Gerard Place strives to break the cycle of poverty by providing support and housing for single-parent families who are experiencing homelessness, poverty and/or domestic/substance abuse, primarily in the Bailey-Delavan area. The agency provides services designed to empower individuals through education, employment, vocational training, life skill classes and counseling.
The Oishei Foundation was instrumental in the creation of the Coordinated Refugee/Asylee Legal Services Project (CRLS) that aims to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate legal services to Refugee and Asylee communities. Begun in 2014, the project grew out of Oishei’ s initial connection between Journey’s End Refugee Services and the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo to address a need for legal services for the refugee community.
Since 1998, The John R. Oishei Foundation has awarded local eighth-grade students scholarships to attend private high schools in the area. Administered in partnership with the Education Collaborative of WNY (EdCo), the program was designed to provide financial assistance to talented and yet economically disadvantaged students who aspired to attend private high school. To date, the Foundation has funded scholarships for nearly 300 students, totaling $10 million in education funding.
The Oishei Foundation has been a partner and supporter of the Jericho Road Community Health Center from the earliest days of the health center’s existence. The Foundation helped the nascent medical clinic receive its Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) status by funding a consultant to guide the organization through the process and helping them meet and document a stringent set of requirements.
Before her death, Lucille Ball, a Jamestown, New York native, shared her vision that her hometown would someday create a place that celebrates all comedy, rather than a museum celebrating her life. With the support of the Oishei Foundation of more than $2.7 million, The National Comedy Museum opened in 2018 to rave reviews as the first state-of-the-art museum dedicated to telling the vital story of comedy in America.