Schenectady nonprofit to celebrate new home
SCHENECTADY A nonprofit that helps senior citizens and the disabled will celebrate a grand opening Tuesday at its new location downtown.
Umbrella of the Capital District moved its offices earlier this year from 509 Union St. to 9 North Broadway. With a staff of only four working inside the 1,000-square-foot space, the agency is able to send out more than 100 local handypersons to help seniors and individuals with disabilities live comfortably and independently in their homes. They fix burst pipes, furnaces that won’t turn on, broken windows and more.
“This space was much more affordable for us,” said Umbrella director and co-founder Ron Byrne. “You have to watch every penny these days because it’s very difficult to make ends meet as a nonprofit.”
Byrne signed an annual lease to rent the first-floor space for $700 a month. John Samatulski, of Urban Initiatives Group, gutted and renovated the interior and fixed up the facade.
Umbrella was founded in 1995 out of Byrne’s partner’s house before moving to space at 108 Erie Blvd. About five years ago, it moved to 509 Union St. Today, the agency serves people throughout Albany, Saratoga, Schenectady and Rensselaer counties.
“It helps the bottom line,” said Byrne of the move. “The financial impact reduces our expenses pretty significantly, and the location makes it a bit more accessible for people who maybe like the idea of coming to a business on a nice, quiet side street.”