Welcome Home: United Way MV Puts Kits Together for Locals Establishing New Housing

ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. – United Way of the Mohawk Valley (United Way MV) partnered with CONMED to fill a unique gap for individuals and families who were previously unhoused or living in shelters as they secure a home.

Individuals moving into their own apartments after being homeless or living in a shelter usually do not have the basic supplies needed for their new home. Obtaining necessities, such as cookware, towels, and bedding is a challenge. Scrambling to acquire some of these necessities, when financial resources are already limited, is overwhelming and can derail a successful housing transition.

United Way MV stepped in to create a “Welcome Home Kit” to ensure that folks will have necessities from the start. The non-profit’s unique position in the community allows them to identify unmet needs and create solutions to fill gaps in services such as this one. The kits will be distributed through United Way MV’s Coordinated Entry System. The Coordinated Entry System links local homelessness system providers to a real-time list of individuals experiencing homelessness in our community. The system then connects individuals to available housing options which are the best match for their needs.  

Funding from United Way MV and CONMED helped purchase items for “Welcome Home Kits” for those transitioning into a new home as they move forward to a brighter future. CONMED employees spent an afternoon volunteering to help pack 50 large storage totes with those household items including a blow-up mattress, sheet set, can opener, pan, dishes, utensils, oven mitt, sponges, broom and dustpan, towels, shower curtain, towel set, and a reusable grocery bag.

“At CONMED, we have a shared value of doing things the right way. One way we bring this value to life is through our partnership with United Way,” said Mike Thomas, Senior Director and the Utica Site Lead for CONMED. “This partnership allows our team members to give back to the local community both financially and through contributions of their time and talents. Together, we are making a difference for a better tomorrow.”

“Oftentimes clients will have to choose between having basic household items or purchasing food. A can of soup from a food pantry doesn’t help if you have no can opener, or way of purchasing one. People need basic items to achieve housing stability,” said Betty-Joan Beaudry, United Way MV’s Director of Community Impact. “The items in these kits fill that gap and allow our clients to focus their energy and resources on their other needs.” 

Housing stability is the foundation of health and well-being – and United Way MV believes everyone should have access to a safe and stable home. United Way MV is one of many organizations that partner through Mohawk Valley Housing and Homeless Coalition to provide resources dedicated to helping the unhoused and those experiencing housing insecurity. Along with United Way’s Welcome Home Kits, their focus is ensuring access to help is available, and that there is a pathway to supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness.  

For more information on housing and homelessness in the Mohawk Valley, and more ways to help, head to: unitedwaymv.org/housing.


About United Way of the Mohawk Valley
Since 1921, United Way of the Mohawk Valley (United Way MV) has been a human service leader helping thousands of local individuals and families by bringing people and organizations together to solve our community’s challenges. As one of the area’s top funders, dozens of programs rely on United Way MV funding each year.
United Way MV is a leader in innovation through projects and initiatives addressing crucial community issues in the impact areas of health, education, and financial stability. For information about United Way of the Mohawk Valley, to donate or to get involved visit www.unitedwaymv.org, or call 315.733.4691