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Matt Urban Hope Center to Hold Annual Harvest for Hope Gathering | Community Spirit

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Matt Urban Hope Center to Hold Annual Harvest for Hope Gathering
Matt Urban Hope Center to Hold Annual Harvest for Hope Gathering

Harvest for Hope, an annual gathering benefitting the Matt Urban Hope Center, returns from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, at the Pearl Street Grill, 76 Pearl St., Buffalo. The event provides funding so the Hope Center can continue to provide crucial services for residents of the lower East Side of Buffalo who suffer from extreme poverty (45.9 percent of whom live below the poverty rate).

The Hope Center assists residents with securing benefits and services necessary to obtain and sustain safe, decent and affordable housing. The Hope Center provides a “one-stop shop” to help homeless and low-income families get back on their feet. It also includes the “Urban Diner” (in collaboration with Friends of the Night People), where free dinners are served restaurant-style, Monday through Friday evenings to community members in need.

Other services provided by the Hope Center include employment searches, financial wellness classes, budget mentors, computer classes (designed to enhance job marketability), benefit screening, free tax prep and an asset development program. In 2014, Hope Center expanded its services to include a permanent supportive housing facility for chronically homeless women called Hope Gardens, and a 50-bed emergency shelter for women and women with children called Hope House. 

With current economic conditions, the Hope Center’s services are needed now more than ever, yet funding for the program is scarce. It is for this reason they are looking for sponsors to support Harvest for Hope. There are four levels of sponsorship for the event: Ray of Hope Sponsor ($250), High Hopes Sponsor ($500), Eternal Hope Sponsor ($1,000) and Harvest for Hope Event Sponsor ($2,500). Current sponsors include High Hopes Sponsors BlueCross BlueShield of WNY, NFTA and Crowley Webb, as well as Ray of Hope Sponsors SelectOne and Lawley Insurance.

Your partnership with the Hope Center will enable staff to continue to provide essential services to our fellow community members. At this year’s event, the HopeGivers of 2015 will be honored for their generous support. The following awards will be given:

• Hope Garden Appreciation Award: Karen Carmen, for her leadership and dedication in seeing her vision of Hope Gardens become a reality.
• Hope House Appreciation Award: Imagine Community Gardens, for their work in transforming an empty lot into a beautiful oasis for women and their children of the Hope Gardens shelter to enjoy.
• Homeless Outreach Award: NFTA, Chief Gast, for his dedication and willingness to work with the Hope Center outreach team to ensure those living on the streets are provided with access to the services they need.
• Hope Center Appreciation Awards: Wegmans, for their employees’ assistance in transforming the Hope Center at this year’s United Way Day of Caring and for securing in-kind donations from their stores and vendors, and Leadership Buffalo for providing their support and awareness of the Hope Center’s services, fundraising, mentorship and leadership guidance.

Individual tickets to the event are $40 each. Checks may be made payable to “The Matt Urban Hope Center” and sent to the Matt Urban Hope Center, 385 Paderewski Drive, Buffalo, N.Y. 14212, Attn: Joyelle Tedeschi.

If you have any questions regarding the Hope Center or Harvest for Hope, please contact Joyelle Tedeschi, director, at 893-7222, ext. 302. 


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