Flower City Habitat for Humanity Rochester, NY    

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The Restoration of Fulton Avenue

The rebirth of Rochester's Fulton Avenue began when community activists and members of the Lake Avenue Baptist Church decided something needed to be done. Prostitution, drug-related violence, and other anti-social behavior was rampant along this mile-long street that runs north and south, one block west of Lake Avenue. Low-income renters lived in old, and substandard properties that had long ago fallen into disrepair. Few owner-occupied homes remained. Landlords abandoned their properties, and the street had become a frightening, desolate place with no sense of neighborhood or community.

Dedication of 118 Fulton
Home dedication of 118 Fulton Avenue.
 
Dedication of 105 Fulton
Home dedication of 105 Fulton Avenue.

Today, driving down Fulton Avenue is not nearly as scary as it used to be. Flower City Habitat for Humanity is proud to admit we had something to do with the transformation. New and caring Habitat families, in addition to families living in new Providence Christian Housing duplex units, have replaced the vacant lots and dilapidated structures that once typified the area. Our accomplishments required thousands of staff and volunteer hours, thousands of sweat equity hours performed by our homeowner families, significant donations of materials and services, and the financial support of numerous house sponsors.

In 2003, we built our first home in this neighborhood, the School House Build at 124 Fulton Avenue, following a major infrastructure makeover by the City of Rochester. Each year thereafter we devoted a portion of our annual building efforts to add more houses on Fulton Avenue, Phelps Avenue, Emerson Street, and Glendale Park. In fall 2006, Flower City Habitat completed its 16th and final home in the Fulton Avenue neighborhood.

Residents of this neighborhood, formerly plagued by severe poverty and violent crime, now tell us that the area continues to undergo a positive transformation. Overt drug dealing and prostitution are on the decline, and thanks to improvements recently made to Lake Avenue, traffic along this wide, residential street has been reduced.

Sponsors of our Fulton Avenue houses included faith-based communities from across Monroe County, companies, professional organizations such as the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors, Rochester Firefighters and the Xerox Women's Alliance, and individual sponsors such as Kathleen Holt.

 

 

Flower City Habitat for Humanity
755 Culver Road | Rochester, NY 14609
Tel: 585.546.1470 | Fax: 585.546.1549
habitat@rochesterhabitat.org

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