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 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 manage is further described on their own pages under the "About Us" tab.
Second Wind’s vision is to house and walk with people towards restored lives. To this end, SW seeks to improve the relationships with self, family, and the larger community. Accomplished by our mission to
Provide housing, support, and encouragement to homeless and at-risk people in our community.
Mentor residents in life skills needed to reintegrate into society and, when possible, family life.
Practice living as good neighbors by building relationships amongst residents and the surrounding community.
Sustain relationships and support residents who have moved on from Second Wind.
Future projects include an on-site community center, a multi-unit house for women, and a multi-bay work garage.