With an all hands on deck attitude and quick work from our sub contractors, our two new houses on Bellevue were prepared for our little ribbon cutting event on Friday the 21st. And despite weather reports threatening a one hundred percent chance of rain, the end of December weather we were afforded was almost surreal. Pushing 70 and nothing but sun…
Board member and long-time volunteer Bob Dougherty kicked off the event with lots of thank yous… He shared about the incredible contribution from Syracuse Model Neighborhood Corporation, the generous and committed housing organization that donated us the vacant land almost two years ago. He thanked the city and county agencies that supported our work from day one. And he gave a shout out to the hundreds of volunteers who had a hand in this project. He especially recognized our long-time volunteers, Teresa, Sean, Brian, and Dale. The groups are essential, but it is the work, day in and day out, from our everyday volunteers that has allowed each and every unit we’ve wrapped up, so far, possible.
Next up was Executive Director Andrew Lunetta. Andrew shared about the “Snow Haven,” the aptly named unit upon which we held the Ribbon Cutting. A year ago, the Snowman family, moved by our mission, contacted Andrew to share that they wanted to donate a home in memory of their late husband and father, Larry Snowman. A lifelong lover of snow, the family thought “Snow Haven” would be a perfect name for the new unit. Certainly is. You can read about Larry in our most recent newsletter here.
Besides a pop of color, the “Snow Haven” also provided us with our first foray into solar power. The story of how solar at the “Snow Haven” came to be is a long one, but a good one. It too can be found in our most recent newsletter. Andrew took the opportunity of the ribbon cutting to share the story and thank the four middle school students who did not take “no” for an answer and raised all the money necessary to power the “Snow Haven” from the sun.
Finally, Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens gave her remarks. She shared about her experience moderating a community meeting when we first entered the scene, trying to find property to build our first houses on. The meeting was difficult with lots of push back that left many of us questioning if A Tiny Home for Good would even be possible. Despite a number of difficult meetings and conversations, we eventually found property. We eventually wrapped up our first two homes. And we eventually wrapped up our tenth and eleventh home. She expressed her appreciation that we didn’t call it quits before we even began.
It took the hands on support of hundreds of volunteers and the resources of a dozens of very special individuals and groups to make these homes come together. We are proud to share the finished product. But really cannot wait to welcome our two new tenants to their units in early January. Lots more to come, but thrilled to have wrapped up these two homes.