Unity Acres is a House of Hospitality for men. Our mission is to provide a safe, caring and permanent home for men, and particularly those who have become chronically homeless due to alcohol or substance abuse, or other factors.
When first opened in 1969, Unity Acres was envisioned by its founder, Father Raymond McVey, as a place of refuge for homeless men in Central New York and beyond, and where people of faith would practice the works of mercy. For more than 40 years, Unity Acres has been a sign of hope for the men who have received hospitality there, as well as for those who have assisted in keeping Father Ray’s dream alive.
Unity Acres is located on the site of the former Oswego County Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Orwell, New York, consisting of six main buildings and several smaller outbuildings located on 136 acres of mostly forested land. Also located on the Unity Acres property is Saint Martin de Porres Cemetery, where over 200 former residents, staff members and volunteers are buried.
Residents are provided food, clothing and shelter. Those who have been in residence at Unity Acres for more than 14 days generally receive a single private room. Those who have a monthly income donate a portion of their income in order to defray expenses. Those who do not receive any other income are given a small daily gratuity. Men are assisted in establishing eligibility for health insurance, and receive assistance with transportation to their medical appointments, and with distribution of their medications, as needed. Those who are capable of physical or other labor participate in a broad variety of activities necessary for the day-to-day operation of Unity Acres.
Our chaplain, Father Robert Jones, celebrates Mass on Sundays and during the week at Unity Acres’ Sacred Heart Chapel. AA meetings are conducted in the dining hall twice weekly.
Unity Acres maintains reciprocal and effective relationships with the numerous social agencies, health resources and mental health facilities in Onondaga and Oswego Counties, and with local parishes of many denominations.
Unity Acres is funded largely from donation, both cash and in-kind, from individual benefactors, parishes and other religious congregations or community organizations, and from payments from our residents. Unity Acres also receives, from time to time, grants and bequests. Unity Acres does not receive any direct funding from government.
There are between 60 and 78 men living at Unity Acres at any given moment. Despite their individual troubles, the men create and maintain a serene atmosphere at the Acres. They assist one another in the many tasks necessary to create a sense of safety, sobriety and community, sharing in the work of preparing meals, doing laundry, yard work, gardening, maintenance, cutting firewood and many other activities which allow Unity Acres to function and flourish. Five staff members and 3 staff assistants provide administrative supports.