BUFFALO, N.Y. — Each Monday, we celebrate our City Shapers. In 2019, we're focusing on the women who make Western New York a wonderful place to live. This week, 2 On Your Side's Kelly Dudzik introduces us to one of the women helping hundreds of people who are experiencing homelessness in Western New York.
Aubrey Calhoun is the associate executive director for the Buffalo City Mission. She’s from Buffalo.
The Buffalo City Mission takes a holistic approach to helping the poor and homeless in Western New York — from rescue services, to graduating people from the program who then give back to the community that once gave to them — and Calhoun plays a big role in making that happen.
She's been at the City Mission for more than 13 years.
"I love being out in the public eye and just really showcasing the Buffalo City Mission as the beacon of light for our community," says Calhoun.
While Calhoun works with community outreach, public relations, and the volunteer platform, her main focus is with fundraising.
"My main focus with the Buffalo City Mission is really to maintain and increase our revenue bottom line because our annual campaign is really what sustains our organization, so revenue is one of the big parts of my job," she said. "I also manage the capital campaign for our new community center for the Next Century campaign."
Calhoun is in the middle of the fall campaign where the mission needs to raise almost $2.5 million by the end of the year. There's also the new community center opening next spring. It is a $15 million project with more than $12 million raised so far. It'll be a one-stop-shop with 93,000 square feet on the first floor offering medical care.
"This opens up the doors for us to grow deeper relationships on a collaborative basis with our hospitals," she said. "Save them money, but also make a revenue line for the mission. This will be the first recuperative care clinic in Western New York."
Calhoun says in order to be successful doing what she does, you have to believe in the cause and know you're changing lives.
"Where their pathway was dark and in crisis mode, and now to be able to change it where they have a new beginning, and they can actually have an opportunity to be self-sustaining is magical," says Calhoun. "And, that's what really drives me each and every day knowing that we're all about restoring lives."
If you know someone who would be a great City Shaper, just send Kelly an email.
Watch our City Shaper profile on Lynne Marie Finn:
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