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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Expansion of Downtown Ambassador Program by Schenectady City Mission


The City Mission of Schenectady Expands Downtown Ambassador Program

The City Mission of Schenectady is excited to ‍announce the expansion of its Downtown Ambassador program with the opening of ​a⁢ new satellite office on Jay Street. This program is designed⁢ to bring ‍formerly homeless individuals back into ⁢the workforce, ‌providing assistance to downtown visitors and ‌those in need.

Originally founded in 2009, the program has grown to include‌ approximately a dozen ambassadors currently employed in the role. Now, construction is underway at the new 179 Jay St. site,​ which is⁢ scheduled ⁣to open ‌next spring.

Funding for the new location was secured in the state‌ budget by Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam, with $75,000 in state funding set to cover the program’s expansion ⁣costs for the next five years.

Michael Saccocio, executive director of City Mission of Schenectady, credits the origins of the downtown ambassadors program to Proctors CEO Philip Morris and former Metroplex Executive Director Jayme‌ Lahut, with the concept evolving to utilize ‌City Mission graduates in the greeter ⁢initiative.

Expanding Services

The ambassador program has expanded from the participants ⁣acting ⁤as greeters⁣ to now ⁣working alongside officials from the Schenectady Police Department’s HUB program to provide assistance to residents in need. The HUB outreach program connects individuals in ⁣need to‍ housing, hunger, and ⁢addiction resources.

The Jay Street office will also serve as a satellite for the HUB​ program, ⁢providing a proactive approach to ⁢meeting individuals suffering⁤ from poverty, ⁢food insecurity, homelessness, ⁢mental illness, or substance⁢ abuse.

Positive Impact

Schenectady Police Chief Eric Clifford stated that the mission ​ambassadors have improved the quality of life in the city’s downtown, with the workers providing directions to visitors or assisting residents in finding parking or​ crossing the street.

“The ⁢ambassadors are⁤ a tremendous help​ by being down here,” Clifford said. “They’re an extension of public‍ safety. They’re providing safety to individuals by being the eyes and the ears of the police department and by just providing customer service to⁣ individuals.”

Kiara Thomas
Kiara Thomas
I uncover quirky and compelling stories. Always on the lookout for the 'why' behind the 'what'.
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  1. Expansion of Downtown Ambassador Program by Schenectady City Mission is a positive step towards improving the safety and experience of downtown. #Agree


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