RUPCO Welcomes Kelsey Vargas to Program Services

Kelsey Vargas, L.M.S.W of Port Ewen joins the RUPCO staff as Program Services Supervisor and leads a staff of four who conduct direct case management at RUPCO via six offerings. Vargas, who joined the RUPCO team in April 2019, oversees all client outreach and community support to clients living at RUPCO properties or receiving services from RUPCO caseworkers. RUPCO’s five program services include:

HOPWA (Housing Opportunities for People with AIDs) assists families with housing support and connections to different supportive resources in Ulster and Dutchess Counties.

NYSHP (New York State Supportive Housing Program) connects one case manager with Stuyvesant residents and the supportive services they need; the case manager makes personal connections with each resident, many of which don’t have family or people to check in on them.

EAP (Emergency Assistance Program) provides security or back rent support payments to families to prevent homelessness. Families are not necessarily RUPCO clients or residents. Funding for that from United Way, The Bruderhof, and other sources. In 2018, RUPCO helped 48 families with nearly $50,000 to keep children and their parents housed. In 2019, 10 families have been helped so far.

STEPH (Solutions to End Homelessness Program) is similar to EAP, and provides housing and support to families experiencing homelessness with young children. This program ends in December 2019.

“We’re also in partnership with Bridges of New York in Newburgh at East End Apartments, a scattered site program for veterans, homeless, and at-risk youth,” notes Vargas. Bridges provides connections to support services that these populations need and are entitled to receive, but may not know it, services that can make life easier, less stressful. “My goal with program service is to grow the professional mental health services we provide, stronger community resources, stronger community partnerships, and wider professional mental health network that we can draw from. I support the mental health aspect, which will grow as we open up Energy Square and Landmark Place. Hudson Valley mental health services are not far-reaching and there is opportunity for RUPCO to provide that life-support right through our programs and residential living.”

“Kelsey is highly educated, but her people skills and ability to connect with those she is interacting with has most impressed me,” notes Sheila Kilpatrick, Vice President of Operations at RUPCO. “She is compassionate, caring, and conveys a sincere appreciation for the needs of our clients.  She is exactly what RUPCO needs to help us grow our support services programming.”

Vargas comes to RUPCO as a bi-lingual clinical social worker by trade. By education, she received her undergraduate degree from Quinnipiac College and completed her Masters of Social Work at University of Pennsylvania. “My license allows me latitude in making resident recommendations,” notes Vargas. “If I see a client needs additional assistance, I can refer that resident to the health professional needed.” Many residents are elderly, disabled, veterans, at-risk youth, or have a substance abuse or mental health diagnosis.

“I’ve always been interested in working with minority demographics, education access; health access to programs inspires me,” she continues. “Take a minute to think of mental health and home: if you don’t have a home, you can’t focus on any other aspect of your life. If you worry about where you are laying your head every night, you aren’t able to focus on your wellness, your medications. Your security is at risk, things don’t have a place. Once you’re situated, you’re home, you’re safe. Once housed, we can work with residents to address their routines, give life meaning, and set goals for integrating with family and our community.“

Recently married and Harry Potter fan, Vargas lives in Port Ewen with her husband and two dogs, Hagrid and Minerva.

Art Students League at The Lace Mill, July 6-28

ABOVE: Inside the Art Students League sculpture studio in NYC; Oil on canvas by Keith Gunderson

Lace Mill Arts Presents
The Spirit of The Art Students League
July 6-28

Opening Reception July 6, 5-9pm

Artwork: Inside the Art Students League sculpture studio in NYC; Oil on canvas by Keith Gunderson

July show to feature works by
Gertrude Abramson
John Balsamo
Les Castellanos
Montserrat Daubon
Ron DeNitto
Freya DeNitto
John Vetter Doyle
Staats Fasoldt
Rosalie Frankel
Mark Kevin Gonzales
Sam Goodsell
Tor Gudmundsen
Keith Gunderson
Janet Gunderson
Ariel Higgins
Anki King
Gregg Kreutz
Steve Mader
Angelo Mariano
Yuko Mariano
James Martin
Marsha Massih
Marie Mastronardo
Wilma Miller
Vincent Natale
Karen O’Neil
Tomomi Ono
Naoko Oshima
Kazuma Oshita
Anita Pearl
Richard Pantell
Gail Postal
James Renzie Prater
Robin Smith
John A. Varriano
Steve E. Walker
Karen Whitman
Bernard Zalon
and more…

There’s an old French Renaissance style building that stands between Broadway and 7th Avenue in New York City. It’s called The Art Students League of New York and schooled many of the greatest artists of our time – such as William Merrit Chase, George Bellows, Georgia O’Keefe, Norman Rockwell, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko to name but a few who studied and taught there. And in Woodstock, NY, The Art Students League had its satellite campus from 1906 to 1979, later to become the Woodstock School of Art.

The spirit of The Art Students League in both schools is continuous and undeniable since its founding in 1875 to this very day. I had the honor of studying and working in both The Art Students League and The Woodstock School of Art and painted beside many of the established artists, instructors, and emerging artists that both schools have produced and are presented here in this very special exhibition. As a curator for the Lace Mill Galleries, I am again honored to present The Spirit of The Art Students League, works from painters, printmakers, and sculptors associated with both schools currently and as far back as the 1950’s. The spirit continues. — James Martin, Curator

Long-time Rural LISC Partner RUPCO, Inc. will host more than 250 rural community development experts during the 2019 Rural LISC Annual Seminar June 4-7 in Monticello, New York. RUPCO will highlight their affordable housing and economic development projects, showcasing best practices in bringing opportunity to America’s rural areas.

“RUPCO is one of our truly outstanding Rural LISC partners,” said LISC Vice President and Rural LISC Director Suzanne Anarde. “Their innovative and ‘outside the box’ efforts in affordable housing and economic development over many years have brought numerous impactful opportunities to Kingston and the neighboring Hudson River Valley, and we are honored to showcase RUPCO’s outcomes on their own turf, so that our network of rural partners can see their remarkable efforts directly.”

“As the LISC conference co-host, we’re eager to share with our peers the community development projects we’ve furthered here in the Hudson Valley,” said RUPCO CEO Kevin O’Connor. “On June 6, RUPCO is leading a bus tour with over 250 people to visit The Lace Mill, The Metro and Energy Square in Kingston; Newburgh Progress and key properties recently funded by Governor Cuomo’s Affordable Housing initiative; and Woodstock Commons, the intergenerational campus for seniors, artists, and working families. We’re proud to highlight the region, our partners and community impact. The opportunity to share and dialogue about our collaborative work in housing and community development has always been at the heart of why being a member of Rural LISC is so important.”

One of the stops on the Seminar tour, The Lace Mill, is a former manufacturing site repurposed to artist housing. The United States Lace Curtain Mills in Kingston once thrummed with industry, employing hundreds of workers and fueling life in Kingston and the surrounding area. But with deindustrialization, Kingston has suffered population loss and disinvestment for the better part of a century, and the 1903 brick building had been boarded up and largely abandoned for decades.

Now, the old factory building has come back to life with a new purpose. Conceived as both a housing complex and an economic development engine, the $18-million project is coming into its own as a center of cultural and economic activity as well as providing affordable housing for the Hudson River Valley’s burgeoning arts community. The Lace Mill houses 55 affordable rental units, all home to artists, with several gallery spaces, work studios and sculpture gardens. Other amenities include state-of-the-art thermal heating and cooling, solar panels on the roof and energy-efficient lighting.

Rural LISC supported the Lace Mill project with more than $10 million in equity from LISC’s affiliate, the National Equity Fund, which included federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, federal historic tax credits and New York State historic tax credits. LISC also provided $45,500 in grants for predevelopment, capacity building, and arts and culture related development. A creative placemaking grant through LISC also supported the salary for a “community animator” who helps The Lace Mill to be self-governing and publicizes the arts and educational events to the larger community.

According to Kingston residents and the developers of the project, The Lace Mill has already had a profound impact on wellbeing in the Midtown district of Kingston, by sparking more tourism and inspiring galleries and restaurants to open in nearby vacant buildings. RUPCO conducted a survey in 2016 that showed dramatic improvements in the local area. As Guy Kempe, RUPCO’s vice president of community development, said, “Residents and visitors now recognize Midtown as a good community to live in.”

ABOUT RURAL LISC
Launched in 1995, Rural LISC is the rural component of the largest community development support organization in the country, called LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation). For 24 years, Rural LISC has partnered with rural communities, helping to forge innovative solutions that lead to prosperity and opportunity. Rural LISC’s investments in rural America have totaled $1.25 billion in grants, equity and low-cost loan funds. Rural LISC has leveraged this investment resulting in $3.3 billion from public and private sources, to produce 35,000 affordable homes and apartments, create 4 million square feet of commercial and community space, assist 700 businesses, create 12,000 jobs and support 20 early childhood centers. By generating resources and investing in the grassroots efforts of its 89 partner community-based organizations, Rural LISC is committed to making rural communities good places to live, work, do business and raise children. Learn more at www.lisc.org/rural.

ABOUT RUPCO
RUPCO creates homes, supports people, and improves communities across a broad spectrum of community development solutions including housing, historic preservation, and neighborhood revitalization in the Hudson Valley. RUPCO creates and maintains quality, sustainable housing and rental opportunities, inspiring understanding and acceptance of affordable housing initiatives, and championing pathways to opportunity. RUPCO is focused to deliver over $100 million in real estate development over the next 24 months including three prominent historic preservation developments: Landmark Place supportive senior housing), The Metro (community wealth building), and Newburgh Progress (community development). RUPCO’s historic preservation work has been most recently recognized with its development of East End Apartments (2019 Preservation League of NYS Excellence in Historic Preservation Award). Other award-winning developments include The Lace Mill (2016), The Kirkland (2009), The Stuyvesant (1993). Along with its real estate development arm, RUPCO possesses a stable and diversified business model with additional impact arenas in property management, resident program services, rental assistance, and homebuyer education. RUPCO currently owns/manages 23 developments on behalf of 700 residents in 588 apartments. Through rental assistance and the Housing Choice Voucher Program, nearly 2000 families, seniors and the disabled are living in safe, affordable homes in Greene and Ulster Counties. RUPCO’s HomeOwnership Center helps over 100 people each year achieve their dreams of homeownership. The HOC works with municipalities to deliver Community Development Block Grants and with homeowners on rehabs and accessibility modifications. It also provides similar homebuyer and homeowner services through its subsidiary holding, Orange County RDAC. Established in 1981, and a NeighborWorks America chartered member since 1999, RUPCO ushers community wealth-building opportunities, much-needed housing, and strong strategic partnerships into communities eager for change. RUPCO’s community development is Building for Everyone, impacting the lives of over 8500 Hudson Valley residents each day. For more information, visit www.rupco.org

NeighborWorks Week 2019

We’re one of 250 community development nonprofits across the U.S. doing the footwork that drives neighborhood change. NeighborWorks America supports organizations like RUPCO with grants, technical assistance, peer-to-peer learning opportunities and strategic partnerships. NeighborWorks is the leading provider of training to the broader housing and community development field. as well as the network. RUPCO has been a NeighborWorks America Chartered Member since 1993, and together we’re Building For Everyone, leveraging public and private resources to better the lives of American families.

To celebrate NeighborWorks Week this year, RUPCO is raising awareness by

  • holding our annual fundraiser, Celebrate Community
  • displaying a banner from the highly visible Kirkland, at the corner of Clinton and Main Streets, uptown Kingston
  • asking you to like our Pages and tell us how you are supporting our communities by sharing on our social channels (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram)
LISC brings together 250+ rural community development experts June 4-7

Scoping out the site at Bethel Woods Museum (l-r): Maru Gonzalez & Kevin O’Connor, RUPCO; Suzanne Anarde,  Sue Felzke & Murat Unal, Rural LISC

The nation’s top rural development leaders are joining forces in Monticello, New York next month as part of an integrated effort to revitalize America’s small towns, including addressing ways to catalyze economic opportunities through affordable housing, economic and workforce development, community safety, healthcare and more.   

Hosted by longtime Rural LISC partner RUPCO, the event will bring more than 250 rural experts together to explore new ways to foster economic and community development in rural areas across the country. “We are excited to bring our partners as well as other rural funders and stakeholders together in Monticello,” said LISC Vice President and Rural LISC Director Suzanne Anarde. “Our annual Seminar is our premier Rural LISC event, bringing representatives from our 89 community-based partners together with rural experts in the field to network, dialogue and learn from each other – as well as take innovative practices back to their communities. This year we are honored to be hosted by RUPCO, Inc. – a true trailblazer and leader in the rural community development field.”

“We are thrilled to welcome our colleagues from across the country to the beautiful Hudson Valley to share and learn about the best and most innovative practices in housing, community and economic development,”  said RUPCO CEO Kevin O’Connor. “In particular, we are looking forward to culminating the three-day conference with an event at Bethel Woods, the site of the original Woodstock concert that occurred 50 years ago this summer.”

Highlights include:

Economic impact: With more than 250 representatives from community-based nonprofits, foundations, investors and municipal agencies coming together to strategize on generating opportunity in disinvested rural communities – while staying and touring for the three days in the rural Catskills and Hudson River Valley – Rural LISC and its partners will pour more than $500,000 in direct tourism dollars, including travel, lodging, meals and supplies into the local economy.

Disaster Recovery and Resilience Training: Rural LISC is debuting its inaugural Disaster Recovery and Resilience training series. This hands-on training session will kick off a one-year Rural LISC curriculum in disaster recovery and resiliency, which will increase the capacity of rural community-based organization partners to respond to natural disasters in the communities they serve.

RUPCO Tour: Partner RUPCO will host a tour of their work, highlighting best practices in affordable housing, economic development and more. Conference groups will visit The Lace Mill, The Metro and Energy Square in Kingston; Newburgh Progress and key properties recently funded by Governor Cuomo’s Affordable Housing initiative; and Woodstock Commons, the intergenerational campus for seniors, artists and working families.

ABOUT RURAL LISC
Launched in 1995, Rural LISC is the rural component of the largest community development support organization in the country, called LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation). For 24 years, Rural LISC has partnered with rural communities, helping to forge innovative solutions that lead to prosperity and opportunity. Rural LISC’s investments in rural America have totaled $1.25 billion in grants, equity and low-cost loan funds. Rural LISC has leveraged this investment resulting in $3.3 billion from public and private sources, to produce 35,000 affordable homes and apartments, create 4 million square feet of commercial and community space, assist 700 businesses, create 12,000 jobs and support 20 early childhood centers. By generating resources and investing in the grassroots efforts of its 89 partner community-based organizations, Rural LISC is committed to making rural communities good places to live, work, do business and raise children. Learn more at www.lisc.org/rural.

ABOUT RUPCO
RUPCO creates home, supports people, and improves communities across a broad spectrum of community development solutions including housing, historic preservation, and neighborhood revitalization in the Hudson Valley. RUPCO creates and maintains quality, sustainable housing and rental opportunities, inspiring understanding and acceptance of affordable housing initiatives, and championing pathways to opportunity. RUPCO is focused to deliver over $100 million in real estate development over the next 24 months including three prominent historic preservation developments: Landmark Place supportive senior housing), The Metro (community wealth building), and Newburgh Progress (community development). RUPCO’s historic preservation work has been most recently recognized with its development of East End Apartments (2019 Preservation League of NYS Excellence in Historic Preservation Award). Other award-winning developments include The Lace Mill (2016), The Kirkland (2009), The Stuyvesant (1993). Along with its real estate development arm, RUPCO possesses a stable and diversified business model with additional impact arenas in property management, resident program services, rental assistance, and homebuyer education. RUPCO currently owns/manages 23 developments on behalf of 700 residents in 588 apartments. Through rental assistance and the Housing Choice Voucher Program, nearly 2000 families, seniors and the disabled are living in safe, affordable homes in Greene and Ulster Counties. RUPCO’s HomeOwnership Center helps over 100 people each year achieve their dreams of homeownership. The HOC works with municipalities to deliver Community Development Block Grants and with homeowners on rehabs and accessibility modifications. It also provides similar homebuyer and homeowner services through its subsidiary holding, Orange County RDAC. Established in 1981, and a NeighborWorks America chartered member since 1999, RUPCO ushers community wealth-building opportunities, much-needed housing, and strong strategic partnerships into communities eager for change. RUPCO’s community development is Building for Everyone, impacting the lives of over 8500 Hudson Valley residents each day. For more information, visit www.rupco.org

At The Lace Mill: The P’s Have it

Beginning June 1, Lace Mill Arts Presents three different shows in three galleries, with a First Saturday Artists’ Opening Reception on Saturday, June 1 from 5-9 pm. All shows exhibit June1-26, 2019 and are open for viewing Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 4 pm.

WEST GALLERY:  PORTRAITS and…
Works by Ron DeNitto

DeNitto exhibits his portraits of prominent people and friends, as well as his “Inscapes” which are his internalized views of Kingston, NY. He also individually curated several shows at The Lace Mill including his One-Man Show (November 2018), Masters at The Lace Mill (March 2019), and A Mid-summer NIght’s Art Show (July 2017).

 MAIN GALLERY:  Politics
Freya DeNitto curates a host of selected artists with personal perspectives on politics. Her knack for stimulating conversation and guiding discussion is prompted in this showcase of visuals in several mediums provided by a variety of artists.

EAST GALLERY:  People, Parrots & Pictures
Documentary photographer Gloria Waslyn exhibits her mages of the community including interactions with her Parrots for Peace. “I preserve the moment of the expression of joyful experiences,” says Gloria.

On-street parking is available on South Manor and Prospect Avenues. Galleries are located at 165 Cornell Street, Kingston; shows are free and open to the public. For more information, email The Lace Mill Arts Council [email protected]

 

Lace Mill artist-resident receives $2500 performance grant

Zelda (aka Judith Z. Miller) headshotLace Mill artist-resident Zelda (aka Judith Z. Miller) received an Individual Artist Commission from Arts Mid-Hudson last month. The $2,500 grant supports the development of her one-person show, “Que Será, Será (Whatever Will Be, Will Be).” This humorous, sobering, hopeful multimedia one-person revelatory performance chronicles Zelda’s story of the joys and challenges navigating non-binary Queerness from childhood during the 1950s to adulthood.

“I worked my ass off on that grant and I got it! ” notes Zelda. “Of course, now reality is setting in. In addition to creating the show, I also promote it and get advertisers for the programs. In order to manifest this piece of theater, I’m raising additional funds through a crowdfunding campaign, which I hope my friends, fans, and people interested in supporting a Queer project, will support. If everyone I know gives a small amount of money and a few give something substantial, this can happen.” 

Zelda (aka Judith Z. Miller) is a multifaceted artist who lives in an erotic, musical, spiritual universe. As a feminist Jew who studies shamanism, she is inspired by the beauty of nature and the guiding force of her intuition as she explores the themes of connection to the Earth, spirituality, sexuality, and gender. She sculpts, draws, writes, performs, photographs, and is an ecstatic dancer/percussionist/healer. Zelda co-founded The Fine Line Actors Theatre in Washington DC and performed at such venues as Source, GALA Hispanic Theatre and the Kennedy Center in DC, in NYC at WOW Café Theatre and Dixon Place, at The Lace Mill and with the TMI Project in Kingston. Zelda also produces ZELDA’S Happenings, a series of black-light, body-painting, percussion dance parties that will produce original wearable art for a new UpState Artists Clothing Collection. She published in Inside Arts magazine, The Washington Post, and American Theatre magazine. Zelda currently resides at The Lace Mill  in Kingston, NY with her Great Dane “Z.”

Arts Mid-Hudson extended a record number of Individual Artist Commissions grants, thanks to the 2019 Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by Arts Mid-Hudson. This grant program supports the creation of new work by an individual artist, which involves the community in their process or includes a public showing of their work. Zelda is one of 10 artists from Ulster, Dutchess and Orange Counties from a competitive field of 40 applicants.

Find out more about Zelda and her performance schedule, follow her on social media:

Que Será, Será on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TalkaboutQueerness/
Zelda’s Happenings on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zeldashappenings/
Artist Page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArtistSoulSpeaks/
Blog: http://www.ArtistSoulSpeaks.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JudithZ

Credit 101 Workshop , May 28

RUPCO & Citizens Bank present a series of FREE Credit 101 Workshops.

March 28, 2019
5:30-7:00 pm

The Kirkland Building
2 Main Street
Kingston, NY 12401

This workshop will provide valuable information on important aspects of your credit making it easier to qualify for a mortgage.

Tips will include

•Understanding your credit report
•Improving your credit
•Reducing your monthly debts

Find out how RUPCO programs can help you reach your goals.

REGISTER TODAY!

Career Opportunity: Maintenance Technician

POsition open in Property ManagementRUPCO seeks a Maintenance Technician to assist in the day-to-day maintenance of all RUPCO owned /managed properties. The Maintenance Technician reports directly to RUPCO’s Maintenance Supervisor. This is a full-time, hourly position. Duties may include, but are not limited to:

Position Responsibilities:

  1. Use of work order system to accomplish maintenance tasks as assigned. Accomplish unit turnarounds including make ready time. Provide unit inspections as required.
  2. In association with the Maintenance Supervisor and the VP of Portfolio Management, will contribute to the development and implementation of a preventative maintenance plan. Maintain high-quality maintenance standards.
  3. Maintain rental units to include preventive, daily cleanliness and condition of grounds and common areas, emergency repairs or services.
  4. In association with the Maintenance Supervisor and the VP of Portfolio Management, assist with vendor relations; including obtaining Hold Harmless Agreements and ensuring compliance with insurance requirements.
  5. Complete required reports. Maintain maintenance files as required.
  6. Provide research and initiative in the area of maintenance or property management.
  7. Maintain compliance with all federal, state and local regulations and other mandated guidelines and policies relevant to property management and operations including safety and quality assurance.
  8. Provide ‘on-call’ after-hours weekday, weekend and holiday coverage as scheduled.
  9. Perform additional duties as assigned.

Required Knowledge, Skills, Education and Experience

  • Basic knowledge of general maintenance repairs (plumbing, electrical, carpentry, etc.)
  • Basic knowledge of equipment used to perform general maintenance repairs
  • Able to lift at least 50 lbs., climb stairs & ladders, not afraid to get hands “dirty”
  • Valid & acceptable driver’s license endorsed by agency insurance company
  • Reliable transportation to get between work sites
  • Enthusiastic, friendly and positive attitude
  • Able to work independently but also as part of the team in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent communication skills: written and oral
  • Experience in a customer service environment (our tenants are our customers)
  • Tolerance and sensitivity to a diverse population
  • Strong work ethic

Please submit notice of interest for this position to [email protected] or [email protected]; candidates will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled.

First-time Homebuyer Informational Session, May 15

Ready to buy your first home, but don’t know where to start?

This in-person, hour-long First-time Homebuyer Informational Session outlines the RUPCO HomeOwnership Center’s Homebuyer Program and the path to homeownership.

Call 845-331-9860 or email [email protected] to register today!

Walk-ins welcome!

The Kirkland, 2 Main Street, Kingston NY 12401