Build Promise is a separate 501c3 charity
Build Promise, Inc. is an independent 501(c)3 charity that is located on the East Side of Buffalo which is also the epicenter of poverty and homelessness in Western New York.
St. Luke's Mission of Mercy has been working in this area for nearly 30 years. This project has grown from St. Luke's and reflects the growing need of the people served by St. Luke's. Previously, St. Luke's provided 2 meal services Monday through Saturday for an average of 300 people per day (close to 94,000 meals per year). Since COVID, the number of daily meals has skyrocketed to about 1,100 per day and remains at that level even today! A staggering 343,000 meals.
While investigating effective paths out of poverty, the research showed that the greatest barrier to education, health and resources to leave poverty is: access to programs and services.
The Build Promise Care and Opportunity Center is the solution to closing the gap between underserved people and the resources that exist. Build Promise has a list of more than twelve partner agencies who will bring effective and established programs and resources to the people on day one.
Research also showed that the already critical need for shelter services in Erie County has been exacerbated by the closing of 5 shelters over the last eighteen months.
The need becomes most critical during the Code Blue season when the homeless are in danger of hypothermia or freezing to death. During the 2017-2018 Code Blue season, St. Luke's acted as an overnight shelter and averaged 40 men per night for 45 days which provided approximately 1,800 safe beds for the season. (There were 68 nights at 32-degrees Fahrenheit during the same period of time.) St. Luke's has been unable to offer emergency shelter since COVID because the cots would be set up in the kitchen. The overwhelming demand for food made it impossible. St. Luke's continues to care for the Code Blue homeless by providing food to shelter partners at no cost.
This new 21,000 square foot facility will be a venue for a unique service to housing insecure. It's called the ReFresh Spot. These are people living in cars or couch surfing. Typically, they are in school or employed. One of the biggest issues they face is access to personal hygiene like showers and laundry. If there's no access to hygiene, these people will be fired or drop out of school because of odor and appearance. The ReFresh Spot will have daily access to showers, laundry and restrooms for non-reside