Amos House officially broke ground on its new four-story, 29,000-square-foot building at a ceremony on December 1st, 2014. The project is home to a new soup kitchen with larger dining hall, classrooms, community rooms, training centers, and consolidated staff offices.
Since 1976, Amos House has provided direct support for persons in Rhode Island who are hungry, homeless and in crisis. The nonprofit operates the largest soup kitchen in the state; provides transitional and permanent supportive housing for 175 persons a night; runs culinary arts, carpentry, financial literacy, and literacy training programs; provides a wide array of social services; and operates a social enterprise, More Than A Meal Catering. The agency assists over 15,000 people each year.
“Words cannot express how appreciative I am for our partners, donors, staff, and local community and the help they have provided over the past five years to arrive at this moment,” said Eileen Hayes, Amos House President and CEO.
This project utilizes New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC), provided by MHIC with Bank of America as the investor, to cover 30% of project costs. Funding sources also include: a 2010 federal earmark of $730,500, a $1 million forgivable loan from Rhode Island Housing and more than $3 million in gifts and pledges from local businesses, foundations, and individuals.
“Amos House is an exceptional organization, working tirelessly to combat the ills of hunger, homelessness, and poverty. We are pleased and proud to provide New Markets Tax Credit financing to help Amos House build a new home, start a new chapter, and do an even better job at helping people build and rebuild their lives,” said MHIC President Joe Flatley.
The first floor of the building was home to a new dining hall and kitchen with expanded capabilities and the ability to seat up to 20% more people at each meal, along with a spacious Social Services Center. The second floor was home to classrooms, a group meeting space, and training center. Consolidated staff offices was located on the third floor. The full basement now serves as a work space for Amos House’s growing carpentry training program, and allows for the secure storage of large equipment used by the nonprofit’s More Than a Meal business.
Several training programs, including Amos Culinary Education (ACE), Amos Carpentry Training (ACT), the Financial Opportunity Center, and Literacy was located in the new building, allowing their current cramped space to be converted to additional housing for Amos House’s 90-day Women’s Program. The new staff office space on the second and third floors allows Amos House to return the building currently housing Social Services and Development offices to apartment-style supportive housing for families.
The new training space allows Amos House to accept up to 50% more students into the Carpentry and Culinary Training Programs, which translates into a larger number of men and women graduating from these programs with the skills they need to gain employment.
“Amos House transforms lives by providing meaningful job training and other life skills, in addition to caring for basic needs,” said Bill Hatfield, Rhode Island Market President, Bank of America. “Through this expansion, Amos House was able to bring its innovative programming to even more Providence residents, connecting them with critical resources.”