Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens Join New York State Homes and Community Renewal to Break Ground on New Affordable Senior Housing

Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens Join New York State Homes and Community Renewal to Break Ground on New Affordable Senior Housing

New $48 Million Catholic Charities Loreto Apartments to Provide 135 Units With Supportive Services in Brownsville

Brooklyn, NY – The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, joined Monsignor Alfred LoPinto, Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) and community members today for the ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Catholic Charities Loreto Apartments, a $48 million development to provide 135 units of affordable apartments for low-income seniors with supportive services in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. Developed as a partnership between Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens and HCR, the development is located on the former school, rectory, and convent of Our Lady of Loreto Church.

New York State funding for the Loreto Apartments includes $3.4 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds, federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that will generate nearly $19 million in equity and an additional $24.6 million subsidy from HCR. The New York State Department of Health will provide funding for supportive services through the Governor’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI). Wells Fargo National Bank is the financial partner.

“We are so happy to be here today to break ground on the Catholic Charities Loreto Apartments,” said Monsignor Alfred LoPinto, Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens. “It’s been said that the affordability of housing is the biggest crisis facing New York City.  As one of the largest faith-based developers of affordable housing in the country, we understand how true this statement is.  This project will provide much needed senior housing and allow the residents to live safely, comfortably and independently for as long as possible. We are thrilled to be breaking ground for this facility today, and so glad that all of you could be with us for this historic occasion.”

HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Developments like the Loreto Apartments allow older New Yorkers to live independent lives while remaining in the communities they call home. We are proud of our partnership with Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens as it shows what can be achieved when State and faith-based leaders dedicate their efforts to providing homes for those who need them most.  Through the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based Community Development Services, we work hand-in-hand with faith-based nonprofits to tap their potential as sources of quality affordable housing and repurpose places of worship in ways that strengthen families and encourage economic growth. Our $48 million investment in the Loreto Apartments furthers Governor Cuomo’s commitment to supporting the faith-based community in Central Brooklyn and in communities across the state.”Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens is one of the largest faith-based providers of affordable housing in the nation and currently provides 4,330 units of affordable homes for seniors, families, the formerly homeless and those struggling with mental illness.

“The Church teaches us that every person has a basic right to have a place to call home, and we know that having a place to live provides stability and identity to the most vulnerable in our society. Pope John Paul II said that “a home is much more than a roof over one’s head.  It is a place for building and seeking one’s life,” said the Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn. “Four years ago, the Holy Father released the Papal Encyclical Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home, where Pope Francis asked for an inclusive dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. In response, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens has endeavored to build affordable housing with a greater focus on sustainability.”

Located at 126 Sackman Street, Catholic Charities Loreto Apartments will feature an eight-story, 83,683 square foot building with on-site supportive social services for residents provided by Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services, an affiliate agency of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens. Supportive services will include an on-call nurse, counseling, assistance with daily living, case management, substance abuse counseling, exercise programs, nutrition classes, visits to cultural institutions and transportation to a nearby Catholic Charities senior center. The building will also include 24-hour security, a fitness room, lounge, laundry facilities and rooftop solar panels to reduce the cost of electricity and reduce the building’s carbon footprint.

“These apartments are the first of three ‘dialogue of fraternity’ projects that are the fruits of prayer and dialogue converted into works of charity in order to bring healing and consolation to our wounded human family, particularly the elderly who have been forgotten and are alone,” said Bishop DiMarzio, quoting a letter signed by Cardinal Miguel Ángelo Ayuso Guixot, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue to the participants in the groundbreaking ceremony.

“Catholic Charities Loreto Apartments will address the urgent need for affordable housing for seniors right in the heart of vital New York communities,” said Alan Wiener, group head of Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital. “Our support of affordable rental housing has helped improve access to housing in cities across the country and assisted in neighborhood revitalization and we remain steadfast in our continued commitment to provide financial support for more and improved affordable housing options.”

NYC Council Member Rafael Espinal said, "This is a project that will bring 135 affordable units to our seniors in need, low-income and formerly homeless. Thanks to the collaboration between Catholic Charities, NYSHCR, and so many other faith-based groups and members in the community this long-awaited project is now a reality. The homeless crisis in our city is real and this project is working to change that in Brownsville. I'm grateful to have played a part in ensuring that this site will be a place of comfort, support, and love by including facilities like a community space that will be open to all in the neighborhood."

“The new Loreto Apartments will allow seniors in Brownsville to age with dignity. I was proud to allocate over $500,000 to bring this project to fruition. This helps to fulfill the mission set out by our faith-based development initiative, and I look forward to supporting similar projects throughout the borough,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

The development of the Catholic Charities Loreto Apartments is the second phase of redevelopment of the former Our Lady of Loreto Church and will integrate affordable independent residences for seniors (AIRS) with senior supportive housing. Catholic Charities Progress for Peoples Development Corporation (CCPOP), the affordable housing developer of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens proposes dedicated 40 percent of the units to AIRS and the remaining 60 percent to senior supportive housing.

The 54 AIRS units will target seniors 62 years of age and older, and be affordable to individuals earning up to 40 percent Area Median Income (AMI). The remaining 81 units will be supportive housing units targeting individuals who are formerly homeless, over the age of 55, and are frail or disabled. Rents for these supportive units will be underwritten at an amount affordable to household’s earning 60 percent AMI.

CCPOP will apply for SHOP subsidy for both the supportive and AIRS units along with rental assistance, service and operating funds through the New York State Empire State Supportive Housing Imitative (ESSHI) for supportive housing units. Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services, an affiliate of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, will provide case management services within the building for the senior supportive residents. The Project will provide much needed senior housing and allow the residents to live safely, comfortably, and independently for as long as possible.

CCPOP is currently exploring a collaboration with the Dharma Drum Mountain community where exercises such as yoga, tai chi and meditation are to be led by Buddhist monks within the meditation center at the Project.

The Catholic Charities Monsignor Anthony J. Barretta Apartments, an eight-story building development of 64 homes opened in 2013 on the former site of the parish school.

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About Catholic Charities Progress of Peoples (CCPOP) Development Corporation

Since 1975, Catholic Charities Progress of Peoples (CCPOP) Development Corporation, the affordable housing developer of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, Inc. and has been transforming vacant land and buildings into affordable housing units and transforming the lives of individuals and families. In the past 44 years, CCPOP has completed more than 4,330 units with supportive services for seniors, families, the formerly homeless, those with HIV and those struggling with mental illness. Family and senior housing buildings are a priority, and Catholic Charities remains committed to creating homes throughout Brooklyn and Queens.  For 120 years, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, Inc. has been providing quality social services to the neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens, and currently offers 160-plus programs and services for children, youth, adults, older adults, and those struggling with mental illness.

About New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR)

New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) works to create, preserve and improve affordable homes, and to develop vibrant communities. HCR is executing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan, which is making housing accessible and combating homelessness by building and preserving more than 100,000 units of affordable housing and 6,000 supportive apartments. The plan is a comprehensive approach to statewide housing issues, and includes investing in multifamily and single-family housing, furthering community development strategies, and preserving rent stabilization. For more information on HCR, its programs and its initiatives, please visit hcr.ny.gov and follow us on Twitter @NYSHCR.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,500 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 32 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 261,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2019 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

Santa Visits Spark Christmas Magic

We hope you had a wonderful and memorable Christmas! Students of the Catholic Charities Sunset Park Early Childhood Development Center in Brooklyn and Therese Cervini Early Childhood Development Center in Queens were visited by Santa. In September, elves from CCBQ's Community Program Services visited the centers to help children write letters to Santa. These letters were among the letters sent to the New York Cares Winter Wishes Program (a holiday gift-giving program to help the less fortunate.) The jolly chap in red handed out gifts, sang carols and spent time with each child.

Special thanks to Bank of America for granting our letters. Their generosity was overwhelming and greatly appreciated.

Preschoolers Join Seniors for Spectacular Christmas Fun

Members of the Catholic Charities Riverway Innovative Senior Center in Brooklyn were in for a marvelous Christmas treat as they not only celebrated the holiday season with a party, but they were also serenaded with Christmas carols from preschoolers of the Salvation Army Brownsville Corps. Members had a blast and were so grateful for the holiday festivities!

Local Middle School Students Spread Christmas Joy at Narrows Senior Center

Thank you SO much to the wonderful fourth and fifth graders of P.S. 106 in Brooklyn who performed Christmas songs for the members of the Catholic Charities Narrows Senior Center in Brooklyn. The delicate and festive voices brought smiles and even tears as members joyously sang along.

Teaching Food Pantry Guests the Dangers of Diabetes

November was National Diabetes Awareness Month, but that does not mean tracking our health and wellness stops there! See how CCBQ kept our clients in check with their health during the month of November with help from students of St John’s University College of Pharmacy Urban Institute Changing Faces Pharmacy Program. CCBQ teamed up with students from St. John's University​ to provide food pantries clients from Our Lady of Solace Shrine in Coney Island, Brooklyn and St. Raphael in Long Island City, Queens with information on the signs of diabetes and what foods aid in its prevention. Participants went home with broccoli, carrots, apples, avocado and sweet potatoes, all of which aid in lowering the risk of developing diabetes.

Kincare Group Bonds with Peers at Annual Christmas Party

How did you celebrate Christmas? CCBQ's Grandmothers as Mothers Again (G.A.M.A.) kincare group partied with peers in Brooklyn. Members of the group celebrated in style adorning festive holiday hats and bell necklaces. The party included fun trivia games with prizes and a lovely lunch from Panera Bread generously sponsored by Emblem Health.  Members are excited and looking forward to 2020!

In the Media: Citizen Tribune and WorldNews

On December 18, 2019, CCBQ celebrated the grand opening of our in-clinic pharmacy, Genoa Healthcare at our Jackson Heights, Queens location. We’re excited to partner with Genoa to bring convenient pharmacy services on site for our clients. See coverage from Citizen Tribune and WorldNews.

Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens Spreads Christmas Magic

This Christmas, CCBQ distributed toys and gift cards to families in need during the Annual Santa Toy Shoppes. The pop-up Santa Toy Shoppes took place a few days before Christmas at St. Francis - St. Blaise Parish in Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Our Lady of The Angelus Catholic Church in Rego Park, Queens. Volunteers acted as “Personal Shopper Elves” to help families pick out the perfect gift. Gifts were donated by generous supporters of CCBQ, including local businesses, parishes and schools throughout the Diocese of Brooklyn. The gift cards were made possible through donations, as well as, the Catholic Charities Jazz and Cocktails at Russo's on the Bay fundraiser that the agency held in November.

Each year CCBQ provides toys to over 1,500 families in need throughout Brooklyn and Queens. Thank you to everyone who supported our efforts this holiday season!

In the Media: The Tablet

Yesterday, CCBQ celebrated the grand opening of our in-clinic pharmacy, Genoa Healthcare, located within our Jackson Heights, Queens location! We’re excited to partner with Genoa to bring convenient pharmacy services on site. Click here to read The Tablet's coverage of the event.

Genoa Healthcare Opens 500th Pharmacy at the Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens Behavioral Health Center

GENOA HEALTHCARE OPENS 500TH PHARMACY AT THE CATHOLIC CHARITIES BROOKLYN AND QUEENS BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CENTER
New on-site pharmacy will improve health outcomes for people with mental health and substance use conditions
On December 18, 2019, Genoa Healthcare and Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens were joined by community leaders for the grand opening of a new on-site pharmacy at the Catholic Charities Behavioral Health Center in Jackson Heights, Queens.
 
The opening marks Genoa’s 500th pharmacy nationwide and seventh in the state of New York. It is Catholic Charities’ first mental health clinic with a pharmacy built-in. Patients receiving pharmacy services in the same facility as their health care can more easily obtain medications, leading to improved medication adherence and lower rates of hospitalization and emergency care.
 
One in 10 New Yorkers experience mental health disorders in a given year serious enough to disrupt their daily functioning. For some individuals, access to mental health care can mean the difference between life and death.
 
Genoa Healthcare is the leading provider of pharmacy, outpatient telepsychiatry and medication management services for individuals with behavioral health conditions. Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens operates five mental health clinics in Brooklyn and Queens.
 
The grand opening included a ribbon cutting and remarks from Catholic Charities and Genoa Healthcare leaders.
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