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In a wooded area behind Ithaca's commercial strip, there is a location known as The Jungle. Here, individuals experiencing homelessness gather and make what home they can. Second Wind's journey began when our founder, Carmen Guidi, started to build relationships with the residents, bringing pizza and listening to their stories. It was when one of his new friends, who had been asking for help, committed suicide that Carmen knew he needed to do more. Acting as an advocate, Carmen was able to find housing for all but nine men.
With his own money, Carmen purchased campers to provide shelter for the men who were still in The Jungle come winter. He placed these on his land and paid for the utilities, but it became clear that living in campers in the winter was still uncomfortable and very expensive. Through a process of collaboration, Second Wind Cottages evolved from campers to cottages and became an official 501(c)(3). Programs have expanded to include a house for women and a formalized Homeless Crisis Alleviation team. In 2020 the "cottages" was dropped from our DBA to better represent all that Second Wind does. Each of the projects we manager are further described on their own pages under the "About Us" tab.
Second Wind’s overarching mission is to house and walk with people towards restored lives to break the cycle of homelessness. To this end, SW seeks to improve the relationships with self, family, and the larger community. Accomplished by
Providing advocacy, support, and encouragement to homeless and at-risk people in our community through the cottages and the Homeless Crisis Alleviation team.
Housing 18 male residents in permanent, supportive housing. (The most under-served segment of the homeless population were men at the foundation of SW. Plans for expansion to include women are in the works.)
Mentoring residents in life skills, financial matters, employment, and relational tools needed to reintegrate into society and their own families.
Connecting the local community with the homeless population. SW sustains a large, community volunteer base. Volunteers help with fund-raising, maintaining homes, sharing life in many practical and relational ways, preparing meals, donating goods/services, facilitating classes, advocacy, and transportation.
Partnering with local agencies who are working with the homeless and at-risk population.
Sustaining relationships with residents who have moved on from Second Wind Cottages.
Future projects include an on-site Community Center, a multi unit house for women and a multi-bay work garage. For more information on these projects and about the cottages navigate to the individual pages under the "about us" tab.
It is important to note that, although the Second Wind Cottages Inc. is a faith-based organization, no decision about housing new residents will be made on the basis of issues of faith, nor will religious practices be required of any resident as a condition of residency.
Checks: If you would like to donate to us using a check, please make checks payable to Second Wind Cottages,1435 Elmira Rd. Newfield, NY 14867.
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