A-HOME was founded in 1985 by volunteers who saw a need for permanent affordable housing for seniors and disabled individuals in northern Westchester. The early staff, all volunteer, has been gradually replaced by professional staff whose work is supplemented by volunteer activities.
In 1985 inspiration came from the Nehemiah Project, an exciting concept that had sprung up in Brooklyn. Faith based organizations in East Brooklyn had joined together to help solve the area’s problems and affordable housing was one of their targets. With the Nehemiah Project as their blueprint, Joan Arnold and Peg Normann brought together community groups, churches, and synagogues to take on the housing challenge. Joan and Peg started with shared housing, the most economical model of affordable housing.
The Gannett Foundation was approached for funding. Joe Ungaro, head of the Foundation, loved the idea but felt the new coalition needed technical assistance. The Housing Action Council led by John Nolan and Rose Noonan stepped in to provide needed expertise and the fiscal sponsorship of a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Albert Marchigiani was A-HOME’s consulting lawyer. In 1984 Albert wrote the bylaws, filed incorporation papers and requested the 501(c)3 non-profit organization designation. Joan Potter Arnold, Margaret E. Normann and Albert V. Marchigiani are listed as the incorporators and original directors of the newly formed Apropos-Housing Opportunities and Management Enterprises, Inc. In 1985 Albert sent a letter to Peg that stated: “I am happy to inform you and Joan Arnold that our Not for Profit Corporation –APROPOS—HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES AND MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES, INC., hereafter referred to as A-HOME was duly incorporated in the State of New York on January 23, 1985.” A-HOME was open for business.