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Hope House apartments for homeless women get final funding

A building conversion that will include apartments for homeless women as well as a Friends of the Night People satellite on the city's East Side is moving forward, with construction expected to begin in the next few months, according to the project developer.

The $12.8 million project on Thursday received $600,000 from the the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency. That was the final funding needed for the project, which has also received state funding, officials said.

The project, known as Hope House, is planned for the former School 57 building at 243 Sears St. It is being developed by the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center of WNY, which has been working on the plan for 7 years, said Marlies Wesolowski, its executive director.

The Planning Board approved the project in 2015.

Plans call for converting the former school building into a community hub that offers support services as well as 27 affordable apartments providing permanent housing to homeless women and women with children. Once completed, Hope House will also have a food and clothing pantry, a dining hall open to the public, and a Friends of the Night People satellite offering services for the homeless. The current Friends of the Night People will continue operating on Hudson Street on the city's West Side.

The Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center will be moving into the Sears Street building from its location on Broadway, Wesolowski said.


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