The mission of People’s Place is to feed and clothe the unemployed, the physically and mentally challenged, working poor, youth, and elderly in Ulster County by responding to their most essential needs, through the generosity of the community. Providing these services in a compassionate and caring environment, we aim to sustain health, human dignity and the opportunity for individuals to meet their full potential.
Our Vision and Goal
People’s Place emulates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) (U.N. 1948) article 25, eradicating hunger in Ulster County. Our goal since 1972 is to feed and clothe our Ulster County Community.
Current Statistics and Programs
Our mission is implemented with the help of over 80 dedicated volunteers by providing food, clothing and household wares to anyone in need in Ulster County. In 2014, we provided over 190,000 meals, over 8,000 articles of clothing and over 50,000 household items, all free to community members. In addition to these daily activities, we have four other specialty programs. Our “Summer Bookworm Program” which gave free new books to any parent or guardian who visited our location in July and August (we disbursed over 1,300 new books), our “Back to School Supply Program”, our “Thanksgiving Program” where we gave over 768 families a turkey and all the “fixings” for a prepare at home feast and our “December Holiday Program” which provided over 1,250 children with toys, winter weather clothing, and books.
The People’s Place History
In 1972, the Mount St. Alphonsus Redemptorist Priests and Brothers started a “mission”, located in a rental storefront at 105 Abeel Street, as an outreach program to disadvantaged families and children in the Rondout area of Kingston. The mission’s initial purpose was to help children with educational disabilities. Early offerings at People’s Place included classes in reading and mathematics, which were taught by a volunteer teacher from the Kingston High School, to help prepare students for their GED diplomas. Children, between the ages of 4 and 14, were offered arts, crafts, bible study and field trips. The needs of the community quickly indicated that more services in the way of food and clothing were needed.
To meet these growing needs, the thrift store and food pantry were created. The seminary students worked with local agencies and distributed food baskets to families in need at Thanksgiving. At Christmas and Easter, parties were held for the children and families. The People’s Place “mission” always had an emergency supply of food and clothing available to be sold or given away. In 1977, in cooperation with Ulster County Social Services, the “food closet” began, which now is known as People’s Place Food Pantry. At this time they were serving 75 – 85 families per year.
In 2014, 42 years later, 768 families were served at Thanksgiving, over 1,250 children were given holiday gifts and the food pantry gave out over 190,000 meals.
Volunteers became more involved in 1981 to help the Mount St. Alphonsus Redemptorist Priests and Brothers with their mission. In 1985, the Priests and Brothers were transferred to Washington DC and the management of People’s Place was transferred to 25 volunteers. As buildings were sold, the mission moved several times within the City of Kingston, and finally in 2006, rented a space at 17 St. James Street, our current location
Currently, People’s Place is run by an Executive Director, an eighteen member volunteer Board of Directors, two part time employees and over 80 volunteers.
People’s Place is open Monday through Friday from 10 am – 1 pm and additionally on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm. (Currently, we are the only food pantry open 5 days a week.) The “Your Choice” Food Pantry supplies fresh, frozen, canned and boxed food that equals at least three days’ worth of meals. Recipients can visit the “Your Choice” Food Pantry once a month; however, they can visit our front food table and choose free food items daily. All food is provided free of charge. The Personal Care Closet, located inside the food pantry area, offers families and individuals free items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and deodorant. Our Thrift Store provides free and affordable clothing, footwear, and household items and is also one of the major sources of funding for the food Pantry.
Currently, People’s Place is the largest food pantry in Ulster County. Our 43 years of service to our community has firmly established us as a “go to” agency in improving lives of those most in need.
Demographic Profile of People In Need
Anyone living in Ulster County, especially the unemployed, the physically and mentally challenged, working poor, youth, and elderly are able to receive services from us.