Common Ground employees advocate in Albany

On two snowy days this winter, Common Ground employees trekked to Albany, New York to advocate for increased public funding for supportive housing with our legislators.

The Advocacy Days were organized by the Supportive Housing Network of New York, and attended by several Network members, of which Common Ground is one.

Throughout each day, Common Ground employees and their fellow supportive housing colleagues met with lawmakers, including State Senator Daniel Squadron of the 26th District (lower Manhattan, parts of Brooklyn), Assembly Member Ron Kim of the 40th District (Flushing), Assembly Member Michael Dendekker of the 34th District (East Elmhurst), and the chief of staff for State Senator Thomas Croci of the 3rd District (South Eastern and Central Long Island). They discussed the tangible benefits of supportive housing.

Some groups even brought along tenants who spoke of how supportive housing had helped them regain healthy, productive lives.

On one of the visits, Common Ground employees were even welcomed by name during the legislative session by Assembly Member Richard Gottfried of the 75th District, which is home to three of Common Ground’s permanent housing residences in Manhattan.

For our Intake Coordinator Shawn Mahoney, the day in Albany was “an exciting extra opportunity” to step away from the day-to-day work and get a more holistic understanding of where Common Ground’s funding comes from, and all that goes into securing the funds that allow us to provide such intensive assistance for New York’s chronically homeless .

Click here to watch the video of Common Ground’s warm welcome in Albany. (Select 3-3-15 session, and skip ahead to the 33-minute mark.)