What our tenants have to say...

Stories from the Housing Office:

A young immigrant mother or two, Jane (not her real name) came into the Catholic Charities Housing Program in July of 2002 through a domestic violence shelter. New to the country, and without a high school degree, Jane made the brave choice for herself and her children to leave her violent situation. With the assistance and support of Catholic Charities Family Case Management, Jane was able to obtain her G.E.D., become gainfully employed at a large local hospital ("I love my job!" states Jane), acquire a car through the Wheels for Work program, and this past September, Jane became a United States Citizen. Although Jane is a very private person, this is an accomplishment that still leaves her beaming. "I do it all for my kids. I want them to see it can be done." Both of her children are doing well in school and are very proud of their mother's accomplishments.

Her long term goal is to purchase her own home.
"This program gives me the tools and support that I need."

"Vincent" - in his own words
I am writing these words of concern to you to show you that the Waldorf is wonderful for people getting their lives in order like myself again. This project has really helped me much to grow and to have hope again. I have been through much in the past eighteen months, overcoming different areas in my life. I had a very hard life coming up because of these areas. Some people would never have the chance that I have today, the opportunity to recover here at the Waldorf residence and for this I am very grateful. I am here clean again, living in recovery.

Please do not forget ACCA, Interfaith and Catholic Charities and all those who have made it possible for those of us to have housing. We are most grateful. I would like to thank Fr. Young, the City of Albany for providing services that are especially needed for those of us in recovery.

I started my recovery process in July of 2007. [After about a year in recovery treatment programs] I moved into independent living at the Waldorf Residence with the help of the HIP program and in conjunction with DSS of Albany County. I have successfully been able to maintain my recovery and live a more productive lifestyle. I am now attending EOC, a vocational training for business. I hope to gain some experience with computers and work on my skills in math and language. As long as I have been a resident at the Waldorf, a lot of positive things have happened in my life. I have been able to reach out to others and help them in their recovery process. I have just received from Narcotics Anonymous my 18 th month “Clean and Serene” medallion. This is because I am trying to do things differently in my life.

Being at the Waldorf has helped me and given me much hope and a better life today. My deepest [hope] is that this place will continue to enhance the lives of others.

In March 2006, I became ill and lost my job and apartment and had to move in with friends. In August I was diagnosed with Grave's Disease, and thyroid cancer. Needing a clean peaceful environment, someone told me about the Waldorf Residence. I applied, was interviewed and moved in on November 1, 2006. On November 2, 2006, I underwent major surgery. I have been here for over two years and I believe if it had not been for Catholic Charities and the staff at the Waldorf, I might not be cancer free today.

An SRO resident , “Charlene” came to us from a shelter a few years ago. She had several periods of homelessness. Her parents died when she was a child, and she stayed with her grandparents for awhile, however, because of differences with her grandfather, she ended up homeless before completing high school. Since moving into the Waldorf, Mildred has obtained a part time job working as greeter and assistant security at a local shopping mall.

She wants to earn her GED and go on to a full time job, but due to Charlene's poor education, she needs tutoring. The Site Manager had been a teacher for a number of years and decided to see if he could help her with her math skills and writing skills. By using flash cards and journal writing, her skills are starting to improve. She has started to realize this herself and her self-confidence is improving. Her last writing project was a letter to President Obama, in which she made several suggestions and gave her perspectives as a formerly homeless individual. She has applied for two jobs in the past month and talks about getting a plan to eventually buy her own house.

Bob owned his own business which failed and he had to declare bankruptcy. He wound up in a homeless shelter and from there moved into a Catholic Charities SRO. Because of the stability of the SRO housing and the availability of case management and support services, Bob became employed, paid off his debts, and has once again moved into his own apartment.

Living & Dying In A Shelter - Fr. George Brennan
I’ll never forget the time I met a man at Lwanga shelter and he said to me: “Father, please help me find a place to live. I have a terminal illness and I don’t want to die in a shelter.” What an awful thought ! I couldn’t imagine anything worse. His words touched me deeply; and, long after he moved on from the shelter I remembered what he said and I prayed that he would have a peaceful death.

Many months later I met another man at the same shelter and he helped me to think twice about what it means to live and what it means to die. He told me that he was in the final stages of a terminal illness and his last wish was to be allowed to die at Lwanga, the only place that he could call home. He was alienated from his family and his only friends were others who were homeless along with him. As I got to know more about him I quickly learned that he had fond memories of growing up in the neighborhood where I now live. I immediately thought that this was no mere coincidence and I jokingly said: “I guess that means we’re neighbors even though neither of us really knew it ! ” We only had a few more visits because his health declined much faster than anyone had expected. Nonetheless, staff and residents were all eager to honor his request to spend his final days with them. Their concern for him was most impressive and it moved me as much as the man who had first told me that he was afraid of dying in a shelter. In our meetings to plan for his care, it was clear to me that there was a lot of love there in the midst of the sadness of knowing that time was running out. That same love was even more obvious when he eventually died and we all gathered for a memorial service. We grieved and celebrated his passing and many people talked about how his attitude toward dying was inspiring them to go on living. It was obvious to me that this dying man brought new life to many people around him. Who would have thought that a person dying in a shelter could bring so much life to others? But, why am I surprised? Who would have thought that a baby born in a stable would eventually bring new life to the whole world ? Maybe it doesn’t matter all that much where you’ve been in life or where you spend your final days. Perhaps what matters most is that you love the people you meet along the way and treat them as your neighbor.

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