Published August 7, 2014
by Lauren Kososki
Joyelle Tedeschi, MSW ’08, will stand among this year’s recipients of the Business First Women of Influence award in honor of her work as the director of the Matt Urban Hope Center. This annual award, which will be presented on Sept. 16, recognizes the professional achievement and community-focused initiative of several women in the Buffalo area.
Inspired by a clear vision, Tedeschi opened The Hope Center in October 2009 with a mission to tackle the unmet needs of chronically homeless individuals. Since its creation, The Hope Center has expanded its services, collaborating with several community organizations to provide assistance with housing, professional development, health and nutrition, and a restaurant-style dinner five nights a week, in which community members order and are served a free meal by volunteer wait staff.
With the breadth of services provided to the community, Tedeschi and The Hope Center acknowledge that homelessness cannot be fixed by building four walls around those without a home; it requires dialogue with those whom one wishes to help, as well as a desire to listen and learn. “We show them we’re not just service providers — we’re their neighbors,” Tedeschi said in the Spring ’14 issue of Mosaics. Because of this ambition and her outstanding work in the community, Tedeschi will be given a Nonprofit Leadership award.