patient Gives Back

ScanVan patient KS Stevens is giving back! Check out the premiere June 6th of BIG EXCELLENT 20TH REUNION with a Reception at 6:30 P.M. and the show at 8pm. Stevens is encouraging audience members to Project Renewal and similar charities.

At Theatre 80 (80 Saint Marks Place, between 1st and 2nd Avenues). The show runs for a 3-Week-Limited-Engagement—more info here:

http://www.ksstevens.com/be20r.html

Help: Have a new or used cookbook? Donate now to help formerly homeless New Yorker's learn to cook!

101/365: Old faithful

Imagine never having a fridge…you could only buy enough food for the day and you couldn’t plan a menu, let alone cook!

Many of our clients face this reality.

Across our programs Project Renewal needs new or used cookbooks. In our Culinary Arts Training Program students depend on cookbooks to hone their craft and residents in our transitional housing apartments use them to learn to cook for the first time. Be a part of their new life!

Please drop of cookbooks at Project Renewal’s Headquarters in TriBeCa at 200 Varick 9th Fl. New York, NY 10014 or mail to:

Project Renewal

c/o Joanna Stanberry

200 Varick 9th Fl.

New York, NY 10014 

photo courtesy of SaraSphar via Flickr

Free Mammograms on Staten Island this Sunday

Women (both insured and uninsured) who have not received a mammogram in the last year and are over age 40 can receive a free mammogram this Sunday on Staten Island. The van will be located outside Assemblyman Michael Cusick’s office at 1911 Richmond Ave., Bulls Head, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call 800-564-6868.

The mobile radiology clinic will feature mammographies and clinical breast exams as well as instruction on breast self-examination. Additionally this program provides no cost follow up diagnostic services for an abnormal finding and treatment should a cancer be found. Insured women can also be screened using their insurance and no other out of pocket expense( ie co-pay or deductable) If you want more information on this program call 718-226-6447.

Please note that an appointment is needed. For availability at other times and in other boroughs please check Project Renewal’s ScanVan site here.

Donate Items to our Silent Auction!

Auction Wishlist:

  • Airline tickets
  • Resort/Vacation home stays – specifically Napa Valley or Caribbean
  • NYC Sporting tickets – specifically Yankees, Giants, Jets
  • Golf outings
  • Spa services – massages, facials, mani/pedi
  • Women’s accessories – fine jewelry, designer handbags
  • Personal Yoga, pilates, fitness trainer
  • Tickets to MB Fashion week
  • Gift certificate to upscale NYC restaurants
  • Wine
  • Electronics – specifically iPads/iPods
  • Unique NYC experiences  

Check out our Gala site here to buy tickets, donate items, and view auction items!

OR email media[at]projectrenewal[dot]org or mail to:

Nicole Scanlin

c/o Project Renewal

200 Varick St 9th Fl

New York, NY 10014