Our History

The idea for St. Paul’s Center began in 2001 when St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Rensselaer merged with St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church in North Greenbush. Faced with the decision of what to do with the Rensselaer building, the congregation voted unanimously to donate the building and provide shelter to families experiencing homelessness. 

The project was awarded a grant from the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Homeless Housing and Assistance Program to renovate the building into a 19-bed shelter for women and children.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held in October 2005, and in February 2006, St. Paul’s Center began operating as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization under its own board of directors. The Center opened its doors to its first residents on October 2, 2006.


Families Served

Dollars Raised


What Drives Us

Our Mission

St. Paul’s Center is a community that strives to awaken hope and rekindle dignity in families who seek comfort, support and assistance in moving from homelessness to a sustainable future.


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What We Do

Rensselaer Shelter

St. Paul’s Center provides emergency shelter to mothers and their children without a place to call home. Our 19-bed facility operates year round so families always have a place to go in times of need. Our dedicated staff provides support and individualized services to families as they transition to independent living.

Bridges Program

Once a family has moved on to their new home, our staff continues to offer assistance and support to help the family succeed in independent living. Our Housing Stability Advocate helps mothers negotiate life after shelter through advocacy and assistance in navigating the court system, obtaining social services and counseling resources, and providing landlord-tenant mediation.

Permanent Supportive Housing

This single-site housing program is a combination of housing and supportive services that provide families with an affordable way to move from homelessness to a sustainable future. Families direct 30% of their income toward rent in addition to receiving monthly rental assistance, and case management support for all members of the family. Our dedicated case managers work with families to address the causes of housing instability that stand in the way of a self-sustaining future.

Angel Fund

Our angel fund is the product of our community’s generosity. Donations made to the angel fund are used to provide our families with emergency rent, utility and phone payments, bus or taxi fare, application fees, school supplies, subsidized day care, and the purchase of household items for their new home.

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