Thursday, October 21, 2010

Safe Harbors of the Hudson: Cornerstone Residence

"Safe Harbors of the Hudson, incorporated in 2000, is a nonprofit organization that is committed to transforming lives and building communities through housing and the arts in the City of Newburgh."

This week, I had a chance to see what is within the walls of the old Hotel Newburgh. Renamed "The Cornerstone Residence", this space now offers supportive housing, and this probably the exact opposite of what you think of when "affordable housing" comes to mind. I didn't see any of the actual apartments, but I had met a Cornerstone resident on a previous occasion, and he had mentioned how much he loved his place, with the high ceilings, hardwood floors, etc. Although this is nothing like the old Hotel Newburgh, you'd find many amenities available in hotels today. Some of these features include a fitness room (complete with a meditation room), library, computer lab, and rooms for group events.

After signing in with security and entering the lobby, you're surrounded with artwork from one resident artist. The artwork changes monthly, where a different resident's work is featured each month, and its almost a shame that this isn't visible to the general public (some of the residents do have works displayed at the Newburgh Free Library, if interested in viewing some of the talent residing here). The lobby being so spacious, there was so much more than I had a chance to look at in the brief period I was waiting there. This month, the walls were adorned with paintings from "Tusay". While seeing the artist studios, Tusay was painting away- the art being displayed is only a fraction of his inventory. While down there (in what used be be part of the Sears automotive department) he was more than happy to show me more of his work and was sweet as can be. I'm lucky to have the Cornerstone and its residents in my neighborhood!

Tusay sporting his "Ritz Kidz" t-shirt

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