Community Support Grows Out Of Program Launched By Congressman Walsh
It looked like a scene from TV’s “Extreme Home Makeover” Sunday in a Syracuse neighborhood. Nearly 100 volunteers clad in matching bright green t-shirts fixed landscaping and painted houses along Park Avenue on the city’s near west side using materials and supplies purchased through a grant by Honeywell to the Syracuse Neighborhood Initiative (SNI) and Home HeadQuarters, Inc.
The volunteers from Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas in DeWitt, Syracuse University, the Greater Syracuse Association of Realtors, Rebuilding Together and Home HeadQuarters made improvements to seven houses facing Frazer Elementary School. Their work was part of a community outreach program organized by Congregation Beth Sholom with Home HeadQuarters which, with the City of Syracuse, is administering SNI’s Park Avenue revitalization program. Honeywell contributed $200,000 to SNI for the neighborhood in March.
“Congregation Beth Sholom’s work in the Park Avenue neighborhood is exactly the kind of community partnership we hoped our grant would inspire,” said Honeywell Syracuse Program Director John McAuliffe, who joined the Sunday volunteer effort. “SNI and Home HeadQuarters are literally changing the face of the neighborhood. As Frazer school children go to school this week, they’ll see even more evidence of a neighborhood that is getting stronger and better.”
The volunteers completed their work in about four hours on Sunday afternoon. Before they arrived, the homes were safely scraped and primed by Haynes Painting whose work was partially funded by the Honeywell grant. The Syracuse contractor also donated significant time to the project.
“The volunteer support is a big thing for my family and me,” said Lorelei Miller of 726 Park Avenue, whose house was one of the seven repainted. “Now we can use the SNI grant money to fix our front porch.”
Syracuse Congressman James Walsh secured nearly $5 million in federal funding for SNI’s Phase VI program. Two and a half million dollars is being used for housing and community development in the Park Avenue neighborhood from Sacred Heart Church to Plum Street.
Honeywell’s longstanding commitment to support safe, secure and comfortable housing has led the company to work with Rebuilding Together, the nation’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing communities by refurbishing homes. SNI, through Home HeadQuarters, is affiliated with Rebuilding Together. Honeywell and Rebuilding Together have worked on 80 revitalization projects involving more than 2,000 Honeywell employees working to rebuild homes and lives.
For the last two years through the City of Syracuse and Home HeadQuarters, SNI and Park Avenue neighborhood leaders have developed plans for increasing neighborhood safety, upgrading housing, assisting low and fixed income families in efforts to rehabilitate their homes, and improving the overall appearance of the neighborhood.
SNI, through Home HeadQuarters, works in concert with the City of Syracuse Department of Community Development, NeighborWorks America, the Enterprise Foundation and existing community organizations to expand available housing resources, coordinate existing programs, and improve the quality of life in Syracuse neighborhoods.
Honeywell’s partnership with Rebuilding Together is part of Honeywell Hometown Solutions, the company’s community outreach initiative that focuses on three areas of vital importance: Family Safety and Security, Housing and Shelter, and Science and Math Education. Together with leading public and non-profit institutions, Honeywell has developed powerful programs to address these needs in its communities. Honeywell also partners with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to promote science and math education, and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to promote child safety.
For more information, please visit our website at www.onondaga-lake-initiatives.com.