WINNER: The Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory

Organization Name: Hudson River Housing

Project Title: The Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory

Project Location: Poughkeepsie

Project Goals:
The Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory is the adaptive reuse of an historic mill building as an exciting blend of commercial and residential space in Middle Main Poughkeepsie, a downtown neighborhood with a growing food and arts scene. With the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory, we are building a community of people dedicated to innovative ideas that bring positive economic activity to downtown Poughkeepsie, involve the community, and reclaim a historic space for the 21st century. The Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory is part of Hudson River Housing’s Middle Main Initiative, which works to strengthen and preserve the Middle Main neighborhood by celebrating community assets and deploying dynamic strategies to build upon them. The Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory aligns the many facets of Hudson River Housing’s work, providing affordable housing, training and employment opportunities, and accessible community spaces that bring people together.

Project Description:
The Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory includes: • Fifteen studio and one-bedroom work/live apartments • The Poughkeepsie Open Kitchen, a shared-use commercial kitchen for rent to small food entrepreneurs, offering support and stewardship to start-up businesses • A social enterprise Coffee House & Eatery, offering coffee roasted on-site and healthy, locally-sourced meals, which also serves as a “community commons” – a space to meet friends, work, relax, or hold meetings and events • A job training program connecting long-term unemployed and formerly homeless individuals to training opportunities in the culinary industry • 5,000 square feet of space for the arts, including artist studios, workshop, arts education, and event space • A community park and rain garden

Community Impact:
At Hudson River Housing, we believe that having a safe and secure place to call home is a basic human right. We also know that housing is just a start - with stable housing, families have the foundation upon which to build their lives. At the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory, we’ve leveraged community support and partnerships to create a community hub that is enriching the neighborhood while strengthening the local economy. We are preserving the rich social fabric of the neighborhood by providing long-term, quality affordable housing, creating locally-rooted job and training opportunities, and supporting small businesses. We are building community pride and connectedness and helping people both within and outside Poughkeepsie see the Main Street community in a different way. The Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory exemplifies leadership in community development, and puts it into action on a neighborhood scale.

Organization Description:
Hudson River Housing provides a continuum of services that improves lives and communities through housing with compassion and development with vision. We create pathways out of homelessness through empowerment, education, and advocacy. We strengthen communities by developing and preserving affordable housing and creating opportunities for people and places to thrive. Our programs include emergency, transitional, and permanent housing, supportive housing services for youth, veterans, and other special populations, homeownership promotion and preservation services, and property redevelopment and community building. Hudson River Housing’s reach extends across the Hudson Valley, to people of all ages, from the homeless to the homeowner.

    A spacious apartment features original columns and industrial details.

    The north façade of the factory, adjacent to the Fall Kill Creek.

    The Coffee House & Open Kitchen serves as a neighborhood gathering space.

    Local residents receive job and training opportunities on site.

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