I’m new to town. But I instantly knew I was “home” as I stood on my deck looking onto the changing landscape of Overlook Mountain. In the short time I’ve been here, I’ve discovered I’m a SaugerStocker, one of those residents nestled “on the line” between a town and a village. Yet, I’ve quickly adapted to my new place and adopted that regional identity. And I’ve even hung a picture or two.

I’m new to RUPCO, too. Within a day, I’ve figured out where to hang my coat and umbrella, where to find the lunch room banter, and meet up with inspiration at every corner. The warm welcoming of my coworkers tells me I’m in the right place. I’m home on two fronts.

For many, finding that sense of place is a struggle. For some, the absence of a physical space to hang their hat precludes their ability to establish a home base, an identity. People who are homeless, families who are underhoused, seniors looking for a safe living center, all of these neighbors have something in common. They need help getting to a place they too can call “Home.”

It’s this calling — RUPCO’s desire to strengthen communities, homes and lives — that motivates a staff of 30 and a cadre of partners to take action. Together we’re making a difference in the daily living, physical wellness, and mental psyche of those we serve. In turn, RUPCO’s work nurtures our local economy by designing projects that create jobs, revitalize long-vacant buildings, and transform lonely streets into thriving neighborhoods.

Home is where we kick up our feet, feed a cat (or six), enjoy a morning coffee. Community is where homes meet. In our community,  we share ideas, take in the arts, feel safe on the street, say hello to a neighbor. To make Home happen oftentimes takes a community, a town, a village, or a group like RUPCO. But it really starts when one person helps another find that special place to call “Home.”

Join me in turning dreams into homes that embrace community. Share on Facebook and Twitter why #HomeMatters. Donate today to RUPCO’s Emergency Assistance Fund. Or simply tell a friend about RUPCO’s many services, programs and grants designed specifically for those in need. Together we can make this happen: strengthening homes, communities, and lives.

Tara Collins is RUPCO’s Director of Communications & Resource Development and can be reached at 845- 331-2140, ext. 210 or by email at [email protected]

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