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(L.to R): Damien Board President Jeff Hallenbeck, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, County Executive Dan McCoy, Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, Damien Center Executive Director Perry Junjulas, Assembly Member Patrica Fahy, Pine Hills Neighborhood Association President Virigina Hammer, Councilperson Leah Golby, and Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts from the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.
Albany Damien Center officially broke ground today on our new building. Executive Director Perry Junjulas welcomed New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts, Assembly Member Patricia Fahy, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Albany Common Councilperson for Ward 10 Leah Golby, the President of the Pine Hills Neighborhood Association Virginia Hammer, and Damien Center Board of Directors President Jeff Hallenbeck to the new site at 728 Madison Avenue. This $5 million project will dramatically increase the impact we will have in the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS by providing permanent supportive housing for 22 people. Lack of stable housing is a significant barrier to continuum of care, especially important to our members. As Perry noted at the groundbreaking, “housing is healthcare.” Supportive housing is a key element of Governor Cuomo’s End the AIDS Epidemic plan, and is the greatest unmet need of people at risk for or living with HIV. With construction underway, we expect to open the new center in summer of 2017.
We are thrilled that this project is officially underway and with the great interest it is generating in the local community. Governor Cuomo issued a statement on the groundbreaking, and the Albany Times Union featured us in today's edition. You can see local video news stories on the day's events at WRGB,WNYT, TWC, and WTEN, and watch the event in its entirety on our Facebook page.