Gerard Place: Helping Homeless Mothers & Children to Start Over

March 13, 2019

Written By

Mary Friona Celani

If you haven’t heard of Gerard Place – let me fill you in a bit.

I first learned about Gerard Place while working at WGRZ. The entire Daybreak crew went out and did some work there – helping to plant flowers and get the flower beds looking beautiful. We toured the facility and I was in awe.

The work they do is SO important for those who they help but also for the entire community.

You see, they aren’t there to give handouts. They are much more. As they put it – “Residents are not given a “hand out,” they are earning a “hand up.”

Gerard Place provides housing for homeless single parents and their families and empowers those parents through education, employment, vocational training, life skills classes and counseling.

They change lives. They offer fresh starts. They help people get the tools they need to live a successful, independent life. Yes, they provide housing, support services and community education – and it all helps the individuals and families find self-sufficiency.

Kathy Hens-Zuppa is the Community Center Director of Marketing/Volunteer Coordinator at Gerard Place. She says families appreciate all of the help they are given. “Our families are very appreciative of these types of donated items. The mothers are working hard on moving forward towards self-sufficiency by learning life & parenting skills, enrolling in education/job training classes, budgeting and how to take care of their own apartment.”

Gerard Place does rely on the community to help with items – including diapers and baby wipes, crib sheets, blankets, non-perishable food and more. Every little bit helps.

“These donated items help to stretch their budget as they get back on their feet from homelessness caused by the trauma of domestic violence, poverty, and human trafficking. Simple acts of kindness such as these donations mean so much to them. Thank you for making a difference in their lives.”

The 14215 zip code where Gerard Place resides is one of the poorest zip codes, has the highest rate of illiteracy, of unemployment and kids in foster care.

Gerard Place and those who help are making a difference. Amazingly, they have a 90% success rate for families successfully transitioning back into the community and breaking the cycle of poverty.

Every little bit can help make a difference. We’ve started a drive for Gerard Place through our charity – Totally Buffalo’s Hope for the Holidays. 

If you would like to help, we’ve made it very easy. You can order something off the Amazon Wish List by CLICKING HERE– it will be shipped directly here and we will deliver it all together!!!




Here’s a bit more on Gerard Place. 

What Gerard Place offers homeless mothers and their children:

  • A fully-furnished two bedroom apartment
  • Security system
  • Laundry facility
  • Community and play area
  • Housing assistance
  • Case management services
  • Life skills classes such as parenting, job readiness, money management, health & nutrition
  • Referral/linkage to other community services and agencies
  • Exercise room
  • Arts and crafts

To qualify:

  • Contact Karen Kasperek, Director of Services (716) 897-9948 x 112 or
  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must be coming from a homeless shelter and/or living on the street.
  • You must provide, in writing, verification that you are homeless.
  • You must have custody of at least one child or will have custody of at least one child under 14 years of age prior to move in.
  • You must have intake and orientation with the Director of Services prior to admission.
  • If you have an order of protection due to an abusive relationship, please bring it with you to the interview.
  • You must provide the property manager and/or Gerard Place staff with necessary documents prior to admission.


About Me

Welcome to Totally Buffalo! My name is Mary Friona-Celani and I am the creator of this site! After spending 20 years in the Buffalo media, I moved on to focus on my beautiful family. Now, the time has come for a new project. I was ready for something new. Something mine.
I am born and raised in WNY and my pride runs deep. My husband, Scott and I are very happy to be raising our four daughters here.






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