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.