How does a client enter the "Grace House" program?
All referrals must be made through the Erie County Department of Social Services. This can be done through the 211 system and Homeless Housing Unit.
Individuals who are currently incarcerated who are interested in participating in the program should contact facility DOCCS representatives to request that their case be reviewed by DOCCS for possible referral to “Grace House.” Parolees currently in the community should speak with their assigned Field Parole Officer to request a referral to “Grace House.”
"Grace House" at 1932 Bailey- Emergency Shelter Care
Known regionally as “Grace House”, we often say that the home is a respite from the storms of life. In Erie County, NY, 250 adult males face homelessness nightly and are referred to hotels until a bed opens at “Grace House”. We maintain nearly 100% occupancy as the community need is ever increasing. Many clients are chronically homeless and struggle with co-occurring disorders, undiagnosed medical issues, or addiction. They simply find themselves lost with nowhere to go.
Homelessness is a lonely place. Clients arrive fearful, apprehensive and distrusting. Upon arrival, clients are welcomed and receive clean clothes, a shower, personal care items, and bedding. Within a few weeks of admission, clients begin to understand that we care for them and support them. We are there to guide and assist clients in achieving independent living, or movement to a living situation that helps them meet their personal needs with community support. For many, living independently is a far off dream… “Grace House” statistics tells a different story. Nearly 72% of all arriving clients transition to permanent housing with supports and assistance. Supports include client case management with a one-on-one housing care plan, life skills class instruction, employment opportunities, and financial wellness classes.
We partner with addiction treatment, medical providers, and benefits assistance advisors that afford clients a wide range of services and needed life supports.
For those interested, we offer chaplaincy support and an opportunity to participate in church services located at our office building (the Firehouse). Firehouse Church affords clients a faith life expression, provides a time to heal and receive comforting scriptural messages. Clients are able to meet others they can relate with and receive friendship, support, and encouragement.
Clients are normally approved to stay 30 days at the Shelter. On average, clients stay approximately 90 days before transitioning to an independent living opportunity. While at “Grace House”, clients receive 3 nutritious meals daily. Our staff provides evening snacks, access to special treats daily and holiday celebrations/barbeques as well as game nights and special events. Many clients with Mental Health needs or judicial/court imposed supervision may require longer stays. These clients work with case managers to search for housing, but may ultimately be referred to our next step housing- or “Aftercare Housing”. SGM owns additional congregate housing units that are reserved for those clients in need of additional supports. Often times, these clients need time to evaluate the next step in their housing process and coordinate a housing plan that works well for their needs. Long-term housing remains a challenge within the City of Buffalo, especially for those with mental health needs, criminal oversight, and judicial mandates.
Saving Grace will house and coordinate care for over 450 adults in 2023, with over 400 of those individuals transitioning to independent living. We also support and operate a community center located at 347 East Ferry St., Buffalo, NY 14208. This center provides community services for families and programming for youth education and recreation. The center serves over 300 children and 250 adults weekly. We believe that providing access to these services can help individuals and families achieve self-sufficiency, improve their quality of life, and contribute to the well-being of our community.
Saving Grace Ministries currently operates the only New York State Certified Emergency Shelter in Erie County that serves adult males. The agency has maintained client data tracking and discharge information since approximately 2009, including a comprehensive client profile. The agency also maintains client data through a tracking system known as HMIS, which is operated by the Homeless Alliance of WNY. Management has the benefit of reviewing over a decade of client data, allowing them to assess best practices and how best to deliver client services.
The January, February, and March 2023 data reports indicated that 80% of all shelter clients during this period were successfully discharged to independent housing at a level of care and support appropriate for their needs. This encouraging data is a result of significant infrastructure investments & improvements, as well as staff training and improved deliverables for client services. Considering the fact that Saving Grace’s housing model focuses on the region’s high risk & high need clients, this output is a huge success, particularly when compared to measurable outcomes of 50-60% successful placements within the last 5 years. Saving Grace is at the forefront of advocacy and change related to the delivery of homeless services. The agency is initiating a novel approach, establishing direct on-site medical care for emergent needs. This on-site care will also include mental health assessment interventions and addiction interventions with medical partners.
Agency Contract Partners
Erie County Department of Social Services
Saving Grace Ministries, Inc. is a contract partner to Erie County DSS and their emergency shelter program. SGM provides housing to DSS referred clients at multiple properties.
Erie County Re-Entry Task Force
The Erie County Reentry Task Force is a collaboration of service providers, housing providers, government and private agencies, working together to assess the existing services for individuals re-entering society and to encourage the collaboration of service providers to improve services and increase effectiveness.
Saving Grace Ministries, Inc. is a Signature Member of the Erie County Reentry Task Force. Membership on this task force represents recognition on the part of local government, community organizations, and service providers that SGM provides a much needed valuable service to the parolee population in Erie County. Through ongoing collaboration and cooperative efforts with other signature agencies, SGM has been a passionate voice for ongoing improvement of service provision to parolees.
Saving Grace Ministries, Inc. works with the ECRETF to create housing opportunities for ex-offenders and parolees serviced by the ECRETF “Housing sub-committee”. SGM was also awarded an Erie County Reentry enhancement grant to provide congregate care housing and scattered site housing opportunities for parolees serviced by the ECRETF.
Enhancement Grant Funding from Division of Criminal Justice Services
SGM has been awarded a contract by Erie County Department of Mental Health in conjunction with the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), to provide housing case management to identified special needs reentry clients. Funding from this award provides an additional case manager to oversee client engagement in the community. The addition of this case manager will allow higher-functioning parolees to reside SGM aftercare housing, gaining independence and being held accountable for ongoing compliance with parole release conditions, while providing oversight and ongoing case management and assistance.
HUD-City of Buffalo
Saving Grace Ministries, Inc. has been a contractor under the City of Buffalo’s Emergency Solutions Grant program since 2003. Under the ESG Program, SGM, Inc. receives contract funding for provision of emergency shelter services to homeless adult males in the City of Buffalo. SGM, Inc. serves over 600 clients per year in the ESG program.
NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA)
Saving Grace Ministries, Inc. has been a contract partner to NYS OTDA since 2006, operating two current contracts to provide case management, housing, and program services to homeless individuals. The Supportive Housing Program (SHP) program provides provides services to homeless adult clients, including life skills training, food, clothing, assistance locating permanent housing and employment, and other needed services. The Solutions to End Homelessness Program (STEHP) provides housing location assistance, aftercare follow-up, and supplemental supportive services to assist program graduates in maintaining long-term stable housing.
24 Hour Addiction Hotline, Buffalo and Erie County 716-831-7007
Sexual Abuse/Harassment Policy
Saving Grace Ministries maintains a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of sexual abuse and harrassment. We are obligated to report any information regarding a sexual abuse/harassment claim occurring at a Saving Grace property. Please contact us at the information below with any concerns or reports: