For the past year, Ampact, with support from CoGenerate’s Generations Serving Together program, placed cogenerational pairs of AmeriCorps members in elementary schools. The older and younger adults worked side by side to improve students’ reading and math skills. A...
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CoGenerate is proud to be part of More Perfect, a coalition of national service and bridge-building groups that launched a bold plan today calling for cogenerational national service and volunteering, including a dramatic expansion of opportunities to engage 1 million...
We at CoGenerate (formerly Encore.org) are mourning the loss of Chuck Feeney this week. Without Chuck's vision and generosity we likely would not exist as an organization. Twenty-five years ago Atlantic Philanthropies took a chance on our start-up, playing a...
Purpose Prize Fellow 2013
Sluszka transformed a struggling nonprofit into a robust organization solving veterans’ homelessness.
With 14 years of experience at the helm of a community grassroots housing organization in upstate New York, Joseph Sluszka knew the importance of having a roof over one’s head, regardless of income. He was also skilled in financial management from his years in the real estate and home repair industries.
That’s why in 2004 he began an encore career with a higher purpose: helping end veterans’ homelessness leading the Albany Housing Coalition, which provides at least 50 homeless veterans a day with emergency shelter, transitional housing, affordable rentals and permanent homes.
At the time, the nonprofit was facing bankruptcy and dissolution. Though “homelessness was new to me, and homeless veterans a whole world apart,” he says, “I knew that an outsider brings new perspective to old ways of doing things.”
Within six months, he had financially stabilized AHC. Today the organization has triple the operational budget it once had. Under his leadership, the nonprofit created innovative housing, employment, and legal services programs that are veteran-centered and peer-led. Several programs are recognized as national best practices and have been modeled by other agencies in other states.
Last year 500+ vets used AHC’s services. “Over the years a number of veterans we have assisted have made a point to come to me to tell me that I saved their life,” he says of his encore career. “It humbles me and at the same time makes me proud of what my staff does each day.”