Safe Harbors of the Hudson, incorporated in 2000, is a nonprofit organization committed to transforming lives and building communities through housing and the arts in the city of Newburgh, New York.
The project began in December, 2002, when the historic Hotel Newburgh was purchased. The infamous, run-down hotel was transformed into attractive, well-designed supportive housing. Renamed the Cornerstone Residence, this unique facility offers support services and jobs training on-site provided by Independent Living, an advocacy and service organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for persons with disabilities. The Cornerstone Residence consists of 128 apartments; 116 are supportive housing and 12 are artist lofts. These apartments house a mixed tenancy of single adults, including the formerly homeless, veterans, those living with a mental health diagnosis, artists and other adults in need of affordable housing. The building offers many amenities and programs including a fitness center, library, computer lab, classes and a GED program. Many of these amenities and programs are available to the public. The Cornerstone also houses several multi-use spaces that may be rented for special events of all kinds.
With the Cornerstone serving as our model and inspiration, we are continuing our ongoing goal to create and implement a redevelopment plan that will effect meaningful change and enrich the quality of life in the surrounding urban neighborhoods. It is our belief that the arts can help create the social change Newburgh needs, increasing traffic to the historic downtown area and encouraging an inspiring exchange of ideas, viewpoints, and culture.
To this end, the Ann Street Gallery opened within The Cornerstone in 2007. The gallery has hosted approximately six acclaimed contemporary exhibitions and numerous community events each year since its inception, and was named “Best Gallery” three years in a row by the readers of the Times Herald-Record.
Our successful Ann Street Market series continues to bring the community together year after year and provides access to fresh local produce, live music, arts & crafts, baked goods, and much more. “Bells on Broadway,” our annual holiday market and festival, invites children and adults of all ages to visit with Santa Claus and to shop in a vibrant community setting. Numerous community organizations and businesses utilize our building for meetings and events, and we offer extensive tours of our facilities on a regular basis.
Future projects include the renovation of three commercial spaces and the restoration of the historic Ritz Theater. As the only remaining historic theater in the City of Newburgh, the Ritz will provide a venue for live performances in a city that has none, educational programs for our youth, employment opportunities for our community, and create an active cultural and tourist destination.
Safe Harbors has received many awards in recognition of our innovative work, including Orange County Chamber of Commerce’s “Not-for-Profit Enterprise of the Year” in 2008 and the “Residence of the Year” Award from the Supportive Housing Network of New York State in 2007. We are humbled to have received so much community support and look forward to many more years of continuing our mission.
To view a video about Safe Harbors, click here. The video was produced by local documentary filmmaker and Ritz Theater Board Member, Lynda Parisi.