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City Mission announces expansion plans

Ashley Hirtzel

The Buffalo City Mission announced plans Wednesday to expand its operation at 100 East Tupper Street. The $27 million addition is pending support from Erie County and the City of Buffalo.

New York State is expected to provide homeless housing assistance, if Erie County and the City of Buffalo sign on for additional support. The Buffalo City Mission has also secured a number of donations for the project.

The expansion would add 66 affordable housing units and grow the Mission’s emergency capacity to 184 beds, replacing the cots that are currently in place.

Buffalo City Mission Executive Director Stuart Harper says the extension will allow for additional services, including on-site computer, art, and home economics classes.

Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO
Rendering of the Buffalo City Mission's expansion plans.

“It’s really hard to get a man to say he wants to change his life when he’s sleeping with 70 or 80 others guys in one of our dorms. So, they want to make a change in our life we can immediately show them that change by giving them a studio apartment. But, it’s right here on our campus. It’s not somewhere else in the city. So, they’re right here, they’re right here where their case manager is, they’re right here getting services,”  said Harper.

Harper says he believes the addition is critical, because the mission has been seeing an increase in homelessness in recent years.

“The people that come to us are us. They’re our brothers and sisters, they’re our mothers and fathers, and they’re our aunts and our uncles. We owe them the opportunity to make a change in their life, said Harper.   

If the extra support is secured, the project will start in the spring of 2015.