Reaching Out to Schuyler Inn's Homeless Families
Sometimes, we need help to “make ends meet.” Many of us live paycheck to paycheck and unexpected circumstances can lead to major problems. We work with the Schuyler Inn to assist families who are working to get their lives back in order.
The Schuyler Inn is an emergency housing shelter. Many of these families are facing extreme financial difficulties. Often they arrive at Schuyler only with the clothes that they are wearing.
Westminster volunteers are needed to help improve the lives of homeless families and children living at Schuyler Inn in Menands. This former motel, owned by Peter Young Housing, Industries and Treatment (PYHIT), has a contract with Albany County to serve homeless families and follow them after they are placed in permanent housing.
In addition to the Schuyler staff, we also partner with Grassroot Givers.
“Grassroot Givers makes the connection between the needs in our community and those who have resources to share. Our focus is to always give with dignity, to empower individuals and families who are trying to improve their lives.”
They are a wonderful organization who helps to coordinate donations. You can find out how to donate all sorts of household items or even a monetary donation on the Grassroot Givers Donate Page.
There are many ways you can help. What works for you?
Run several annual social events designed to strengthen family ties
Operate Kid's Club three afternoons a week for children ages 5 - 12
Are you available to purchase and deliver items needed by the Schuyler Closet? Join the list of coordinators (one per month) willing to purchase and deliver items needed by the Schuyler Closet. The Closet operates out of Kid's Club at Schuyler three days a week, providing health and hygiene necessities to residents. Coordinators are asked to acquire new items requested each month for the Closet and deliver them directly to Kid's Club.
Work with Schuyler staff and Grassroot Givers to prepare families moving into permanent housing to set up housekeeping quickly
Help with communicating needs Circulate Grassroot Givers lists for gently used items requested by Schuyler families moving into permanent housing. In the last 6 months, Grassroot Givers have provided boxes for 30 families. You can find what is needed here: Grassroot Givers Donate Page.
Enable families set up housekeeping quickly.
Equip families as they move into permanent housing so they can prepare a meal with ingredients obtained at a Food Pantry.
Help families save money for rent and utilities.
Prepare to go to work or to school.
When you make donations, please state that they are for homeless families moving out of Schuyler Inn.
To sign up as a Schuyler Inn volunteer, contact the Church office -- firstname.lastname@example.org or (518) 436-8544.
Lois Wilson has been a Westminster volunteer since she retired from State Government in 1997 and decided to focus on projects and activities affecting individuals. Since 2005, she has been the convener for a Community Coalition serving homeless families at Schuyler Inn. She has been an active co-chair of Westminster's African Ministries Committee since 2001, helping with Church mission trips to Ghana and Liberia and liaison with groups representing West African immigrants. She has been recently been talking about ways to transform the lives of individual children in Albany and in Africa. Lois also volunteers for the Capital District Senior Issues Forum and the Zonta Club of Albany.