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In the early 1980s, former Dutchess County Executive Lucille Pattison convened a task force to investigate the scale of the issue of homelessness in Dutchess County and identify possible solutions. One conclusion drawn by the Task Force was that there was a need for emergency shelter in the area that was combined with support and life skills training to assist families in addressing their immediate needs and in transitioning to more stable, permanent housing.
- In 1984, with backing from the Dutchess County Department of Social Services and Gannett Company, Inc., Gannett House, an emergency shelter for homeless families, was created as our first program. Following the establishment of Gannett House, our services and residential programming for the homeless grew substantially.
- The Dutchess County Coalition for the Homeless, which remains the county’s only walk-in emergency shelter, became a program of ours in 1988.
- In 1992, we created Hillcrest House, 58 units of transitional housing for homeless adults, and Maximize, 12 units of permanent housing for homeless families.
- In 1996, we began operation of the Shelter Plus Care program, providing case management services to formerly homeless individuals with mental illness living independently in the community.
- In 2000, we broadened our continuum of services for the homeless with the adoption of River Haven, an existing program providing emergency and transitional housing as well as a full range of services for runaway, homeless and at-risk youth.
- In 2003, we expanded its Gannett House program, moving from the original 19-bed facility to a 100-unit facility, which also allowed us to introduce a new transitional housing program for families, and sixteen units of permanent housing.
- The most recent area of growth among our support services programs is the expansion of the Dutchess County Coalition for the Homeless emergency shelter from a 12-bed facility to a 60-bed facility.
- In addition, we operate several programs that provide non-residential case management services to youth, individuals, and families living independently in the community.
Click here for a complete list of programs and services
As we expanded our residential programming for the homeless, we developed expertise in developing, rehabilitating, and managing our own facilities. This led us to branch out into housing development, coupled with the recognition that decent, affordable housing opportunities were needed in the community so that individuals and families could transition out of homelessness or avoid it entirely.
- In 1988, we were designated a Neighborhood Preservation Company by the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal. This designation recognized our vision of revitalizing neighborhoods.
- In 1991, we first ventured into the realm of real estate development, building two homes in the City of Poughkeepsie for first-time homebuyers.
- HRH began offering homebuyer education programs in 1997, and in 2007 we opened a full-service NeighborWorks® HomeOwnership Center.
- We have since expanded this aspect of the agency’s work, building or rehabilitating additional homes for sale, developing small and large-scale rental housing projects, and well as creating new or expanded transitional and emergency housing programs.
- During this time, we also became well-recognized for our work in historic preservation, receiving multiple awards for the rehabilitation of historic structures in the City of Poughkeepsie in 2002 and 2003.
- In 1999, we became a Chartered Member of NeighborWorks® America, a national organization that supports nonprofit organizations dedicated to community revitalization and the production of affordable housing.