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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Umbrella of the Capital District, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Homeless & Housing, Housing Rehabilitation, Human Services, Senior Centers, Senior Citizens Housing & Retirement Communities, Seniors

Mission: To provide affordable, quality home maintenance and other support services so that senior citizens and disabled homeowners throughout the Capital District of New York State keep the two things they cherish most...their homes and their independence.

Results: Currently serving more than 600 households throughout the Capital District of New York State.

Target demographics: Senior Citizens and people with disabilities.

Geographic areas served: Capital District of New York State

Programs: Handyman help, transportation, grocery shopping for the home bound, housekeeping, information and referral, 24-hour emergency home repair assistance.

Community Stories

36 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of Umbrella for decades. They always had the best fundraisers, using lots of umbrella themes! I rapidly came to the age group that this awesome agency serves. Bingo! With Ron Burns in my kitchen describing the overwhelming task of downsizing, I joined Umbrella with the huge goal of downsizing and selling a two family home, and moving into an accessible apartment to prepare for surgical procedure. I know I will miss many names but I started with a Paul M, and spent hours with Ron H. who so kindly worked with me to empty many closets, attic, and basement of my many “treasures”.
I am now in my fully accessible apartment (no more circular back stairs) to climb. I am sporting a super new hip, and have settled in with the help of Brian M a wonderful carpenter who built me shelves, put in my hand rails, and hung my photos. Thanks to Ty M and Nancy F for their early help. Now working with Ona, who has been delightful in helping me with my new place as I’m still recovering. Thank you all for helping me reach my goal. Lastly the wonderful office staff, Valerie and John always kind and helpful. Filling my request almost within hours.. Thank you all. Maryellen Rudolph

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a member of Umbrella for several years. I would be lost without their help. I use handymen for lawn maintenance, gutter cleaning, and clearing my dryer vent. The plumber was here several times working on my hot water tank and garbage disposal. And then there’s the electrician who has helped me too.
I cannot day enough positive things about this organization. Very glad I found them and don’t know where I’d be without them!

Review from Guidestar

1 Diane H.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Umbrella has been an absolute lifesaver for me! I bought a house in 2017 and at the same time started having a painful flare-up of plantar fasciitis. A coworker recommended Umbrella, and I signed up soon after. Over the last year, I have had several handymen come out and do maintenance projects for me at a very reasonable price. But the best part is the peace of mind I feel knowing I can call Umbrella anytime day or night if something goes wrong at my house. This is truly a first-rate organization.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This program is a life changer for myself and my daughter, both disabled. We've been members for a couple years now. Tom is a life saver for yard help and handyman type stuff, while Dan is right on top of those pesky snow falls and keeps our drive and walk ways clear so everyone is safe. We've had house cleaners too, which worked out great. The list of available help we can get is amazing for a nominal yearly fee. We'd be lost without our Umbrella!

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been members for about 1 year and have relied on help with snow blowing. Kenny has been very helpful, cordial and reliable. We anticipate using the service for more projects around the house. Highly recommended!!

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 3

I am glad i finally signed up with the umbrella.their service is affordable friendly and you can talk about things you may have concerns about and it wil be followed up. I recommend this company to the single women in the community

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Umbrella allows me to live well AND within my means, in my lovely home. I am disabled with chronic pain that makes many activities of daily living impossible or extremely difficult.

With no judgment, before I was granted SS disability, Umbrella gave me the lowest membership rate, and sent me a life-saving house cleaner named Sandy. She's been my partner in maintaining my home now for over two years. A retired educator herself (as am I), she's got the strength that I don't have, and for modest recompense, keeps my home lovely. This weekly help, plus lowered rates on plumbers, handi-workers, etc, as needed, means that I can keep up with maintaining the appearance and value of my home. I also have roommates to make ends meet, and with Sandy cleaning all the public areas, that keeps the household running smoothly and pleasantly among us.

Every encounter with Umbrella feels respectful and is helpful. I am treated like a client, not a charity case.

I cannot say enough. I'd been living in a tiny, dull apartment somewhere without their help.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Umbrella was such a good find for me. The first thing they do is send someone to inspect your home. Areas that need attention are pointed out thus avoiding problems that could occur. After that at your request they send people who have been vetted to do jobs around the house. It is reassuring to know you can trust these strangers who come into your home. I tell my friends and family what a comfort it is to be a member of Umbrella.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been clients of Umbrella for many years. The people of Umbrella have helped us through some pretty tough times. They have been there when we needed an exterminator. to building a new front step. We still have Sylvia come once a week to help clean our house. They were very helpful when both my wife and I needed transportation to various Dr. appointments. They have bent over backwards when I was having financial trouble when it came time to pay our yearly dues.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Just became a client several months ago. I use a walker & wheelchair but still drive. Umbrella sent a wonderful woman to help with housework every other week. I plan on asking Umbrella for help with some other odd jobs that are not easy to find reliable, affordable people to come to the house and do. I am impressed with Ron and the office staff I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with. I am amazed at this organization’s effectiveness.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I called Umbrella in a near panic one evening, because the (4) globe lights over the mirror in my lavatory would not shut off, even when the fuse box switch was turned off . The room is small and would be quite hot in a short while, even with the door and window open.
Ron calmed me down, suggested that it was a bad switch and he'd get someone over in the morning to take care of it. In the meantime, I could (with heavy gloves) turn each bulb until it went out. I did. Felt very relieved and thankful, again, that we have an organization like Umbrella for us Seniors in the Capital District.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a member of umbrella for a little more than two years. I am in my early 60's and own my own, two story home. I have some balance and mobility limitations and concerns. I have a very limited income.

I am a widow and my children, although living very close to me and willing to help out as they can, have young families with children all under the age of 3. I find Umbrella to be wonderful as they screen the people to do the work. I have had painting done, primarily...quite a bit of painting both inside and outside. Prior to Umbrella I have had several dealings with unethical and overpriced individuals who were not concerned at all with providing ethical, affordable service.
It is a relief to have workers screened and ready to do the work. Help with housework, vacuuming, washing floors, doing the stairs....moving things downstairs to the basement so I can organize.....and downsize....so many little details...a blessing.
My home has been brought to an acceptable standard because of the efforts of these angels.
It is very difficult to find affordable, reliable, and caring people to help me. I have found affordable, reliable and caring help through Umbrella.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I rely on Umbrella for maintaining my home. If they weren't around I wouldn't be able to keep my home. They are reliable resourceful and friendly. They provide workers at a reasonable rate from mowing grass to helping you finder reliable and cheaper workers to install things like a hot water heater. Their great!

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I’ve been using Umbrella for about 4 months now and am thrilled! I’ve been able to get tons of repairs done around the house without breaking the bank. They are prompt, professional, courteous, and caring. SO glad I found Umbrella! Jean H

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Umbrella has made a great difference in my parents life. They provided services that helped my father with keeping their home up as his health declined. The people who have worked for umbrella have been reliable and kind. I recommend them highly and I'm thankful to Ron for his leadership.

Sincerely

JimHale

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I always did my upgrades and maintenance with a helper who did all the basic work while I did the difficult things.I m no longer able to do many of the things I used to do and when I lost my helper to a heart condition I was afraid I would no longer be able maintain my home.It is difficult to pay the current labor rates on a fixed income and the dollars don't go far.When I found Umbrella it was a God send to be able to get things done at a affordable cost and be able to stay in my home of 48 years.I am a relatively new member but all my experiences have been positive.I don't know about other areas of the country but every area should have an organization like Umbrella to help us seniors .

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was extremely impressed with the quality of treatment and work I received through Umbrella during 2018. Richie was very clear and efficient about the steps we would be going through to add a small bathroom to my house. I was pleased with promptness and results. Also, I had Morgan here to help me with a faucet replacement and a few other things I probably would have wrecked if I'd tried them myself. She knows what she is doing, is honest and worthy of the highest recommendation.

Review from Guidestar

1 Sudhakar G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Been member of umbrella for 4 years. Able to find help with umbrella for many issues related to cleaning plumbing etc

Review from Guidestar

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a member for over 10 years. At first, I infrequently used services because my macualar degeneration did not cause loss of vision. But gradually, I did use driving services for evening events because since 2011 I did not drive after dusk. Then in 2016 I realized that my driving days were over and have used the service for doctor appointments, shopping, meeting friends. I also have used their home inspection service and these have given me invaluable advice for maintenance and repairs to my home. I will be using their handyman services and expect to rely on the wonderful volunteers who offer a vast variety of support and help to seniors like me. Thank goodness for Umbrella. They are dependable and reliable.

Review from Guidestar

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I regard Umbrella as the best and cheapest insurance in town. For only $315 a year I know that in an emergency that help is just a phone call away -- 24 hours a day -- and that the Umbrella repair person will arrive at my home within 90 minutes. In addition to this wonderful gurantee, which is very comforting, I have often called upon Umbrella for the annoying problems other services aren't willing to handle or advice on larger issues. I have been a member for several years and have recommended Umbrella to many others. I plan to continue to be a member as long as I am "aging in place."