Jun 30, 2022
Elizabeth Druback-Celaya is the Director of Strategic Initiatives for Hudson River Housing (HRH), Inc.
Elizabeth Druback-Celaya is the Director of Strategic Initiatives for Hudson River Housing (HRH), Inc. In her 20 year career with the creative regional nonprofit, Celaya has become a vital member of the leadership team. Now, HVADC is pleased to have Celaya share her expertise and perspective as a member of the HVADC Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Advisory Group.
The CDFI Fund, administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury, provides direct financing for economic growth and opportunity in historically neglected communities across the country. By offering tailored resources and innovative programs that invest federal dollars alongside private-sector capital, the CDFI Fund is administered by mission-driven institutions, like HVADC, to create a market-based approach to supporting economically disadvantaged communities.
“I see such a need for these types of resources,” Celaya said. “We have had over 100 businesses come through our facility and quite a few struggle to get financing. We see that frustration a lot and look for ways to help. It’s really needed. Demand for our space is through the roof.”
Based in Poughkeepsie, HRH has been creating pathways out of homelessness for 40 years. While the organization’s shelters, affordable housing properties and specialized support programs have been keeping a roof over the head of our community for a long time, HRH also provides a robust slate of job training programs in Poughkeepsie. Most notably, HRH worked with the city and development partners to restore the historic Underwear Factory into a hub for new entrepreneurs to learn grow their businesses. The Underwear Factory’s shared kitchen space has allowed dozens of new businesses to develop and grow. The space allows people to develop recipes, products and business plans without the burden of securing onerous amounts of startup capital. Businesses that show promises in this system are excellent candidates for CDFI funding.
HRH has previously partnered with HVADC, as a recipient of the community food rescue network FeedHV’s produce and aid for culinary job training programming.
HRH is currently working on expanding the amount of shared kitchen space available to its clients. They are developing more kitchen access in new locations at the River Valley Arts Center.
“We are really working to grow our culinary training program,” Celaya said. “My passion is community economic development. CDFI offers a lot of potential opportunity.”
Born and raised in Dutchess County, Celaya now lives in Hyde Park. She attended Vassar Collage and received a master’s degree in nonprofit management from The New School. Between her extremely busy work schedule, being a mother and her passion for dance, there’s little time left in the day. HVADC is honored she is making the time to commit to the work of the CDFI Advisory Group.
“Hudson River Housing does so much to lift up our community, from their shelters to job training, and the incredible opportunities available to food startups provided by the Underwear Factory,” said Todd Erling, HVADC Executive Director. “Having Elizabeth agree to be a CDFI Advisory Group member gifts us of her deep institutional knowledge and provides a connection through which HVADC can direct this important funding to businesses proving themselves in HRH kitchens.”
Additional information about the Business Technical Assistance provided through HVADC CDFI program may be found at https://www.hvadc.org/incubator-without-walls and funding information at https://www.hvadc.org/loans-and-grants.