Families building the American dream through Habitat for Humanity in Rochester
Did you know that each Flower City Habitat family contributes at least 300 hours of sweat equity as part of our homebuyer program? Today we had five Habitat families working on the construction sites!
Alongside their family members and our construction team, five Habitat homebuyers participated in the construction of their new homes — directly building their American Dream. After the morning (and working up a good appetite), Amiel’s the Original Submarine provided complimentary sub platters, chips, cookies, and bottled water to everyone on the construction sites to help power them through the afternoon of building. Thank you!
Check out the news stories below to hear from three Habitat families and from our Family Services Manager, Tim Guillemette.
Bob August honored as 2019 Outstanding Philanthropist
Last Friday we joined the AFP Genesee Valley in honoring local philanthropy, including a person very close to our mission.
At Flower City Habitat, Bob August is a regular "Hammer & Saw" construction volunteer, member of our Board of Directors, a generous donor, and so much more.
It was a joy to see his philanthropy work celebrated and to learn more about the other organizations he supports. Please help us congratulate Bob for the well deserved distinction of AFP's Outstanding Philanthropist of 2019!
From the RBJ:
While humble and quiet about his deeds, Robert W. August’s actions send a strong message about fulfilling one’s duty to help others when you can. He always takes the initiative to get things done and knows when to ask for help.
“While it is true that Bob carries out several community commitments,” Tom Hildebrandt of The Davenport-Hatch Foundation explained endorsing August’s nomination, “I have consistently seen that he manages to give high quality ‘time, talent, and treasure’ to each.”
August starts with causes that are near and dear to his heart and his family.
As a trustee of Hillside Family of Agencies Children’s Center, August leveraged his connections and advocacy to provide a lead gift towards the $1 million renovation of Camp Possibilities, a summer day camp serving 400.
August’s support of Hillside’s nationally recognized Work-Scholarship Connection also helps at-risk youth graduate from high school and continue their education or enter the workforce.
At Hope Hall School, which receives no state or school district funding, August’s efforts help fuel educational opportunities for students who struggle with learning challenges.
In addition to making 101 personal gifts to Hope Hall, August helped to raise $4 million to build the high school and hire the necessary teachers.
Eighty-seven percent of Hope Hall students live in poverty, so August cultivated support from the community to ensure the school can continue to give $400,000 in scholarships each year.
August has been a long-term and fully committed annual donor, board member, and faithful friend of Flower City Habitat for Humanity for over 16 years.
As an on-site volunteer, August worked alongside Habitat homebuyers, adding his sweat equity hours to theirs. The two houses he helped to build are now homes that promote revitalization and growth in their neighborhoods.
August saw the need for a box transport truck at the construction site and personally supported its purchase.
Habitat’s Vacant and Abandoned House Initiative began at the behest of the city of Rochester. August turned to the August Family Foundation for seed money to renovate a house on Parsells Avenue. Soon other private, foundation, and corporate donations followed, allowing for the renovation of six more houses.
August may not realize his influence, but he is a pacesetter that others follow.
“Bob is not bashful about sharing ideas for programs that could benefit from our mutual support,” said Hildebrandt. “A grant from the August Family Foundation is an incredible endorsement that other potential funders invariably take notice of.”
Habitat families graduate from Foodlink Cooking Matters program
Thanks to a sponsorship from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, 20 Flower City Habitat families were able to join volunteer culinary and nutrition experts to learn to select nutritious and low-cost ingredients and prepare them in ways that provide the best nourishment possible to their families.
Learn more about the program at: https://foodlinkny.org/fight_hunger/cooking-matters
Two zombie properties transformed into family homes
Today we dedicated two previously-vacant, now completely-rehabilitated houses on Fernwood Avenue and Del Monte Street.
We celebrated the transformation of two empty houses (and neighborhood eyesores), into two wonderful homes filled with families, new memories to be made, and a strengthening neighborhood.
After just a few more finishing touches, and closing on their affordable mortgage, we'll have two of Rochester's newest homeowners!
The rehabilitation of both of these homes was made possible through several partnerships including ESL Federal Credit Union, City of Rochester, NY - Mayor's Office, Rochester Land Bank, and Enterprise Community Partners.
And in just a few short weeks we will be finishing up the next one on Barberry Terrace!
Before photos credits: Richard Margolis Art + Architectural Photography
Fernwood Avenue - Before:
Fernwood Avenue - After:
Del Monte Street - Before:
Del Monte Street - After:
Inde Design Studio, Morrell Builders and Pride Mark Homes fundraise and build with Habitat
“We are all thrilled to take a little time away from our daily work responsibilities to build with Flower City Habitat for Humanity,” said Jeff Morrell, owner of Morrell Builders.
“As builders, their program of partnering with families to create an affordable homeownership opportunity is near and dear to our hearts. Their motto says it all — ‘through shelter, we empower ourselves, our neighbors and our community.’ We can’t wait to get started.“
Partnership to build homes for those with autism
The Autism Council of Rochester, Inc. has created a new partnership with Flower City
Habitat for Humanity to create a unique housing program for individuals and families
with children & adults living with Autism. This partnership is a first-of-its-kind in New
York State and its focus will be to remove barriers which prevent our families from fully
participating in homeownership, including the families in the build process and the
necessary accommodations for Sensory Needs Modifications, which may be a
challenge for individuals on the spectrum and possibly prevent them from being able to
enjoy their physical surroundings and comfort within their home.
The program currently has five applicants in the process.
"We are very excited about the new housing program and the steps being taken to
serve a vastly underserved group in our community. As a parent of someone living with
autism, I have first-hand knowledge of the challenges living situations can create on a
daily basis," said Lawana Jones, Founder & Executive Director of the Autism Council.
“We are truly gratified to be in partnership with the Autism Council of Rochester. We
look forward to providing homes that will allow each individual to be fully supported
and truly benefit from their living environment. We know the impact on our homebuyers
and their families will be a lasting one,” said Matt Flanigan, CEO, Flower City Habitat
for Humanity. “We look forward to continuing to work together to achieve our mission
of building homeownership, communities, and hope.”
Groundbreaking for the initial two homes in the program will begin in June 2019.
For more information on the next round of applications for the housing program, please
We are grateful to have celebrated our 35th Flower City Habitat for Humanity Anniversary with our wonderful community supporters, donors, volunteers, staff, and sponsors! Together we raised over $125,000 to continue building strength, stability, and self-reliance in Rochester!
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