Four local nonprofits lose homelessness funding

As winter approaches, four local homeless service providers have lost more than half a million dollars in federal and state funding.

Together, the Salvation Army of Greater Rochester, YWCA of Rochester & Monroe County, Volunteers of America – Rochester and Spiritus Christi directly serve 2,000 homeless adults and children.

“Homelessness continues to be a critical issue in our community,” said  Angela Panzarella, CEO of the YWCA. Monroe County reported that just last year, it made more than 11,000 placements of families and individuals to local homeless shelters, a figure that was up 19 percent from the prior year. The YWCA provides shelter to more than 600 people each yearmore than half of them children. “Without immediate financial support to offset the loss of STEHP funding, the YWCA and other providers may well need to reduce our emergency housing services to the most vulnerable members of our community,” Panzarella said.

STEHP funding refers to the Solutions to End Homelessness Program, which uses federal funds allocated from the Department of Housing and Urban Development combined with the New York State homeless assistance funds to help people obtain permanent housing and improve the quality of emergency shelters and drop-in centers.

The four Monroe County agencies will lose $550,000 in STEHP funding, officials said.

“Emergency shelter for local clients will be heavily impacted as more than half of the funding that the Salvation Army has received from the STEHP program in previous years has gone towards supporting this vulnerable population here across Monroe County,” said Major Douglas Hart, director of Monroe County Operations for the Salvation Army.” This funding loss will be especially impactful when temperatures drop to deadly depths during the winter months.”

The lack of money will force Spiritus Christi Prison Outreach to lay off staff at its programs for homeless ex-offenders.

“On any given night, there are more than 800 peopleincluding childrenwho are homeless in Monroe County,” said Lynn Sullivan, president and CEO of Volunteers of America of Upstate New York. “Without adequate funding, we cannot provide… support services, let alone the basic necessities of food and shelter, which will lead to people experiencing longer and multiple episodes of homelessness as well as lack of shelter for those in need.”

Volunteers of America names new leader

Volunteers of America Upstate New York has selected former Holy Sepulchre Cemetery CEO Lynn Sullivan as its new president and CEO. Sullivan will begin her tenure with the nonprofit Aug. 12.

Lynn Sullivan
Lynn Sullivan

“Lynn is an amazingly talented person. We feel very fortunate to have an individual with her skills and qualifications leading the agency, and we look forward to expanding our role in the community with her direction,” VOA board Chairwoman Jackie Lee said.

Sullivan brings extensive leadership experience to the agency, including a background in finance and operations in not-for-profit and for-profit organizations. She joined Holy Sepulchre in 2014 as CFO, where she developed a comprehensive marketing plan for the organization and oversaw the restoration and renovation of some of the cemetery’s historic buildings.

Sullivan, who earned an MBA from the University of Rochester Simon School of Business, also served as CFO and executive vice president of ABVI and Goodwill of the Finger Lakes for four years, as well as in leadership roles at Paychex Inc., Harris Interactive Inc. and Eastman Kodak Co.

“I feel extremely privileged to have been selected as the next leader of Volunteers of America, and I’m very excited to get started,” Sullivan said in a statement. “The agency has a long history of helping people in Rochester and throughout Upstate New York overcome the complex challenges of poverty and achieve greater levels of health, stability and self-sufficiency. I look forward to advancing this essential and impactful work.”

VOA helps more than 4,000 people annually through various programs that include early childhood education programs; emergency, transitional and permanent supportive housing and homelessness programs; and corrections/re-entry programs; among other things.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

East House names new chief executive

Kim Brumber
Kim Brumber

Rochester’s East House has chosen a nonprofit veteran as its next leader.

Kim Brumber, president and CEO of Volunteers of America Upstate New York, on Jan. 7 will step into her new role as president and CEO of East House, a nonprofit that provides recovery services and programs to individuals in recovery from mental illness and substance use disorders. She will lead East House’s efforts to provide quality housing and recovery support services to those facing the challenges of mental health and substance use disorders.

Brumber has led VoA for two years, and previously was a CEO in the NeighborWorks network. Under her 15-year leadership, NeighborWorks Rochester grew from a $500,000 operating budget with a staff of eight to more than $2.5 million and a staff of 22. She also led the merger of four NeighborWorks organizations across Western New York to create a sustainable business model for small community development organizations.

“After an extensive search and interviews, we believe Kim Brumber has the experience and skills necessary to lead the executive team, work effectively with community partners and supporters, drive measurable impact and build strategically to ensure the continued growth of East House,” East House board chairman Andrew Dollinger said in a statement.

Dollinger said the organization wanted to find a proven leader who could build upon the successes and programs already in place at East House.

“I have always been driven by a desire to lead transformation, whether that be the transformation of a house, a neighborhood, an organization or the staff that works with me,” Brumber said. “I am so honored to be leading the East House team, who has helped thousands of people in recovery to transform their lives.”

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer