The Sisters of Charity of New York have been strong advocates for affordable housing since their earliest days. Recognizing a growing need, in the 1980s the Sister embarked on an ambitious program to sponsor housing developments that provided supportive services for the most vulnerable. In Staten Island, Manhattan, and Rockland County, not only did SCHDC develop safe and affordable housing for the elderly, formerly homeless, disabled, and chronically mentally ill, they insisted that additional services be in place to treat the residents with dignity and respect.
On October 28, 2021, Sister Donna Dodge joined other representatives of the Vincentian family for a United Nations (UN) panel discussion titled What Happens When People Have Housing — Better Cities, Better Life. Moderated by Sister Teresa Kotturan, SC-Nazareth, the Sisters of Charity Federation Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) representative at the UN, the panel was part of the Urban October UN initiative to raise awareness of a new urban agenda and the role cities must play in fighting the climate crisis.
In her introduction, Sister Teresa described Sister Donna as “a passionate advocate for ending homelessness and for affordable housing for vulnerable people.” Before becoming President, Sister Donna Dodge was Assistant Executive Director and later CEO and Executive Director of the Sisters of Charity Housing Development Corporation from 2013 to 2019. Sister Donna’s UN panel presentation provided an overview of SCNY-sponsored housing developments with an emphasis of the support services and other facets of “value-added” experience. In her words, the Sisters are “not just a landlord.”
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