We will go wherever we are needed, and do whatever it takes to reach and uplift those in need.Maud and Ballington Booth, Founders of VOA
Serving Broome County
Since 1896, VOA has cared for our community's most vulnerable. Your support is the reason we are able to continue our mission to help those who have no where else to turn.
Volunteers of America Upstate New York (VOA) empowers people in our community to rise out of poverty, move toward self-reliance, and reach their full potential. We accomplish this by providing long-term solutions to homelessness, poverty, addiction, illiteracy and criminal behavior through more than 34 essential programs and services. Nationally, VOA helps more than 2.5 million people in more than 400 communities.
Our Binghamton office is located at 320 Chenango Street. VOA offers a wide array of programs to help homeless families and individuals, struggling veterans, frail seniors, and those exiting incarceration. We provide life saving support such as: emergency shelters, case management, counseling, rental assistance, supportive housing, nutritious meals, clothing, employment assistance, and most importantly - HOPE.
Homelessness can affect those who least expect it. One sudden change can turn your life upside down. Just ask Tom. Tom is a lifelong Binghamton resident and single father of an 8-year-old daughter. He had a full-time job and was getting by paycheck to paycheck. Then suddenly things changed last spring. Tom took on full custody of his 5-year-old autistic nephew when his sister was battling drug addiction. The added costs of looking after a second child with a disability soon took a financial toll.
Once school let out for the summer, Tom didn’t have any child care options for the children so he began taking both of them with him to his job in food delivery. He was missing shifts and soon he couldn’t pay his rent and was facing eviction. He was considering living out of his car when he turned to Volunteers of America for help.
VOA provided Tom and the children with temporary housing in our emergency family shelter. A VOA case manager worked with him to find an affordable home while also arranging subsidized day care for the two children so Tom didn’t have to take them to work. VOA also referred Tom’s sister to a treatment center so she could focus on her recovery.
After three weeks in VOA's shelter, Tom and the two children moved into an affordable apartment in the city. Through VOA’s rapid rehousing program, VOA provided the security deposit for the apartment and filled the cabinets with food so Tom and the kids would have a good start in their new place. VOA's shelter is the only one in the area that could accommodate Tom as a single father with children because our shelter has private units for the families we serve. Now, five months later, Tom has maintained his employment and an apartment where he and the children are living together in a safe, stable environment.
“I don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for Volunteers of America," says Tom. "I didn’t know what to do. The staff at VOA were so kind and helpful. They helped me find a great apartment and a safe place for the kids to go so I could go to work.”
Tom is one of the lucky ones. He was able to stay with his kids while he worked through the challenges that led to his homelessness. Volunteers of America operates the only homeless shelter in Broome County that provides emergency housing and support services for entire families, keeping them together during their housing crisis. This ensures that single fathers can stay with their children.
*Name has been changed for privacy.