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Groundbreaking for homeless youth

SAFE Inc., a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help homeless, sexually exploited and runaway youths, will soon expand their services, with a ground breaking at their 1344 Albany Street headquarters on Wednesday, April 14 at 10 a.m.

The organization, which rescues teens and young adults who are victims of sexual exploitation as well as providing emergency shelter for runaway, throwaway and homeless youths through their Project SAFE and SAFE House; will expand the number of beds at their facility from eight to twelve and build a nursery for young parents to use to take care of their children.

Delores Edmonds-McIntosh said while the addition of three new beds may not sound like a substantial change, it means a lot to a homeless child and will help to increase the ability for the program to take care of teenagers and young adults in the community. In 2009, SAFE Inc. was able to temporarily house more than 163 youths.

\It doesn't sound like a lot but to a homeless child it means a lot, she said.

McIntosh also said the additions to the program will also be one of the first emergency shelters to focus on homeless youth in the area.

According to a release, both Project SAFE and SAFE House are ran out of the 1344 Albany Street location and can no longer meet the needs of SAFE clients. The groundbreaking on Wednesday will begin the construction of a two story addition to the existing building and increase the SAFE House bedrooms from three to six. The existing building will also have a renovated the existing kitchen and create new office space for the two program's staff. SAFE Inc. expects a completion date of the fall of 2010.

Support for the expansion comes from the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region, The Schenectady Foundation and the Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation, who gave $1.235 million in grant monies to the program through their Homeless Housing Assistance Program.

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