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  • Writer's pictureMAREJ

Poskanzer Skott Architects designs shelter expansion for United Community Corporation

NEWARK, NJ — Poskanzer Skott Architects (PSA) of Ridgewood, NJ has designed an upgrade and expansion of homeless shelter space for Newark-based community action agency United Community Corporation (UCC).

UCC received a $300,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ Shelter Support Program to fund enhancements to increase safety and security at the facility.

Larry Skott, AIA, partner at PSA, led a team to create a workable solution to improve client amenities and services within the project’s budget.

Located at 31 Fulton St. in Newark, the shelter currently provides short-term placement for more than 60 homeless adult men and women.

“Our shelter is in continuous use and the demand for services is strong,” said Gina Plotino, program development specialist for UCC. This grant will allow us to make use of the entire building to improve the quality of life for residents.

”The new design includes a renovation of the building’s second and third floors to provide new dormitories, bathrooms, showers and administrative offices. A substantial portion of the budget was used to install sprinkler systems and remediate asbestos to comply with current safety codes.

The dormitories, lockers and bathrooms are currently located on the building’s basement level, and the first floor houses staff offices and a large communal space for meals and support services.

“For now, our focus is on the construction of new men’s dormitories on the second floor,” said Plotino, noting that women will continue to use the shelter’s existing facilities. With demolition, remediation and sprinkler installation complete on all floors, the expectation is that UCC will secure additional funding to complete the renovation.

“Our team has worked successfully with other non-profit organizations to maximize limited budgets,” said Skott. “This design makes effective use of the space and keeps cost in line with materials and finishes that are functional and durable.”

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