Second Wind, an area non-profit offering reasonably priced housing for the homeless inhabitants in Tompkins County, plans to complete development of its first girls’s residence within the city of Dryden this summer time. The mission, a four-unit dwelling, has largely been made attainable by the assist of group volunteers.
“It was actually a group upswell,” stated David Shapiro, Second Wind’s present government director. “Lots of group individuals got here collectively.”
The location on West Most important Road was donated by the homeowners of Sumo, an area Japanese restaurant, after their home burned down in a fireplace.
“Nobody was harmed or harm, however once they have been fascinated by rebuilding versus different issues, they examine Second Wind and determined to donate the land to us as an alternative,” Shapiro stated.
In whole, based on Shapiro, about $350,000 was raised for materials development prices, primarily by means of particular person donations, though the Tompkins County Housing Improvement Fund awarded the group $120,000.
Second Wind originated in 2012, when founder Carmen Guidi started buying campers together with his personal cash for Ithaca’s unhoused inhabitants throughout wintertime. Later, with the assistance of different group members, he constructed the primary Second Wind cottages in Newfield to accommodate previously homeless males. There are 18 cottages at the moment, which offer entry to tv, web, laundry and water. With these companies, particular person lease would work out to be round $1,000 a month, based on Shapiro.
Nonetheless, regardless of the prices, Shapiro stated residents are requested to pay what they will. For the primary few months, males in Newfield typically stay within the cottages at no cost, whereas just a few residents now make sufficient to pay round $400 per thirty days.
“It’s not economically sustainable, but it surely’s due to the goodness of our donors that we will try this,” Shapiro stated.
Whereas anybody can apply for housing, Shapiro famous that the group usually picks these with no different choices. Nonetheless, he confused that deciding who to in the end assist is a tough endeavor.
“In Newfield not too long ago, we went from 80 individuals on a ready record to interviewing 12, [and then] we introduced that down to 5,” Shapiro stated. “Normally [we pick] the individual [that] it seems like has no different place to show. It’s arduous to make a closing choice.”
Finally, Shapiro stated Second Wind has lengthy had the aim of offering reasonably priced housing for ladies, because the Newfield cottages have centered on serving males. The soon-to-be full girls’s dwelling in Dryden will comprise two one-bedroom residences and two two-bedroom residences, with the aim of accommodating households.
“We’re really excited with the prospect that we would have the ability to reunify some mothers with their children,” Shapiro stated of the two-bedroom models.
The Dryden residence was conceptualized within the winter of 2021, when Jeremy Huelin ’23, a fifth-year structure scholar, developed the mission’s architectural plans.
“I most likely spent like 60 to 70 hours on it. Which I did at no cost,” Huelin stated. “My aim was to save lots of them as many billable hours as attainable. …I did every little thing I may, up till what you want a license for.”
In October, Second Wind broke floor with a stamp of approval on Huelin’s drawings. Volunteers from close by neighborhoods and college students have been aiding with the development of the housing mission.
Kaitlin Kelly ’25 first turned concerned with Second Wind by means of Cru Cornell’s service workforce, a Christian ministry on campus that has lengthy been concerned with the non-profit. She helped to put out styrofoam for the inspiration, put in home windows and help with framing.
Shapiro additionally highlighted the work of Dave Plumeau, a retired engineer who has been engaged on web site virtually every single day.
“He’s only a retired man with an enormous coronary heart,” Shapiro stated. “He enjoys studying from individuals with a whole lot of ability and training school children that come to volunteer.”
Along with its community-centered constructing course of, the home was additionally designed to structurally assist and construct group amongst residents.
“There’s type of a gradient throughout the mission from public to non-public area within the hopes that probably the most interesting areas would be the [shared] porches,” Huelin stated. “I made all of the hallways 5 toes vast. Three toes is the minimal for code. …Simply because these are unhoused people who find themselves attempting to get their foot again on the bottom, I don’t suppose that implies that they don’t deserve an excellent high quality of dwelling.”
Getting the mission off the bottom was not with out its challenges. Huelin emphasised the problem of planning the work, given the monetary and spatial limitations positioned upon him.
“With [a] restricted price range, it was actually this jigsaw recreation attempting to suit every little thing collectively,” Huelin stated.
Winter offered different hurdles, equivalent to inclement climate and excessive chilly.
“If it snowed [before the roof and windows were put in] you couldn’t essentially be in the home doing issues,” Kelly stated.
Shapiro additionally highlighted projected challenges to come back, pointing to the last word endeavor of constructing group on the Dryden residence and serving to girls residents set up profitable paths ahead.
The issue of homelessness in Tompkins County is far-reaching, based on Shapiro.
“There are a whole bunch of individuals within the space scuffling with homelessness or dwelling in a shelter,” Shapiro stated. “This quantity approaches even greater quantities when factoring in sofa browsing and different types of homelessness which are much less seen.”
Nonetheless, Shapiro emphasised how Second Wind’s emphasis on relationship constructing, belief and compassion — with the last word aim of shifting their residents into extra conventional types of housing — has been profitable.
“We’re dedicated to the best way we run our program,” Shapiro stated. “We’re not simply landlords — we’re offering helps that attempt to assist individuals transfer ahead in no matter manner is true for them of their lives.”
For now, within the closing phases of development and with hotter days forward, Shapiro mirrored on his favourite a part of working in Dryden alongside numerous volunteers.
“[This work] makes you be ok with individuals and what the human race is able to,” Shapiro stated.
Annina Bradley ’26 is a Solar contributor and could be reached at [email protected]