For people who haven’t been inside Family of New Paltz in a few years, the interior is almost unrecognizable. Every office has new paint and new flooring. Built-in cabinets for extra storage are everywhere.
While it is obvious the building is older, Family’s interior looks modern — right down to the sleek, new front desk.
According to George Sifre, with Seakill Custom Home Builders, much of the renovation was to serve a more functional purpose. Part of Family of New Paltz’s old food pantry used to be in the basement. It’s now all on the ground floor — bigger than before — and sitting on carefully planned shelf space.
Similarly, the donated clothing room has more space, said Sifre, who headed up the $52,000 renovation project.
The builder is one of the many do-gooders in the New Paltz Community Foundation who dreamed up the special fundraiser to renovate Family. When they started the project in 2013 with the goal of $50,000, the community’s support blew them away. They ended up taking in $65,000.
“It is a project we have been amazed at because of how easy it was,” said Eileen GulbrandsenGlenn, the New Paltz Community Foundation president. “Everyone seems to love Family.”
Family is a non-profit that offers a wide variety of services, from food and clothes for the needy, help for victims of domestic violence to suicide prevention hotlines.
Now, Family of New Paltz needs help again. Now that the essential inside work is done, there’s a phase two of that renovation project. It will cost roughly $80,000 to $100,000 and includes everything from landscaping, better insulation, energy-efficient windows, a redone exterior and more.
GulbrandsenGlenn praised people for coming together to support Family last year. “We’re hoping that this continued project will bring the community together too,” she said.
Family’s front entryway will be redone, the aged ramp redone. All new siding will go on and new shutters — as well as an entirely new roof. Outside, any diseased trees will go in favor of new plantings.
Volunteers keep Family of New Paltz going. And a lot of the renovations has made working there easier for them. One plan for phase two is to revamp the office’s upstairs balcony, turning it into a break space for workers and volunteers.
“Phase two is going to be harder, because we’ve had so many people already contribute,” she said.
Expect to hear about a fundraising push for the new Family of New Paltz renovations soon. A dinner dance at the New Paltz Elks Club is tentatively planned. Also, the foundation is planning a mass mailing to solicit support.
People who already know they want to contribute can log onto https://www.newpaltzfoundation.org/ and donate via PayPal. Those who prefer to donate the old-fashioned way can mail a check to New Paltz Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1112, New Paltz, NY 12561.
Learn more about Family of New Paltz by searching for them on Facebook or by heading to https://www.familyofwoodstockinc.org/.