Our Mission

Catholic Charities, a ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Albany, is committed to active witness on behalf of the Scriptural values of mercy and justice.

Catholic Charities, recognizing human need at all stages of life, responds to all persons regardless of race, creed or lifestyle, with special emphasis on the economically poor and the vulnerable.

Catholic Charities serves and empowers persons in need, advocates for a just society, calls forth and collaborates with women and men of good will in fulfillment of its mission.

Continuum of Housing and Support Services

The Catholic Charities Housing Office was established in 1984 with the development of Single Room Occupancy (SRO) housing. Today, CCHO operates four SRO residences in Albany and Troy as well as twenty-one family apartments in Albany’s West Hill, Arbor Hill and South End neighborhoods, in addition to two emergency shelters. The agency serves nearly 200 individuals at any given time and close to 1,200 individuals over the course of one year. CCHO has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to provide safe, affordable housing and supportive services to people who would otherwise be homeless. It also aims to cooperate with other organizations in the development and management of such housing and to work with tenants to create greater self-sufficiency and independence.

The Shelters:
For over thirty years, St. Charles Lwanga Center has provided direct emergency shelter to homeless men in the City of Albany. The program began in 1972 when a group of 13 clergymen formed a hostel committee out of concern for the men who had no place to reside. Almost 35 years later St. Charles Lwanga Center is now a program of Catholic Charities Housing Office. This consolidated agency is a model of continuum of care, providing for the fulfillment of basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter, and ongoing support se rvices. St. Charles Lwanga Center (SCLC) admits approximately 400 homeless men each year for emergency short-term shelter.

Mercy House provides refuge for approximately 300-350 homeless women and their children, who are in need of shelter each year. Mercy House opened its doors in May of 1977 in response to a growing need for safe shelter options for women in crisis. Sister Rosemarie Marrantino, a Sister of Mercy, recognized that there existed no such option for women in the Capital Region. To this day, Mercy House is the only all-women’s nonexclusive homeless shelter in the Capital Region. With the support of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany, an agency which has been providing services since 1917, Sister Rosemarie worked to design an emergency shelter where women could come together in safety and, with support, begin to reconstruct their lives and regain self-sufficiency.

On July 1, 2000, Mercy House became a part of Catholic Charities Housing Office (CCHO) as a result of a large programmatic consolidation. The re-organized CCHO is a mirror of Albany’s continuum of care for the homeless. CCHO has programs that provide emergency, transitional and permanent housing specifically designed and targeted to the homeless.

Family housing:
The Catholic Charities Family Housing program has been serving people coming out of the homeless shelter system, families living in substandard housing, people coming out of halfway houses, those referred by community treatment residences, and others who fall 80% below the median income for the area for over 15 years. Many of the families who reside in Catholic Charities Housing units earn minimum wage, are on a Department of Social Services budget, or receive Social Security income. These families are often struggling to reintegrate into the community after such catastrophes as bankruptcy, foster care placement, drug and alcohol relapse, mental health issues, and/or loss of employment or entitlement benefits.

The goal of the program is to offer permanent, safe, and affordable housing to otherwise homeless families and individuals. The case management staff works with each tenant in those units to provide support services based on each tenant’s specific needs. Through the work of the case manager, the program aims to stabilize families and build a stronger sense of family and community among them. Our residences are located in the West Hill, Arbor Hill, and South End neighborhoods of Albany.

Single Room Occupancy:
The Catholic Charities Housing Office (CCHO) manages four SRO residences in the Capital District, three in Albany and one in Troy. CCHO serves over 250 primarily ex-homeless individuals annually through our SROs. Our SROs with their supports are key to people making a fresh start.


38 beds 174 Units 23 Low-Income Units

For Women:
Mercy House- 19 beds
Manager of Emergency Services: Amy Lacey
31 Walter St., Albany
Ph: (518) 434-3531
Fax: (518)426-1276

For Men:
St. Charles Lwanga Center - 19 beds
Manager of Emergency Services: Amy Lacey
115 Grand St., Albany
Ph: (518) 465-4973
Fax: (518)449-3348

Read more about our shelters

DePaul Residence
- 50 units
Site Manager: Shyron Sanford
504 Central Ave
Albany, NY 12205
Ph: (518) 482-3248
Fax: (518) 482-0826

St Peter's Residence & Annex
- 51 units
Site Manager: Michael Finocchi
2335 Fifth Ave
Troy, NY 12345
Ph: (518) 273-3291
Fax: (518) 273-3169

Waldorf Residence
46 units
Site Manager: Don Arnold
29 Maiden Lane
Albany, NY 12207
Ph: (518) 465-2612
Fax: (518) 465-2614

27 units
Housing Program Manager: JoAnne Bragonier
52 Maple Street
Oneonta, NY 13820
Ph: (607) 436-9250
Fax: (607) 432-7329

Read more about the SROs

(518) 459-0183

Lexington Avenue,
9 apartments
from 1-4 bedrooms in size.

Third Avenue
8 apartments from 1-3 bedrooms in size

Clinton Avenue
2 apartments both 2 bedrooms in size

Broad Street
2 apartments - 1 studio and one 2 bedroom

N. Allen Street
2 Apartments - both 3 bedrooms in size

Read more about the family apartments

Deborah Damm O'Brien, Executive Director
Thomas Coates, Director of Operations


41 North Main Avenue
Albany, New York 12203
. p. 518.459.0183
. f. 518.459.0202
7-1-1 for voice/speech relay