I have been with the Center for 6 months, I am amazed by all of the services offered to tenants & members. We not only help with housing, we help with nutrition, employment, meals, behavioral health etc. I work directly for the Executive Director as his Assistant. I get to see firsthand how he interacts with not only the tenants & members but the employees too, it is such a positive environment to be in. I love when people ask me where I work because I am so proud of what we do at The Albany Damien Center.
I've been with the Albany Damien Center for almost a year and in that time have seen the Agency grow immensely with a new leadership team and reorganization. This Agency and it's staff work hard everyday with best intentions to serve those who need the most help in our community. Human services is not for everyone, but if you want to make a difference in the world, this is one place you can do so.
I almost feel "exonerated"! I just so happened to come across this site. The two reviews I read basically mirrored my experience as an employee between September, 2019 and November, 2019. The 9/11/17 review is spot-on. The Executive Director is a narcissist in sheep's clothing. Previous experience as a puppet should be listed as a pre-requisite for employment. If considering employment at this center, I suggest having the flexibility of a contortionist. Yes, there is a great need for services for this demographic. However, as an employee, check any expectations of being enveloped in a trauma-informed care atmosphere at the door (after all, employees are people too!)
Employee safety is optional. I was threatened by both a current staff member as well as a member. I was not built for absorbing such abuse, ( I had the audacity to inform Administration that I felt unsafe!). Anonymous phone calls charging illicit drug manufacture and usage was basically swept under the crack pipe. A reasonably thinking person would expect that since the Damien Center suffered a devastating loss at the South Lake location, the the possibility of explosive consequences of a tenant who moonlights as a freelance pharmacist, should have had the eyebrows popping off the forehead of His Excellency, the Executive Director. Instead, he exclaimed the DEA came in and investigated (that was a lie). I don't know if I have enough characters remaining to speak about the current Housing Manager and Associate Executive Director of programs. Yikes!!
One was a total invertebrate. The other, sneaky as hell! Tread lightly.
Review from Guidestar
Not the place to be a staff member. The executive director will not relinquish responsibilities. He is a micro manager and does not have faith in his staff. The organization is staffed with several inept members who are the favorites of the executive director because they will never disagree with him. I've been successful in the business world for 20+ years and thought non-profit would be a nice change. Wrong! I've witnessed drug deals in the employee parking lot, found used needles next to my car, had to put up with druggies coming to the center high, and I am told this is a "Safe Zone". We do not call the police. Not in my world does that happen.
Review from Guidestar
This center does good things for those they like. All others are left in the dust to fend for themselves. The walls have ears so be ware! Confidentiality is enforced when it is convenient for them. The application process is totally invasive far more than is necessary. I have heard outrageous things being done with the information one puts on their application. Most of the guests and staff here are of highly questionable background. Criminals abound so be ware. The place is a real bee hive.