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Housing Visions formally opens Ethel T. Chamberlain House in Syracuse

By Eric Reinhardt


Syracuse nonprofit Housing Visions and the Salvation Army on Friday formally opened the Ethel T. Chamberlain House at 664 W. Onondaga St. in Syracuse. Housing Visions says the project includes a 15-bed shelter for “chronically homeless” women struggling with mental health or substance-abuse issues. (Eric Reinhardt / BJNN)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Housing Visions on Friday formally opened the Ethel T. Chamberlain House, an $8.2 million supportive-housing development located at 664 W. Onondaga St. in Syracuse.

Ethel T. Chamberlain, which Housing Visions describes as a “long-vacant” apartment building, is a former Greater Syracuse Land Bank property.

The 26,000-square-foot building includes a 15-bed shelter for “chronically homeless” women struggling with mental health or substance-abuse issues. The shelter component will include 24 hour on site supportive case-management services.

Supported with $6.1 million in state funding, the project also includes 16 one-bedroom units of permanent housing for women.

Holmes King Kallquist & Associates, Architects was the architect on the project, per the Housing Visions website.

The Salvation Army is providing case-management services, life-skills training, and benefit advocacy for the permanent-housing residents, in addition to an onsite manager, per a state news release on the project that Housing Visions provided BJNN.

The Salvation Army joined Housing Visions to host the formal-opening ceremony.

Project partners include New York State Homes & Community Renewal; New York State Office of Temporary & Disability Assistance (OTDA); Onondaga County Department of Social Services; City of Syracuse; the Greater Syracuse Land Bank, and Twain Financial Partners.


OTDA’s Homeless Housing and Assistance Program (HHAP) provided a grant of $3.8 million to help pay for the project, per the release.

The HHAP award included $2.3 million from the New York State Department of Health’s Medicaid-redesign team capital fund. It assists projects that provide permanent supportive housing to single homeless adults who exhibit conditions, or who have medical histories, associated with high Medicaid usage.

New York State Homes and Community Renewal also provided grants totaling more than $2.3 million for the project, including funding from the state HOME program, New York State Housing Plan Fund, and the Urban Initiative Program.

In addition, the project received federal and state historic tax credits.

About Ethel T. Chamberlain

The development is named after Ethel T. Chamberlain, who served as national president of the Salvation Army’s women’s organization during the 1970s.

In response to a BJNN inquiry on Chamberlain, Kathryn Guglielmo, special events and public-relations manager for the Salvation Army in Syracuse, provided the text that is seen on a plaque inside the West Onondaga Street building.

“Mrs. Commissioner Chamberlain dedicated her life to The Salvation Army, and served notably for nearly a decade at Syracuse City Command. After years of missionary and national leadership, she retired as The Salvation Army National President of Women’s Organization in the USA,” per Guglielmo’s email response.

A Nov. 5, 1995 article about Chamberlain’s death on the website of The New York Times indicated that Chamberlain served as the national president of the women’s organization between 1974 and 1977. She died at a Salvation Army retirement home in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

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