Second Wind Cottages are located on the TCAT bus line at 1435 Elmira Rd Newfield, NY 14867. The Cottages provide a place where homeless men can find a safe home in a beautiful setting with a supportive environment and they can learn the life skills necessary to reintegrate into society. It is situated on 7 acres of land in Newfield, NY. Each single-room cottage has a bathroom, kitchenette, and bed area.
From September 2013-January 2014, Second Wind built six single-occupancy, 16’x20’ year-round cottages for formerly homeless men. The initial 6 cottages were completed and occupied on 1/24/14. In 2015, 3 more cottages were finished and quickly filled with new residents. Each year following 3 more cottages were built and occupied for a total of 18. The cottages are 320 square feet and cost about $15,000 in materials to build. All of the labor to build the cottages was completed by volunteers.
The Cottages provide permanent, supportive housing for men referred from local agencies or the Homeless Crisis Alleviation team. Removing barriers to affordable housing is a start towards a restored life, but it is not all that is needed. The program at SW, Flexible Programming, is individually tailored for each resident, focusing on the barriers which led each into homelessness. Periodic meetings with the Support Team allow for successes, challenges, and new goals to be shared. There is no program term limit. Each resident can stay as long as needed until he is ready to live independently.
At SW each person is a unique individual with unique abilities and needs. The men who live at Second Wind’s cottages are working toward being able to live responsibly by learning to provide themselves with food, clothing, and shelter and to have positive relationships within their community.
The difficulties encountered in this transition are taken seriously by SW. Honesty, responsibility, accountability, and frequent constructive engagement with the greater community are needed for transformation to happen. A structure and environment must be provided in a way that gives each individual the ability to contribute and be supported according to his ability and need.
Second Wind Cottages provides each resident with:
A Cottage: Each resident is provided a furnished cottage during the time of their transition. The resident is responsible for paying a program fee. A combination of government support (as available), the resident’s participation through the “Taking Responsibility” list, and the resident paying in dollars, as his income allows, makes up the complete fee.
A Community: Second Wind is a ready-made community that includes residents, staff, Community Partners, and many others who participate in the lives at this location. Learning to interact and engage with the greater community is a necessary skill to learn during the transition.
A Community Partner: Each resident is assigned a Community Partner to check in with weekly. The role of a Community Partner is to provide support in learning the practical skills needed to live independently and to check progress in meeting the personal goals identified by the resident and the SW support team.
Some examples of practical skills are understanding and using public transportation, identifying and completing needed paperwork for organizations (DSS, Mental Health, CARS, DMV, Social Security, NY Law, etc.), advocacy at meetings, following up with health issues, budgeting, cooking, cleaning, and finding and maintaining employment.
Personal goals may include positive growth in any of the following areas (or others as identified by resident and support team): education; employment; spirituality; substance abuse; mental health; relationships; health and fitness.
SW's Flexible Programming allows the residents to focus on restoring different areas of their lives at different times. As they accomplish their goals and begin to stabilize in an area or areas, they will continue to establish and work toward new goals until they are ready to move on to independent living. Because of the deep pathologies that are often behind the broken lives of the SW residents, the process of restoration is often bumpy. Part of SW’s flexibility is to allow men to “fail” in their goals, often meaning they leave SW for a period of time, and then to return when they are ready to try again.
Our vision is to walk with people toward restored lives. True restoration in anyone's life takes time, so we do not expect to commonly see vacancies in the cottages. However, when there is an opening, we avidly seek through our waiting list for the right applicant. Our waiting list for prospective new Second Wind residents may be joined by clicking on the link at the top right corner of this page.