Boston Road 43-unit veterans housing apartment building opens

Nancy Olecki, Urban Pathways development director; Loree Sutton, Mayor’s Offices of Veterans Affairs Commissioner; Deputy Borough President Aurelia Greene and Frederick Shack, CEO of Urban Pathways cut the ribbon.
Photo by Edwin Soto

A new apartment building for our nation’s greatest heroes opened on Boston Road, to house low-income and previously homeless veterans.

The new eight-story veterans residence on Boston Road just blocks from Crotona Park opened with fanfare with a ceremony and a ribbon cutting on Thursday, November 5.

The supportive housing residence for those formerly in the military includes 43 furnished studio apartments.

Urban Pathways, an organization that provides housing, services and support for homeless and at-risk people, was its sponsor.

“This is an exciting day that will pave the way for more residences to open for those who have given so much to keep our country safe,” said Frederick Shack, Urban Pathways chief executive officer the day the new building officially opened.

“The Boston Road Veterans’ Residence is not a shelter, but rather a home and solid foundation that can be built on to help veterans transition back to society in meaningful ways.”

The newly completed building at 1351-55 Boston Road, is not too far away from another Urban Pathways veterans apartment building that opened in 2014 at 1344 Clinton Avenue.

Both buildings share a landscaped courtyard garden that diagonally face one another.

Staff from Urban Pathways, Community Board 3 members, as well as Deputy Borough President Aurelia Greene and Loree Sutton, a retired brigadier general who is commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs, attended the grand opening.

Housing for veterans is something that the borough president’s office deals with on a daily basis, said Greene.

“Our veterans often struggle with being able to find stable housing,” she said.

The new housing shows our veterans how much we appreciate them, she added.

The housing is a mixture of affordable apartments for low-income veterans and apartments for people who were formerly homeless.

They come fully furnished, and include full bathrooms and kitchens, bath and bed linens, climate control units and tableware.

The housing also includes in-house social services, case management, and meal preparation.

Gloria Montez, a retired veteran who lives in the Clinton Avenue building, testified to the transformative experience that housing can provide.

“When I first walked through these doors I said ‘wow, I am finally home,” she said at the dedication. “I sat in that apartment and cried tears of joy.”

Montez said she had been a sergeant with the military police, and that after leaving the U.S. Armed Forces, had 22 years of stability before she hit hard times.

At the dedication ceremony, Shack said the housing is not only necessary, but is also therapeutic.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

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