BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) A church on Buffalo’s east side is about to break ground on a new housing project a couple blocks down Genesee Street from the church.
“The key piece is that we’re fully funded for this project,” said Pastor Dwayne Jones of Mt. Aaron Baptist Church. It’s been in the planning stages for three years, but now the, mostly State, funding is in place for a $23 million project to build 60 new apartments and 17 townhouses right down the street from the church.
“Where there’s a need, the church always stands forefront for the need of the community,” said Pastor Jones. “The church is just doing its due diligence of what a good church should do.”
The housing project will be built on 19 vacant lots on Genesee Street between Adams and Grey street. It’s right on a bus line to Roswell Park which has been a partner of the church, According Pastor Jones. “They have worked along with our church for infrastructure, computers..”
What makes this unique is that some of the units will be set aside for homeless clients who have had trouble finding housing because of domestic violence or recovering drug addicts who can show they’ve made progress in rehab.
“BestSelf Behavioral Health will be renting commercial space in this project to help people with difficult issues in their life, so now they’re not only getting housing but also supportive services to reach the goals in their life.”
The church built a senior housing complex four years ago, and if demand for that is any indication, Pastor Jones says the new place will fill up quickly. “My list grows weekly. That list started out at 100. I’m looking at maybe 500 applications. There’s not a week that goes by that I don’t receive another 25 applications.”
The church plans to break ground in late October and have the project completed by next fall. The next step, Pastor Jones says, will be finding a new food market to open in the new community.