Last week, The Doe Fund announced a $1.128 million project to upgrade the Gates Center for Opportunity, which first opened in 1990 and is operated under contract with the Department of Homeless Services.
The project will improve the Bedford-Stuyvesant facility’s infrastructure, modernize flooring and fire doors, overhaul boiler and electrical systems to increase energy efficiency and revamp the look and feel of community spaces.
“We have always believed in the power of environment,” said George McDonald, founder and president of The Doe Fund. “Renovating our original facility will demonstrate to our hard-working program participants that they matter, and that they deserve to live with dignity in safe, attractive and clean surroundings.”
According to the nonprofit, the renovation will take place in stages, with boiler and other work to begin next year. The project is slated to be completed by 2024.
Funding for the overhaul came from local elected officials. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Councilman Robert Cornegy provided a $600,000 discretionary grant, while the Borough President’s Office allocated $528,000.
“This funding represents an investment in the infrastructure of opportunity,” Cornegy said. “In supporting The Doe Fund in its indispensable work, we assist in delivering a more secure future for those who have faced homelessness.”
“For 30 years, 520 Gates has sheltered men facing homelessness,” Johnson added. “But like any aging facility, it needs upgrades to keep operating safely and humanely.”
The Gates Center for Opportunity is one of three transitional residences operated by The Doe Fund, whose mission is to break the cycles of homelessness, addiction and recidivism by providing housing, social services and paid work opportunities.
“I am proud to have been able to provide funding to help 520 Gates Avenue transitional residence renovate and reimagine its space and be able to continue its great work,” Adams said, “especially in these difficult times.”