BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — St. Luke's Mission of Mercy has been granted permission on Tuesday to buy and develop land to build a new community wellness and transition center for homeless men in Buffalo.
This is different from the winter emergency shelter operation known as Code Blue, where the church would house the homeless on cold winter nights.
This center would be open all year-round.
St. Luke's co-founder and director, Amy Betros, said there is a need to help homeless men.
"Sometimes we would have 65 men. We average 50 men we couldn't hold more than that," she said. "I had to use another building so it was always a desire of ours to build a building just for men."
The church has always helped the community, whether it's providing food or a warm bed.
"They're really a beacon of hope for that neighborhood," said Councilmember David Franczyk, who was one of the members who voted to enter the church into a Designated Development Agreement with the city.
The official name for the new center is Build Promise, Inc. It would bring all the church's partners under one roof, providing the resources for men who are down on their luck to transition back into society.
In the past the church would place cots in a kitchen and dining area on cold winter nights.
Betros said the new center would have 120 beds, a dining and community room, along with laundry facilities and showers.
"The wonderful part about it is that sometimes, you just get a shower, you know new clothes, a good meal and it makes a world of difference," she said.
She said their overall goal is to give men in need a better quality of life, and help them find new homes.
"They are you know very intimate in their helping of people that are in the streets, guiding them, helping them," said Franczyk.
This is a $5 million project. The land is paid for but to build the center, the church is working on getting grants and planning fundraisers.
If all goes well it would become reality next year.