The Local Initiatives Support Corporation held its annual community development awards via Zoom. The honors seek to recognize organizations and individuals in their efforts to better the area through action.
One of many categories highlighted was affordable housing and the Elim Townhomes project. Located in Buffalo’s Highland Park neighborhood, the 30 unit affordable housing initiative was built as a collaboration between Belmont Housing Resources and Elim Fellowship Church.
Development chair Tim Hogues says partnerships like these can be the spark that reignites communities.
“It's important that we build communities where people from all walks and races and backgrounds can live together,” Hogues said. “Hopefully this will spur continued development, like grocery stores and that type of stuff for individuals.”
The theme of this year's awards ceremony was COVID-19 response, and that was signified as the Jericho Road Community Health Center won the Non-Profit of 2020 Award. From it’s facility on Barton Street in Buffalo it operated a large-scale walk-in COVID-19 testing clinic, and even pop-up sites in the city’s hardest hit zip codes.
Also taking home an award was Groceries to Seniors, run by The Journey Church. It was launched to directly help senior citizens obtain food in Buffalo and beyond at the onset of the pandemic. Pastor Art Hall said his church saw a need, and set out to do their part to help.
“We started with $1,000, our executive board, and we started doing our groceries to seniors. We initially started with sending groceries through Instacart,” said Pastor Hall. “Once that ended, which was after about a week or two, we created our own model and partnered with Manna at Northland and began to serve those individuals who have served us for so many years, our seniors.”
To date, Journey Church’s Groceries to Seniors program has ensured over 1,500 senior households have been provided with fresh groceries and a hot meal.
A complete list of recipients can be found on the Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s Buffalo chapter website, lisc.org/wny.