Jamestown-South County Update

From a pile of lumber back in 2018 to the Fall of 2020, the South County CAHfH project at 27 Norton Avenue in Jamestown has seen amazing progress, even with the temporary shutdown due to COVID- 19.

Prior to the shutdown, the house was sided, windows and doors were installed, interior walls were insulated, and some wallboard was put up. Contractors worked on electrical, plumbing, and roofing, as is required by ordinance in Jamestown, as well as grading around the property.

Once we were able to bring some of our volunteers safely back to the job site, what seemed like an endless amount of wallboard was hung. As of now, our industrious volunteer painters have completed all ceilings and walls, and have also begun installing trim boards. Exterior work is happening while the weather permits. Once final grading was finished, cleanup of the property (raking stones and smoothing out top soil) was done in time to do Fall grass-seeding. In addition, the shed has been stained – Homeowner Partner Jillian’s “She Shed.”

“Up Next” is the installation of the flooring, painted trim boards, kitchen cabinets, and all the finishing touches in preparation for the dedication of this home.

Although our volunteer numbers are small, much is being accomplished! The heart of this home at 27 Norton Avenue in Jamestown beats strongly due to the generous kindness of all our volunteers who have given their time, talent, and hard work to this project. We are all eager for the day when we can turn the keys over to our Partner Family.

44 Babcock Avenue Dedication

Work was completed on this lovely, rehabilitated house in November 2021 with the help of over 73 volunteers.  COVID had a dramatic impact on both the number of workers and the length of time worked, but it finally paid off with a beautiful new home for Stephanie, George, Cassidy and Zoey Westbrook.

On May 15, 2022, the family cut the ribbon and entered the house as Habitat homeowners, with many volunteers and neighbors in the audience.  As soon as their mortgage is approved and signed, they will be able to officially move in.

Kudos to the “COVID 12”, those volunteers who were allowed to work on the house once restrictions were put in place.  Masks had to be worn inside the house for many months, and fortunately no one caught the dreaded disease as a result of work at our site.  Special recognition to Mike Burghardt, Dave Kurzawa with over 300 hours each; to Martha Boutet, Marilyn Kurzawa, Dave Nowak, Pat Rodgers, Donna Roof, and Rich Smith with over 200 hours; and Linda Borrello, Rose Cerabone, Rick Marable, and George and Stephanie Westbrook with over 100 hours.  And special thanks to our younger workers from Job Corps and SUNY Fredonia prior to the pandemic.  Without everyone’s help, we would still be working on this house!

Plugging away at 127 Union Street, Westfield

At the writing of our last Newsletter we were about six months into the rehab of 127 Union Street. We had our work cut out for us. Since then we have completely dry walled the entire house, bringing us to March 2020 and Covid -19. On March 17th, all work stopped. The site was shut down and everyone sheltered at home, washing our hands more than we ever thought possible, wearing face masks, and avoiding our family and friends. As the state of New York began to reign in this unknown virus and slowly certain segments began to resume their operations, we wondered, “When can Habitat resume our construction activities?” We got the green light to go back to work during the fourth stage openings and we reopened all our worksites July 11th.

Of course, we had to follow the recommended CDC guideline and procedures. Never thought I would be taking the temperatures of our Habitat volunteers before we could allow them to volunteer, and asking them those questions we have all since memorized. Nevertheless, we are blessed! Our fearless five have reported every Saturday since returning to work. The drywall is finished, the primer is complete, and when you receive this newsletter, the finish coat of paint will be done. Our volunteers have also completed the siding on the back of the house, washed the entire exterior, and will have built new front steps and closed in the front porch. It will soon be time to move inside and begin the finish work.

Debbie Caruso, Tom Caruso, Bill Newton, Mark Daughtery and Ken Fahnestock are the stars of the show. They have been there every Saturday since we reopened. These folks are sharing their skills in carpentry, sheet metal, siding, and painting to turn what was a ramshackle of a house into a home. With each swing of the hammer, each snip of the shears, and with each stroke of a brush or roller, a little bit of love goes into making a home.

If you have volunteered with us before, we invite you to join us. Now that we are painting, we are able to spread out through the house. So, come on down!!