Celebrating Culinary Arts Training Program Graduates

New York State Senator Brian Kavanagh celebrates with our Culinary Arts Training Program graduates

New York State Senator Brian Kavanagh celebrates with our Culinary Arts Training Program graduates

Our six-month Culinary Arts Training Program (CATP) has prepared over 1,300 low-income or formerly homeless New Yorkers for careers in the food service industry since it launched over two decades ago. The newest cohort of graduates recently celebrated their completion of the program and their future culinary endeavors.

New York State Senator Brian Kavanagh attended the celebration and addressed the graduates, encouraging them to keep working towards their goals. He applauded CATP, telling news outlet Patch, “I do think that the state ought to look at programs like this as a model... Its success speaks for itself.’”

Like every class before them, the graduates learned cooking theory and food preparation in a teaching kitchen, and then gained on-the-job experience through internships at local restaurants and corporate dining services.  

Graduate Juan Berrios of Williamsburg has already earned a full-time job at his internship site, the popular Chelsea restaurant Cookshop. "Just the way that I learned and seeing the process was more than enough for me to know that this is not just a program I want to be in, but this is the career that I want to advance,” Juan told news outlet Patch, which covered the ceremony. 

Juan is among over 80% of graduates who have been placed in jobs since 1996, making the CATP twice as successful as similar programs. 

Congratulations to all! 

Sheila finds hope

Nearly two decades ago, Project Renewal helped Sheila overcome long-term substance use disorder and move out of shelter and into our Geffner House supportive housing residence, where she has lived stably ever since. However, two years ago, our staff noticed that Sheila, now in her sixties, was becoming increasingly isolated due to physical health concerns.

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That’s when we enrolled Sheila in Helping Older People Engage (HOPE) – our innovative occupational therapy-based program that helps seniors age with independence and dignity. Through HOPE, our occupational therapists implement a wide range of interventions to support residents, including escorts to medical appointments, home modifications, group sessions, and community outings.

For Sheila, the program has been transformational. HOPE staff installed grab bars in her apartment to help her with mobility and connected her with nutrition services. Most significantly, Sheila is engaged with her community again, participating in group activities like music and chair yoga.

Sheila says, “HOPE really brings people together. It has given me things to look forward to and made me appreciate life more.”

HOPE was established in 2017 and is partially funded by a generous grant from the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation.

Healthy smiles renew lives

Project Renewal’s Fort Washington Men’s shelter operates one of the nation’s few shelter-based dental clinics. It’s a vital service for our patients, who come to the clinic from Project Renewal shelters and programs, as well as through referrals from other organizations.

Good dental care can be a big step for people on the path to renewal. “The restoration of our patients’ teeth has a profound effect on their confidence and psychological well-being, especially since many of them are already coping with mental illness,” Dr. Mark Schufman, DDS says. Dr. Schufman is Project Renewal’s dental department director and his view of his job is different than most dentists. “My goal is to get patients ready for job and housing interviews,” he says.


Poor oral health can erode the confidence of people experiencing homelessness and impact their ability to secure employment or a home. Our clinic provides free cleanings, x-rays, and dentures to homeless and at-risk adults, like Barbara, a patient at our mobile medical vans who was referred to the clinic. Barbara, who was formerly homeless, endured the most strenuous times during the last recession. Her oral health deteriorated and she struggled to chew food. “Dr. Schufman was able to repair my teeth,” recalls Barbara, who has continued coming to our clinic for regular check-ups. “I can eat thanks to him. What he does is crisis intervention.” “It’s moving to see patients overwhelmed with joy when they first see themselves after replacing their teeth,” says Dr. Schufman.

Bringing health care to the streets

Peter has lived on the streets of Manhattan for most of the last 30 years. The stress of his chronic homelessness has taken its toll on his body, causing him to suffer from diabetes, adrenaline tremors, cataracts, glaucoma, and a bone infection in his foot.


As someone who leads a busy and fulfilling life advocating for causes important to people experiencing homelessness, Peter needs his health care to meet him where he is. Thanks to Project Renewal’s mobile medical vans, Peter gets the health care he needs.

Peter first heard about Project Renewal in 2009 when our psychiatric outreach team visited a drop-in shelter where he worked. Two years later, when he lost his job and became homeless again, he began visiting our mobile medical units. Now he visits once a month for check-ups, medication, supplies, and referrals to specialists, like our shelter-based dentist.

“A lot of homeless people don’t trust hospitals,” Peter explains. “Project Renewal is different. They treat you with dignity, like a human being. I recommend it to people all the time.”

Our vans meet patients like Peter in their community where they are and in many cases on the streets. The Project Renewal mobile medical units serve 14 locations across Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx, outside shelters, churches and community centers. Last year 3,547 adults received care on our vans, making Project Renewal the largest provider of mobile medical services to homeless New Yorkers. We provide care irrespective of the patient’s ability to pay, and we offer all of our uninsured patients assistance with the enrollment process.

As a member of our patient advisory board, Peter is also helping to make our mobile medical units better. The board meets with our staff monthly, to give feedback and ensure that we are adapting to our patients’ evolving needs.

While Peter continues helping other homeless New Yorkers access health care and housing, he hopes to move into a permanent home soon too. “I’m grateful to Project Renewal for helping me be in a position with my health where I can think about my future,” he says.

Project Renewal Raises Over $1.6 Million for Homeless Services at Annual Benefit + Auction

Project Renewal raised over $1.6 million at its 29th Annual Benefit + Auction on June 4 at Pier Sixty.

This year’s benefit celebrated Project Renewal’s signature workplace development programs, including its Culinary Arts Training Program—which trains low-income and formerly homeless adults for careers in the culinary industry—and Next Step, a comprehensive job assistance program that works individually with clients to remove barriers to employment.


Jonathan F.P. Rose, President and Founder of Jonathan Rose Companies, was honored at the event for his real estate firm’s innovative work in green affordable and mixed-income housing, including partnering with Project Renewal to develop Bedford Green House. Opening later this year in the Bronx, Bedford Green House, will provide 234 apartments, support services, and wellness amenities—including a rooftop aquaponics greenhouse—to low-income residents and families leaving shelter. 

Attendees heard from Diana Perez, a former Next Step client who now works as a supervisor at Marsha’s House, Project Renewal’s shelter for LGBTQ+ young adults experiencing homelessness. “Thanks to this organization, not only do I have a job, but I have financial stability and a career path,” said Diana. “For the first time since I was a child, I am optimistic about the future and I look forward to every new day.” Her inspiring story was featured in this video at the event.

Over 800 guests attended the event, enjoying cocktails, dinner, and a live auction, presented by Lydia Fenet, Managing Director and Global Director of Strategic Partnerships at Christie’s.

“We are deeply grateful to everyone who came tonight for supporting Project Renewal’s mission and making this night a tremendous success. The generosity of our donors, board members, and volunteers will help us to continue expanding our comprehensive services for homeless New Yorkers, including the innovative workforce development programs we celebrated tonight," said Project Renewal President & CEO Eric Rosenbaum.

Honoree Jonathan F.P. Rose

Honoree Jonathan F.P. Rose

The benefit co-chairs were Anita Friedman Berman, Russell Berman, Jenny Sharfstein Kane, and Andrew Kane. Many organizations generously sponsored the evening, including Morgan Stanley, Hollister Construction Services, Jonathan Rose Companies, Sera Security Services, Helm Equities, Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel, Architects, DPC, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Bank of America, MetroPlus, and GFP Real Estate.

Culinary training gives New Yorkers job skills—and hope for the future

For New Yorkers who have been homeless, have a criminal justice history, or who do not have a diploma, securing a well-paying job can feel daunting, if not impossible.

Through a range of workforce development program, Project Renewal helps individuals experiencing these challenges to obtain the jobs they need in order to achieve economic security and live independently.

One such program is our six-month Culinary Arts Training Program (CATP), which prepares over 200 New Yorkers for careers in the food service industry each year. Students in the program learn cooking theory and food preparation in a teaching kitchen, and then gain on-the-job experience through internships at local restaurants, like Del Posto and CookShop, and corporate dining services. Participants’ hard work pays off—over 80% of graduates have been placed in jobs since 1996, making the CATP twice as successful as similar programs.


The program is life-changing for participants like Kristina, a mother of three who once lived in a shelter and is now interning in the kitchen at Morgan Stanley. “With my internship and my new skills, I am more determined than ever to succeed,” she says. “To hear my three children say that they are proud of me brings me great joy—and it motivates me even more.” You can read an op-ed she penned about her story and CATP here.

Project Renewal selected to be part of Collaborative for Homeless Healthcare

Project Renewal is honored to have been selected by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to join its Collaborative for Homeless Healthcare.

Thanks to generous support from the Trust, Project Renewal will work with the New York City Department of Homeless Services, Care For the Homeless, and the Center for Urban Community Services to address the unique health needs of homeless New Yorkers over the next three years. The Collaborative will bolster connections between shelters, hospitals, and health social services; strengthen New York City’s homeless medical care system; and improve patients’ stability and well-being.

Helmsley announced the Collaborative via the following press release:

Collaborative Launches to Address Health Needs of New Yorkers Experiencing Homelessness

Helmsley Charitable Trust supporting NYC’s leading providers to improve the homeless healthcare system

(New York, NY) – January 28, 2019 –Today, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust announces the launch of the Collaborative for Homeless Healthcare, a new coalition of healthcare providers serving New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. The NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and three leading healthcare providers who have an exclusive focus on homeless patients – Care for the Homeless, the Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS), and Project Renewal – will work together to better address the unique needs of people experiencing homelessness in New York City.   

In New York City, limited information-sharing and coordination makes continuity of care for homeless patients difficult. As a mobile population, patients travel among shelters, hospitals, and health social service providers that are not connected to each other. Over the next three years, the Collaborative will direct Helmsley resources to develop solutions to close this gap, build pathways to strengthen New York City’s homeless healthcare system, and improve patients’ health stability and well-being.

“Rooted in New York City, Helmsley is committed to helping our neighbors live healthier lives and   addressing systemic challenges is a priority for homeless New Yorkers,” said Tracy Perrizo, Program Officer at the Helmsley Charitable Trust. “There is tremendous energy, experience, and unflagging commitment among these healthcare providers. This collaboration is poised to transform the homeless healthcare system and ensure better health outcomes for all who use it.”

For the roughly 60,000 New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and residing in NYCDHS shelters on any given night, health issues often lead to or prolong their housing instability. At the same time, individuals experiencing homelessness are among the highest users of healthcare services in the city.

Using shared metrics and goals, the Collaborative will develop new solutions to improve care coordination and implement upgrades that aim to benefit healthcare providers, DHS, and most importantly, the people they serve.


“Project Renewal is thrilled to be part of the Collaborative for Homeless Healthcare’s vital mission to improve the healthcare system for homeless New Yorkers. Each year, through substance use disorder treatment programs, medical clinics and mobile vans, and psychiatric services, Project Renewal provides healthcare to nearly 13,000 people who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless,” said Jody Rudin, COO of Project Renewal. “We look forward to working with our tremendous partners to provide coordinated, high-quality care that will bring wellness and stability to the lives of our patients and to all”

You can read the full press release here and The Wall Street Journal’s coverage of the Collaborative here.

Project Renewal raises $200,000 to support immigrants and other New Yorkers facing homelessness

Our supporters and Board of Trustees stepped up to make our 2018 end-of-year campaign a success—we have reached our goal of raising $200,000 for immigrants this holiday season! The funds raised will enable us to continue providing immigrants and other New Yorkers facing homelessness with comprehensive and innovative health care, housing, and employment services.


Immigrants are a vital part of New York City’s culture and economy. Yet due to factors like language barriers, stigma, and fear of accessing services, foreign-born New Yorkers can face healthcare, housing, and employment challenges.

For example, two-thirds of healthcare providers report a reluctance among immigrant patients to seek medical care due to fear of deportation and stigma. Nearly one third of immigrant workers earn less than $25,000 a year, and immigrants are three times more likely to live in overcrowded conditions than native-born New Yorkers.

The funding, which includes a $30,000 match from our generous Board of Trustees, will help Project Renewal address these obstacles and change lives. The success of the campaign shows that New York values diversity and inclusivity.

Project Renewal's Executive Team and Board of Trustees bake cookies to show appreciation during the holidays

The Project Renewal Executive Team and Board of Trustees came together and baked cookies for delivery to staff at every Project Renewal location, under the supervision of our talented chefs at City Beet Kitchens.

In all, the team baked 55 packages of cookies in assorted flavors, one for each shift at every Project Renewal site. They also wrote holiday cards, sending well-wishes for the season.


These baked treats are a small gesture of gratitude for our staff’s dedication. Our 900 staff members work tirelessly to provide the best healthcare, housing, and employment services for New Yorkers facing homelessness.

Project Renewal to operate one of City’s first health diversion centers

Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that Project Renewal will operate one of the City’s first diversion centers. Project Renewal is honored to use this new model of care to intervene with individuals who are in crisis through intensive engagement and support services. We look forward to helping guests at the diversion center achieve stability and get on the path to renewal.

The City announced the diversion center locations via the following press release:

De Blasio Administration Announces Locations of Two Planned City Health Diversion Centers

Centers will provide police officers with alternatives to arrests and hospitalization for people with mental health needs who do not pose a risk to public safety

NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray today announced two vendors have signed leases to open the City’s first two drop-off diversion centers, a significant first step towards opening the centers. Health diversion centers will offer short-term, stabilizing services for individuals with mental health and substance use needs, giving police officers a much-needed alternative to arrest or hospitalization.

The centers will be operated by Samaritan Daytop Village, at 3000 White Plains Road in the Bronx, and Project Renewal, at 179 East 116th Street in East Harlem. Each center will serve up to 25 people at a time; the City expects diversion centers to be open by late 2019.


“Project Renewal is honored to operate one of the City’s first diversion centers and use this new model of care to intervene with individuals who are in crisis through intensive engagement and support services,” said Eric Rosenbaum, President & CEO of Project Renewal. “For 52 years, Project Renewal has been an innovator in developing services to help New Yorkers overcome homelessness, mental health challenges, and substance use disorders. We are eager to use our vast expertise to help guests at the diversion center achieve stability and get on the path to renewal. We look forward to working with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the New York City Police Department, and our community partners in East Harlem on this innovative program.”

You can read the full press release here.

Project Renewal launches campaign to help immigrant New Yorkers this holiday season

This holiday season, Project Renewal has launched a fundraising campaign to support immigrant New Yorkers through our health care, housing, and employment programs.

The metaphor of the New York City melting pot resonates for a reason—immigrants are a vital part of our city’s culture and economy, making up nearly 40% of the population. Yet due to factors like language barriers, stigma, and fear of accessing services, foreign-born New Yorkers are vulnerable to health, housing, and employment challenges. Harmful policies and toxic rhetoric are only compounding these issues.


This year, two-thirds of health care providers reported a reluctance among immigrant patients to seek medical care due to fear of deportation and stigma. Immigrants with mental health concerns are also far less likely to get treatment than people born in the U.S.

Housing can also be an issue for immigrants. Foreign-born New Yorkers are three times more likely to live in overcrowded conditions than native-born New Yorkers. Crowded conditions correlate with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and respiratory problems.

And despite driving key areas of the New York City economy, nearly one third of immigrant workers earn less than $25,000 a year.

Project Renewal provides hope to immigrants through all of our innovative programs. We will be sharing a few of their inspiring stories throughout the campaign, and your support will ensure we can continue delivering life-changing services to vulnerable New Yorkers like them.

Our generous Board of Trustees is matching the first $25,000 raised between now and #GivingTuesday on November 27, 2018.

Celebrate our city’s diversity and inclusivity by supporting immigrant New Yorkers.

Learn more and donate to the campaign here.

Luis’ Road to Recovery

Luis’ family immigrated from Mexico City to America in search of economic prosperity.

In 1978, they moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn—a very different neighborhood than it is today. “It was a rough part of town back then,” Luis remembers. “There was a lot of racism and we spoke Spanish, so I was a target and was involved in a lot of fights.”


Struggling to fit in, Luis started drinking as a teenager and dropped out of school. He got married, had a daughter, and worked a variety of jobs. But throughout his adult life, alcohol addiction continued to limit his success and even led to two arrests.

He tried several rehab programs, but he never thought he would find one that could help him establish long-term sobriety—until he came to Project Renewal’s Recovery Center, an outpatient clinic for people struggling with substance use disorder.

“Project Renewal’s program is really working,” says Luis, who has been in the Recovery Center for four months. “They get to know you and they really care.”

Our staff has diagnosed Luis with anxiety and depression and is providing him with medication and counselling, in both one-on-one and group settings.

Now, he’s optimistic for the future. “I want to get my GED and become a real estate agent,” he says. “I can focus on those goals, now that I’m taking care of my health.”

Immigrants with mental health and substance use issues are far less likely to get treatment than people born in the U.S. who have the same issues. Unfortunately, due to hateful rhetoric and harmful policy proposals, immigrants are increasingly afraid of accessing services. To support the Recovery Center and other Project Renewal programs that help vulnerable immigrants, click HERE.

Abraham Saved from the Brink of Homelessness

Abraham fled Ethiopia, escaping from a government that imprisoned his fellow students. Granted political asylum in America, and thankful for his newfound freedoms, he forged a career with a refugee relief organization.


“America is a great country,” says Abraham, who lived in New Jersey for one year before moving to Queens.

Later in life, Abraham developed a chronic illness and dementia. With no family to turn to for help, he was on the brink of homelessness. But Project Renewal was there for him.

Abraham has lived stably in Project Renewal’s Geffner House supportive housing development in Midtown Manhattan for six years. Our dedicated staff ensures he takes his medication, goes to appointments with doctors, and stays engaged with the Geffner House community through social activities. They also help him with financial management to ensure his rent is paid and he has spending money each month.

“I almost died, but the staff here at Geffner House helped me get my health back,” Abraham recalls. “Project Renewal takes care of me like family.”

Two-thirds of health care providers report a reluctance among immigrant patients to seek medical care due to fear of deportation and stigma. Unfortunately, due to hateful rhetoric and harmful policy proposals, immigrants are increasingly afraid of accessing services. That’s why it’s crucial that immigrants with mental health needs have access to supportive housing, like Geffner House. To support Geffner House and other Project Renewal programs that help vulnerable immigrants, click HERE.

Jhojans’ Culinary Career Path

Jhojans immigrated with his family from Colombia. “We came to America for a better future,” he says.

His family assimilated into their new community, volunteering at their church and local soup kitchen. But they struggled too. Jhojans’ pursuit of the American dream was derailed by a substance use disorder and mental illness.

After an ankle injury, Jhojans became addicted to pain medication and started using heroin. His marriage fell apart and he was unable to maintain a job. He tried rehab many times, but his recoveries were short-lived.

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Jhojans finally found lasting sobriety in a therapeutic community in Brooklyn, but to truly get his life back on track, he knew he needed a career path. That’s when he came to Project Renewal’s Culinary Arts Training Program (CATP).

Today, Jhojans is thriving in CATP, which prepares unemployed, homeless, and at-risk New Yorkers for careers in the culinary industry. Through classroom training, internships, and employment services, the program places 80% of graduates in jobs—nearly twice the national average for similar programs.

With newfound confidence and progress toward a career, Jhojans obtained his GED and has been sober for a full year for the first time in decades. He will soon begin his CATP internship at the dining facility of a New York City law firm.

“I love making people smile with my food. It gives me so much joy,” says Jhojans.

Nearly a third of immigrant worker earn less than $25,000 a year, which is why it’s crucial that immigrants have access to programs like CATP, whose graduates earn a starting wage of $13.50 per hour. Unfortunately, due to hateful rhetoric and harmful policy proposals, immigrants are increasingly afraid of accessing services. To support CATP and other Project Renewal programs that help vulnerable immigrants, click HERE.

Project Renewal Unveils All-New ScanVan Mobile Mammography Clinic During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Project Renewal, a nonprofit that works to end the cycle of homelessness through health, homes, and jobs, unveiled its new, 40-foot, state-of-the-art ScanVan mobile mammography clinic in October.

The Project Renewal ScanVan program is the first of its kind in the nation. Each year it provides free mammograms, clinical breast exams, and care coordination to more than 4,000 underserved women at sites throughout all five boroughs and Long Island. Patients with abnormal findings are contacted by patient navigators who arrange follow-up appointments at partner hospitals, radiology offices and breast centers at little or no cost to patients. Navigators work with hospital-based case workers to ensure a seamless transition from our screening program to a hospital-based treatment program.  


After 13 years on the road, the old ScanVan was breaking down, limiting the team’s ability to reliably reach patients. The new $625,000 Project Renewal ScanVan was designed to withstand the wear and tear of city traffic and a busy schedule of more than 300 annual events.

Project Renewal staff and supporters braved the rain to celebrate the new ScanVan

Project Renewal staff and supporters braved the rain to celebrate the new ScanVan

“We are looking forward to providing life-saving breast cancer screening exams and breast health education in a modern, comfortable coach throughout New York City,” says Mary Solomon, Director of the Project Renewal ScanVan. “We are grateful to the individual, corporate, government, and foundation supporters who make this program possible.”

The new Project Renewal ScanVan includes cutting-edge, Hologic full field digital mammography equipment, which will provide hospital-quality screenings to uninsured, under-insured and low-income women. The new van’s interior features a larger waiting area, a mammography room, and a clinic breast exam room.


Mary Solomon has first-hand experience with the importance of early detection of breast cancer. Her grandmother was diagnosed in 1982, and the early detection of her grandmother’s disease inspired her mother to launch a mobile mammography clinic, Women’s Outreach Network, in 1986. Mary ran the program with her mother until they encountered financial challenges in 2007, and Project Renewal stepped in to help. The program was seamlessly incorporated into Project Renewal’s fleet of mobile medical vans.

The Project Renewal ScanVan partners with more than 200 community-based organizations that help to arrange screening events in low income communities.


Supporters of the new Project Renewal ScanVan and program operations include The Breast Treatment Task Force, Betty Johnson, Fidelis Care, Henry Schein, Inc., Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert, New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, New York City Council Member Brad Lander, New York Council Member Steve Levin, New York City Council Member Ritchie Torres, New York State Cancer Services Program, New York State Department of Health, New York State Senator Boyle, New York State Senator Lanza, RAR Foundation, Richmond County Savings Foundation, The Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust, Sandra Atlas Bass & Edythe & Sol G. Atlas Fund, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure Greater NYC.

ScanVan Helps Naomi Fight Breast Cancer

When Naomi, 41, found a lump in her breast this spring, she knew she needed to get it checked out. She didn’t have insurance, so her doctor advised she go to the ScanVan, where we provide comprehensive screenings and treatment referrals for communities in need, including uninsured, poorly insured, immigrant, homeless, and low-income women.

The day after her mammogram, Naomi received a call from the ScanVan—the lump was malignant. The diagnosis is frightening, but Naomi is thankful it was caught in its early stages. “If it weren’t for the ScanVan, I would have waited to get a mammogram,” says Naomi. “The van changed my life.”


Today, Naomi is bravely confronting the physical and emotional effects of breast cancer. She is grateful for the ScanVan team’s compassion, and for swiftly helping her access the best treatment. “They helped me navigate Medicaid and figure out who to call to push the process forward,” recalls Naomi. “Project Renewal and the ScanVan connected me to amazing doctors who are helping me fight this.”

“Our staff takes pride in helping patients through complicated and overwhelming systems, taking some burden off of the women we serve during a very stressful time in their lives,” says Mary Solomon. “We are so glad we were able to connect Naomi to a great team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.”

Project Renewal Names Eric Rosenbaum Chief Executive Officer

Eric Rosenbaum has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of Project Renewal, a leading New York City homeless services nonprofit agency. Eric brings to the role a wealth of experience in homeless services and organizational management. He will begin his tenure on October 2, 2018.

“We are thrilled to have Eric join our extraordinary management team and our remarkable staff. Project Renewal is experiencing unprecedented growth as the demand for smart, humane services for the homeless continues to build. Eric’s experience and passion for our mission of ending homelessness will ensure we continue on our trajectory of creating and expanding innovative health, homes and jobs programs for those who are homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless,” said Claudia Rosen, Chair, Project Renewal Board of Trustees.

Most recently, Mr. Rosenbaum served as Chief Executive Officer of Lantern, a nonprofit that works with formerly homeless individuals and those at risk of homelessness. He also served as Chief Operating Officer of Win, Inc., a provider of family homeless shelters and family supportive housing. Mr. Rosenbaum serves on several boards, including Homeless Services United, the umbrella organization that represents the city’s homeless services organizations. In addition to his nonprofit experience, he has over two decades of experience in corporate management, working for companies such as Colgate-Palmolive. He earned an MS in Public Health and an MBA from UNC Chapel Hill, and a BA in biology from UCLA. 

“I am excited to join the Project Renewal team and be part of this visionary organization,” said Eric Rosenbaum. “The impact Project Renewal is having on New York’s homeless community is unparalleled, and I am looking forward to doing even more to help individuals and families renew their lives and reclaim hope.”

Project Renewal, which was founded over 50 years ago, is rapidly expanding as the demand for innovative solutions to the homeless crisis continues to grow. In the coming year, it will open the city’s first diversion center, which will provide the police with an alternative to sending individuals experiencing acute mental health and substance use disorder issues to jail; launch a tele-psychiatry unit to make mental healthcare more accessible; roll out a new ScanVan, which provides mammograms and follow-up care coordination to un- and under-insured women across the city; open Bedford Green House, the organization’s fifth and most innovative supportive housing development; and develop a specialized shelter for 200 men in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

These new initiatives are part of Project Renewal’s strategy to better address single adult and family homelessness in New York City. Each year, Project Renewal serves approximately 16,000 individuals across seven shelters, eight transitional and permanent supportive housing developments, and scattered-site permanent supportive housing;  jobs programs; and shelter-based medical, mobile medical, psychiatric, detox, dental and mobile mammography programs.

Mr. Rosenbaum will join a management team led by Chief Operating Officer Jody Rudin, who served as interim President and Chief Executive Officer and advanced numerous strategic initiatives during the year; Stephanie Cowles, Deputy Director for Substance Use Disorder Services; Susan Dan, Deputy Director for Mental Health Services; Steven Jones, Chief Financial Officer; and Allison Grolnick, MD, Chief Medical Officer. Collectively, they have served Project Renewal for 104 years.

Project Renewal selected as part of team to transform Greenpoint Hospital campus into housing

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) selected Project Renewal as part of a team that will transform the historic Greenpoint Hospital, which has been closed since 1982, into a mixed-use development. Our new Greenpoint Men’s Shelter will be part of the larger, holistic redevelopment of the historic Greenpoint Hospital campus that will also feature more than 500 homes for seniors and low-income New Yorkers. The shelter will provide 200 men with vocational training and job placements, and other targeted services to help them get back on their feet and into permanent homes.

HPD announced the development via the following press release:


Shuttered since 1982, the revamped Greenpoint Hospital campus will include over 500 new homes for seniors, extremely low, and low income New Yorkers and a shelter

NEW YORK, NY – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer announces the City has selected a team to lead the transformation of the historic Greenpoint Hospital site into a new mixed-use development that will feature approximately 512 units of affordable housing and a new building for an existing shelter to serve 200 New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. St. Nicks Alliance, a prominent local community development corporation, and The Hudson Companies Incorporated will lead the development of this project in partnership with Project Renewal, a nonprofit organization that works with homeless New Yorkers.

The development team successfully responded to the Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) that was created through HPD’s community visioning workshop series in 2015. The RFEI sought proposals for the design, construction, and management of a high quality, sustainable, mixed-use, mixed-income project for the approximately 3.4-acre site in the Greenpoint-Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.


Located at 288 Jackson Street in Brooklyn, the 146,100 square foot development site will include two newly constructed multifamily buildings with over 400 homes affordable to extremely-low, very-low and low-income households with approximately 21,500 square feet of community space that will provide a café, workforce development center, and community center for residents and the surrounding community. The development team will also be converting two historic buildings on the site, one into over 100 affordable homes for seniors, and the other will house two more efficiently designed shelter programs that will more effectively meet homeless New Yorkers’ unique needs, in line with the Mayor’s Turning the Tide plan to transform the City’s emergency shelter system that was built up in a haphazard way over decades.

The holistic redevelopment plan includes a network of new open spaces that will connect the Greenpoint Hospital campus with the neighborhood. Magnusson Architecture and Planning and Architecture Outfit are leading the design of the redeveloped campus. This redevelopment represents a collaborative effort between HPD and the Department of Social Services to improve the community holistically, by expanding mixed-use opportunities for a range of New Yorkers. To that end, in all three residential buildings, 30 percent of the units will be set aside for homeless New Yorkers exiting shelter and getting back on their feet, totaling more than 150 homes that will help formerly homeless New Yorkers stabilize their lives at the Greenpoint Hospital site.

The project will be completed in two phases. The portion of the campus south of Skillman Avenue will be completed first, and includes the relocation of the existing 200-bed shelter into an existing building that will be rehabilitated and a new construction multifamily building with approximately 267 units on the vacant land. The second phase includes the adaptive reuse of the main hospital building into approximately 109 units of senior housing and the new construction of a multifamily building with about 136 units in place of the demolished hospital boiler building.

The Greenpoint Hospital campus’ original six buildings were opened in 1915 to serve potential accident victims from nearby factories and warehouses. The campus was expanded in the 1930s though President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, adding two buildings to the site. All eight of the site’s buildings were constructed in the Renaissance Revival style. While the hospital was officially shuttered in 1982, one building was converted into the Barbara S. Kleinman Residence which now serves New Yorkers experiencing homelessness as they get back on their feet. . Four auxiliary buildings were redeveloped as affordable housing in the 1990s and a fifth building was converted into the Greenpoint Renaissance Center in the 2000s.


“Project Renewal is thrilled to partner with Hudson Companies and St. Nicks Alliance on the innovative Greenpoint Hospital campus, a development that will bring much-needed housing stability and healthy living to families and seniors, as well as shelter and support services to homeless men,” said Jody Rudin, Interim President & CEO, Project Renewal. “Project Renewal has been helping New Yorkers renew their lives for more than 50 years. The homeless shelter at Cooper Park Commons will be our second shelter in Brooklyn and our eighth citywide. As we develop this shelter, we look forward to compassionately providing our new clients with the targeted services they need to break the cycle of homelessness.”

Project Renewal Raises $1.5 Million for Homeless Services at Annual Benefit + Auction

Project Renewal raised $1.5 million at its 28th Annual Benefit + Auction on June 7 at Spring Studios.

At the event, Project Renewal honored Eric Enderlin, President of New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), for his accomplished career in public policy and affordable housing for over 20 years, including his current leadership in furthering Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious plan to create or preserve 300,000 units of affordable housing.


Nearly 600 guests enjoyed cocktails, dinner, and a live auction, while celebrating Project Renewal’s new Bronx supportive and affordable housing development, Bedford Green House. Slated to open in 2019, Bedford Green House will house 300 residents and help them overcome homelessness and poverty to lead healthy, stable, and fulfilled lives. Its unique amenities will include a rooftop aquaponics greenhouse, a living green façade, a community playground and children’s library, an on-site medical clinic for the community, and more.

“This inspiring event was about celebrating innovative solutions to ending homelessness,” said Project Renewal Interim President & CEO Jody Rudin. “We are extremely grateful for the generosity of our board members, donors and volunteers. Their support will enable us to help even more of our neighbors renew their lives and reclaim hope.”

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The event’s co-chairs were Marlene Zurack and Eli Shapiro. Many organizations generously sponsored the evening, including Morgan Stanley, Hollister Construction Services, Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel, Architects, DPC, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, The Johnson Company, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, The Brodsky Organization, Capital One, Delaware North Companies, Fisher Brothers, Guardian Life, ICON Interiors, Jonathan Rose Companies, J.T. Magen & Company, Lane Office, Northwell Health, Sera Security Services, SterlingRisk Insurance and White Hare Solutions.

Supporting Seniors Facing Homelessness

In 2016, Project Renewal was selected by the New York City Department of Homeless Services to operate the East Williamsburg Men’s Shelter— Brooklyn’s only shelter dedicated to serving single men age 55 and older.

Our staff helps clients, like Anthony, cope with substance use disorders and mental illness and, ultimately, find jobs and permanent homes. “As soon as I got here, things started opening up for me,” Anthony says, when describing his arrival at East Williamsburg.


Anthony’s outlook wasn’t always so positive. His life spiraled out of control when his wife of more than 30 years died. “Losing her made me sink into substance abuse,” he recalls. “I wanted to give up.”

Anthony lost his job as a mental hygiene therapist and did time at Rikers for a drug-related offense. Upon his release, he was sent to a homeless shelter that he feels was not responsive to his needs. He worried about relapsing, ending up back in jail, or worse.

Everything changed when he moved to East Williamsburg last year. Our occupational therapist, Patricia—who Anthony describes as “a rock”—helped him build life skills and accountability. Our vocational staff connected him to a Certified Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor certification program.

“I’m loving my classes,” he says. “I want to turn my negative experiences into a positive, by helping others who are going through the same thing.” In June, he will finish his coursework and begin an internship.

“There’s no drama at this shelter. They just want to help you get back on your feet,” Anthony says. “My goal is to get my own apartment, stand on my own, and live life on life’s terms.”