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Schenectady Community Ministries eyes expansion

Schenectady Community Ministries eyes expansion

Schenectady Community Ministries eyes expansion
The Schenectady Community Ministries pantry on Albany Street in Schenectady is pictured.
Photographer: Marc Schultz

SCHENECTADY — Big changes are afoot at a local non-profit agency that serves some of the county’s most vulnerable residents.

The Schenectady Community Ministries, formerly known as the Schenectady Inner City Ministry, has announced plans to renovate two buildings housing their food shelf and community programming in the city’s Hamilton Hill neighborhood.

The goal is to develop a new campus by consolidating programs and staff currently housed elsewhere.  

The work slated for 837 and 839 Albany St. locations includes: 

  • A two-story addition at St. Joseph’s Place and Patty’s Place (837 Albany St.) to add a teaching kitchen, bathrooms and upstairs offices with handicapped entrance.
  • Replacement of the food pantry’s leaking roof and renovations designed to reconfigure intake and meeting space, as well as create an additional bathroom, storage and custodial areas. 
  • A new entrance at the food pantry for a separate entrance and exit.
  • New facades and landscaping for both buildings.
  • A “community-designed” mural crafted in partnership with the Hamilton Hill Art Center.
  • New traffic flow in the parking area.
  • A new passenger van to transport clients home from the food pantry.

SiCM Executive Director The Rev. Phil Grigsby said the catalyst, in part, stems from aged infrastructure paired with requests for more services.

“We’ve received requests by people to do more with them and to follow up more and provide more services,” Grigsby said.

Plans also call for SiCM’s Ecumenical Center to return from its current location on Wendell Avenue. 

“By consolidating into a campus, we will be more effective, more efficient and make better use of the staff we have,” Grigsby said.

In addition to operating the county’s largest food relief organization, SiCM runs the county’s only community-based summer meals program, as well as numerous social justice initiatives. 

The nonprofit aims to raise $796,000 for the newly-dubbed SiCM Community Resource Center, 

SiCM is nearly halfway there after a pair of local foundations pledged support: 

The Wright Family Foundation will contribute $300,000, and the Broughton Family Foundation, $20,000.

The nonprofit said it is "deeply grateful to these long-time supporters that are enabling SiCM to launch this effort."

Emmanuel Friedens Church has also announced a “Mile of Quarters” campaign, a measure the nonprofit expects will ultimately yield a little over $17,500 for the effort, and other congregations are considering support of the initiative, according to SiCM.

Other applications to several foundations and other sources are pending, and SiCM said it is discussing additional options with Schenectady County Metroplex Authority. 

The nonprofit will formally launch a capital campaign for the “Building for the Future” initiative at their 839 Albany St. headquarters Tuesday at 6:45 p.m. The event is open to the public.

As part of their capital campaign, SiCM is inviting groups and individuals to participate in their “Shares for the Future” campaign. 

A “share” can be purchased for a pledge of $50 per month or a total of $1,800 over a three-year period.  

More than one share can be purchased and also could be provided in a shorter time period.

SiCM utilized the same concept previously when relocating the food pantry from First United Methodist Church to the current location, which previously housed an A&P Supermarket.

For more information, visit SiCM.us.

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