Building Upon the Past

till-fritzschingTill Fritzsching of Rochester, NY, found his new home on Craig’s List three years ago. Although the house was set for demolition by the City of Rochester, he saw the home and felt that it was a metaphor for his own life journey – as he puts it “the home had been through hell, and so had I.”
In 2013, Mr. Fritzsching had hit rock bottom. He was divorced, and no longer employed at the successful mid-west company he had once presided over. His home of the past few years had been a jail cell due to addiction. A physical injury had set him back as well and he ended up living in his mother’s home.
When he first saw the 1920’s era house on Northview Terrace, he knew it had potential, despite years of neglect and trees growing through the roof. The only tenants for years had been rodents. As the building was scheduled for demolition the very next day, the price was affordable. However, there was much work to be done to save it from the wrecking ball.
A neighbor referred him to NeighborWorks® Rochester, as the organization had assisted several other homeowners in the neighborhood. While he had put in a lot of his own sweat-equity, and had to learn to negotiate a labyrinth of homeowner-assistance programs, he still had a long way to go to rehab the home. NeighborWorks® Rochester was able to assist on several fronts.
NeighborWorks® Rochester was able to provide Mr. Fritzsching with resources for lead testing and encapsulation in the his home, garage, and basement, a new roof, gutters and eaves, exterior and interior paint, a new porch. “The house went from the worst on the block to one of the best,” Mr. Fritzsching stated. Also added to the home were new windows and a water heater.

In the past 5 years, NeighborWorks® Rochester has invested $4,784,000 in loans to help 279 homeowners purchase or rehab their home. Many of these loans also had a grant as part of the assistance, which allowed homeowners even more capacity to fix their house, without having to finance all of the expense. NeighborWorks® Rochester will work with customers who may be turned away by traditional lenders due to credit issues or not having enough equity in their home. The organization is a resource to homeowners who may face losing their home or living in disrepair or unhealthy or unsafe conditions.

“NeighborWorks® Rochester left a great taste in my mouth, and was my first choice once my credit was cleaned up. The contractors were great and I’m really satisfied,” Mr. Fritzsching added.
In a neighborhood hard-hit by the city’s decades of manufacturing job loss, his home now stands out as one of the nicest on the street.
Mr. Fritzsching added, “I’m not done yet. I just built myself a new back porch, and it really satisfies me to look at where this house was and where it is now. I consider not only the house but the project as a metaphor for my own life recovery in the sense that I made a commitment to restoring a once beautiful thing, much like my own life, to not necessarily what it was before but rather a recreation of a new vision of what it could be. I believe that the past should always be recognized and the foundation on what we can build, but we should never be limited by it for its own sake. That to me at least, gives me the freedom to not only build upon the past but create a new reality from it.”
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Healthy Blocks Announces its Bike Rack Artists!

www.ssrphotography.com
www.ssrphotography.com

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NeighborWorks® Rochester is thrilled to announce the local artists who have been chosen to design four bike racks to be installed in The Triangle of North Winton Village this August, via the Healthy Blocks Neighborhood Initiative Program! The goals of this project are to create bike parking where there currently is none, to improve access to the businesses located at the apex of the Triangle neighborhood, and to enhance the neighborhood’s unique image. Two of the racks will be fabricated by MetalSomeArt, a collaboration of Clay Lieberman and Matty Soanes, and two will be created by Jesse Hughson, Skillhoarder and creator of CyrCraft Customs. These racks will installed by the City of Rochester in four strategic locations in the business district area of Culver-Merchants.

Beer Stein MSAMetalSomeArt was founded by Matty and Clay (pictured top) in 2013, though both have a decade of metal fabrication experience. Operating from their workshop on E Main, they create handmade belt buckles, metal-plated leather journals, custom sculptures, and more. Recently, they designed and constructed the trophy to be given to the winner of Rochester Real Beer Week’s “Best New Beer of 2015” (pictured right). Matty and Clay’s racks (without giving away the surprise!) will incorporate minimalist, industrial, functional and modern design concepts.

Immanuel Baptist Bike RackJesse Hughson lives in Beechwood and is an artist who specializes in metal fabrication, prototyping, sculptural work, CNC machining, electronics, woodworking, and more. Through CyrCraft Customs, he builds, engraves and adds LEDs to Cyr Wheels, a specialized type of full-body gymnastics equipment. His past work also includes a bike rack he built for Immanuel Baptist Church on Park Avenue (pictured left). His fabrications for the Triangle will bring creativity and life into the area.

Healthy Blocks looks forward to the completion of this project and the increased aesthetic appeal and bicycle traffic it will bring to The Triangle!

Celebration of Rochester Neighbors

LOGO RectangleCome join us as we celebrate the great people that make our neighborhoods strong, on Monday,  June 6th from 5:00PM to 7:00PM at the Rochester Public Market. The event is called Celebration of Rochester Neighbors and will recognize volunteers who are making a difference at the neighborhood level, as well as leaders in the Rochester community. Like a city-wide block party, the event will feature live music, food and a chance to have fun with neighbors from throughout the city.

Rochester is a great place to live because of the caring, invested people who live in it. We want to celebrate those individuals and the neighborhoods that make up our city and kick off NeighborWorks® Week here in Rochester.

Celebration of Rochester Neighbors is supported by contributions from JP Morgan Chase, First Niagara Bank, Lamar Advertising, Greater Rochester Association of Realtors, Your Care Health Plan and Northwest Bank. Participants include food trucks from Marty’s Meats, Hot Rosita’s and The Daily Refresher, with live music provided by the Bureau Cats. Neighborhood Association and Block Clubs will also be there to share what it is that makes their part of #ROC a great place to live.

Tickets are $10 each (children under 13 are free) and available at NeighborWorks® Rochester or online at https://celebrationofrocneighbors.eventbrite.com. All proceeds from the event will allow NeighborWorks® Rochester to continue to build strong neighborhoods by educating and counseling new homeowners, providing resources to homeowners turned away by traditional lenders, energy-savings programs and targeted neighborhood revitalization through the Healthy Blocks Neighborhood Initiative.

NeighborWorks® Rochester Proud to be Part of Solarize the Flower City Campaign

RocSpot logoROCSPOT, an organization devoted to the implementation of solar technology to create jobs and reduce poverty in Rochester, announced today that that Solarize the Flower City 2016 is one of 31 Solarize campaigns across the State beginning this spring. Solarize the Flower City 2016 will kick off with a launch event on March 20, where local and state leaders will come together to celebrate with ROCSPOT, NeighborWorks® Rochester and other partners, and the local community. Governor Cuomo announced the program awards on February 19, funded through Community Solar NY, a NYSERDA program.
As a component of the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy and NY-Sun program, Community Solar NY makes implementing solar easier and more affordable by supporting locally-organized community outreach aimed at getting a critical mass of area homes and businesses to install solar and obtain competitive pricing, thereby lowering the cost. Historically, Solarize campaigns lower the cost of solar 10 to 20 percent.
Solarize the Flower City 2016 will be selecting designated solar installers using a thorough pre-qualification process. Residents and businesses who sign up for solar installations by September 15, 2016, will be able to take advantage of group rates below market prices. The more customers who sign up, the lower the price will be for everyone.
“New York is blazing the trail when it comes to transitioning to sustainable energy practices and building a clean energy economy,” said Governor Cuomo. “By helping communities across the state install solar technologies, we are opening the door to new opportunities that will lower household energy costs while protecting the environment years into the future.” “I am proud to partner with ROCSPOT and support the Solarize the Flower City Campaign,” said Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren. “The citizens of Rochester are committed to protecting the environment and mitigating the impacts of climate change. Developing more sustainable and more affordable methods of energy production through solar power will play a critical role in that effort and help us create more jobs, safer more vibrant neighborhoods and provide all of our children with a quality education.” “More so now than ever before, the Finger Lakes Region is on the cutting edge of green and renewable energy development, with solar technology being an important part of the equation,” said Senator Rich Funke (R-C-I, Fairport). “I thank ROCSPOT, NYSERDA, and all partners involved in Solarize the Flower City for helping to make solar generation more affordable and accessible for both residents and employers alike across our community.”
Maureen Murphy, Executive Director of NeighborWorks® Rochester said: “NeighborWorks® Rochester is excited to be a partner in the Solarize the Flower City 2016 campaign. Increasing Rochester’s solar capacity, and decreasing household energy usage, will help to reposition our community both by supporting households struggling to meet energy costs, as well as neighborhoods looking to become more sustainable”.
Additional partners and participants include NYSERDA, the Town of Brighton and the Town of Irondequoit.
Solarize the Flower City 2016 is supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative as well as the City of Rochester, through the New York Power Authority (NYPA) Five Cities Energy Plan program. Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun will invest up to $1 billion in solar power through 2023 to significantly expand solar installations across the State, ultimately transforming New York’s solar industry to become self-sustaining. The City of Rochester is investing over $800,000 from the NYPA Five Cities program for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, positioning itself as a leader in climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Celebrate City Living!

Celebrate City Living
Celebrate City Living
The City of Rochester and the Rochester Coalition for Neighborhood Living, which NeighborWorks® Rochester is a part of, have launched Celebrate City Living, a new program to help homebuyers and renters learn about the benefits of living in the city and find the resources to make it easier to buy or rent a home in Rochester.
“Rochester’s neighborhoods are a great place to grow and Celebrate City Living is our way of making sure everyone knows why,” said City of Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren. “I want to thank the Rochester Coalition for Neighborhood Living and all of our sponsors for helping us create an exciting new opportunity to celebrate city living and invite more people to choose Rochester as their home. People who know why Rochester is a wonderful place to live can become active partners in our mission to create more jobs, safer, more vibrant neighborhoods and provide all of our children with a quality education.”
“The Rochester Coalition for Neighborhood Living is extremely proud to partner with the City of Rochester to promote city living by helping potential homebuyers and renters fully appreciate and enjoy the amenities of living in Rochester,” said Coalition Chairs Beverly Fair-Brooks, Vice President, Regional Community Reinvestment Officer of M&T Bank; and Ted Wood, Realtor, Construction Manager and Real Estate Broker at the Ibero American Development Corp. “Celebrate City Living is a fun and exciting way to increase investment and build a stronger sense of community in all of Rochester’s neighborhoods.”
Celebrate City Living is a year-round program designed to encourage city residency for consumers at every stage of the housing search, including renters, first-time homebuyers, experienced owners, those who require financial assistance and those seeking high-end, luxury spaces.
The program places a special emphasis on the distinctive settings and wide variety of housing choices in each of Rochester’s neighborhoods. The goal is to help consumers understand that Rochester is a city of neighborhoods and they can quickly focus their search for an ideal home by learning about the characteristics of each neighborhood.
The event website and an annual event will help consumers search city neighborhoods for a house or apartment and connect them to available resources, including Realtors, lenders and non-profit agencies that specialize in city housing. NeighborWorks Rochester will be there to assist all first time home buyers learn more about our programs and resources.
The website features a custom search engine that filters available housing choices by neighborhood along with profiles of the neighborhoods. The site is interactive and will include a social media center and enable neighborhood residents and merchants to submit neighborhood events to a community calendar.
The inaugural Five Star Bank Celebrate City Living Housing Expo will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 16 in City Hall, 30 Church St. The Housing Expo will serve as a resource fair, where home hunters can meet representatives of each neighborhood along with Realtors, lenders and non-profit agencies who specialize in serving city customers.
Exhibitors will also include home décor stores, food vendors, entertainment venues and health and recreation facilities.
On Sunday, April 17 many open houses will be held at available city properties. In addition, the Landmark Society of Western New York will host three bus tours of city neighborhoods on April 9, 15 and 16. All tours start at 1 p.m. and depart from City Hall. Visit www.celebratecityliving.com to register for a tour.
Along with the annual Housing Expo, CCL will also partner with neighborhood representatives along with Canandaigua National Bank to host a series of Celebrate City Living neighborhood celebrations throughout the year, where neighborhood leaders and merchants can highlight the distinct benefits of their neighborhood in a festive setting.
The Rochester Coalition for Neighborhood Living members are: The City of Rochester, M&T Bank, NeighborWorks® Rochester, Ibero-American Development Corp, The Housing Council at PathStone, Citizens Bank, The Landmark Society of Western New York, Greater Rochester Association of Realtors, Game Plan Marketing, ROC City Realty, New2U Homes, Hart’s Local Grocers and Magellan Realty. This year’s title sponsor for the Home Expo is Five Star Bank.

Celebrate Park(ing) Day in our Pop-up Park!

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Park(ing) Day Pop-up Park to be located at 1090 Culver Road, Rochester

NeighborWorks® Rochester’s Healthy Blocks Neighborhood Initiative will provide a temporary public open space – a Pop-up Park – to foster community in a city neighborhood and celebrate Park(ing) Day on September 18th. Park(ing) Day is a world-wide initiative which allows residents, businesses, community organizations, etc. to collaborate and transform a parking space into a temporary public green space. This urban oasis will take place at 1090 Culver Road, Rochester, in the parking lot of Rochester’s only remaining cobblestone structure. This space exists within the Triangle Neighborhood (bordered by Culver, Merchants and Main Streets), which is the focus of NeighborWorks® Rochester’s Health Blocks Neighborhood Initiative.

The Park(ing) Day event will allow neighbors and the public to socialize in a relaxing outdoor setting which includes food, drink, history and games. Thanks to Broccolo Tree and Lawn Care who will provide greenery to help make the otherwise empty lot into a Pop-up Park.  The event will be held from noon to 6:00 P.M. and will include ice cream from Eat Me Ice Cream and espresso from Ugly Duck Coffee. The first 50 Triangle residents will receive a free affagato – a coffee and ice cream confection. They will also be available, along with ice cream and espresso, for purchase. The Landmark Society of Western New York will also be there to provide historic photos and a history of this unique building, while Reconnect Rochester will provide a mini-golf course and Park(ing) Day bus stop cubes to add to the fun.

WHAT: Park(ing) Day Celebration

WHERE: 1090 Culver Road, Rochester

WHEN: Noon to 6:00PM

HOW: Free to all, espressos from Ugly Duck Coffee and ice cream from Eat Me Ice Cream available for purchase

 

 

Our Bags Roc to kick off NeighborWorks® Week

NeighborWorks® Rochester will be holding a tote-ally awesome fundraiser on Friday, June 5th called Our Bags Roc. The event will be held at the newly-renovated NeighborWorks® Rochester offices at 570 South Avenue in the South Wedge area of Rochester from 5:00 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. and will feature the live auction of “Bags of Swag” donated by local merchants, artisans, restaurants and more. The event will kick off the local celebration of NeighborWorks® Week – a week to recognize successful partnerships, neighborhood change and awareness – which begins June 6th.

OurBagsRoc_Logo cropped LoRezItems for auction include a custom-fitted suit from Vittorio Menswear, a tasting for 20 from Black Button Distillery, a Home Improvement Bag valued at $250, a personalized Memory Quilt and Cocktail Culture and much more. You can view all of our generously donated items and bid on them online: http://www.biddingowl.com/NWRochester

The event will also include delicious food, signature cocktails and beverages. Sponsors include SiteHub, Madison and Dunn, YELP! and Innovative Solutions. Todd Solomon will provide live musical entertainment.

Funds from Our Bags Roc will support the agency’s wide range of services supporting neighborhood stabilization through homeowner education, strategic lending and energy conservation.

Tickets are only $10.00 and are available at ABODE Rochester, 289 Gregory St., Rochester or at NeighborWorks® Rochester offices or online at https://ourbagsroc.eventbrite.com .

Call 585.325.4170 or visit www.NWRochester.org for more information.

Shining A Light On Our Energy Services

save-energy-bulb-lgIf you’re interested in saving money and helping the environment, you may want to consider scheduling a NeighborWorks® Rochester Home Energy Audit for your home! here are some answers to FAQ’s: Does it cost money to have an energy audit done on my home? Energy audits are free to households with annual income of less than $137,000. Households with a higher income can have an audit done for a pro-rated fee. NeighborWorks® Rochester has energy programs available regardless of income, including grant funds for lower income households, and subsidy programs that can help pay for energy-related work. The audit is likely to save you money in the long run, as we can help point out areas in your home that can be improved upon for energy and money savings. In addition, as a non-profit organization, our focus is on you, the homeowner, making sure that you have reliable information and a high level of customer service. Why would I want to schedule an Energy Audit? Sometimes there are issues in your home that you might not even be aware of, such as appliances that are using large amounts of energy and needlessly inflating your gas or electric bill.We can show you simple fixes to your home that you can do yourself, potentially saving you money and headaches in the future. Do you have big icicles that appear every winter and thaw every spring? They might be doing more damage than you can see from the outside, which will be more costly as time goes on. And, because we can provide tips on how to cut down on drafts and air leaks, your family could be much more comfortable on those cold, blustery days of winter. In addition, as a non-profit organization, our focus is on you, the homeowner, making sure that you have reliable information that is not part of a sales pitch. Why are you so interested in saving me money? Our mission is to help people become homeowners and to give them the tools to stay in their homes. Equipping people with information that will make their home healthier and more comfortable and will better prepare them to be long-term homeowners. Long-term homeowners make better neighbors, and better neighbors, make better neighborhoods!

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Who you gonna call? Your full-service partner, that’s who!

Your Full-Service Partner..

Owning a home of your own can be as stressful as it is enjoyable. How can you make your family as safe and comfortable as possible, without spending all your hard-earned money? Does the roof need to be replaced, or just fixed? How can you be sure that the contractor can be trusted to finish on-time and on-budget? NeighborWorks® Rochester is here to help.

As a non-profit, one-stop shop for homebuyers and homeowners, our goal is to guide you through the buying process as well as all stages of homeownership, including home repairs. If your home is in need of fixing, NeighborWorks Rochester can work with you to offer unbiased solutions to your home issues. We can give you the confidence that comes with knowing you have someone in your corner. And we’ll be there with you for years to come, building great communities, one dream home at a time. Some Frequently Asked Questions about our Lending Program are:house construction

Q. Are there qualifying income limits to receive your services?

A. No.  There are no income minimums or maximums needed to access our services.  We work with all ranges of incomes.

Q. Do you only work with City residents?

A. No.  We serve all the residents of Monroe County. The only lending service that we offer that is specific to city residents is our construction management service. Our lending services are available to any resident within the Monroe County area  looking to do repairs on their home!
Q. Do you do home repairs?

A. NeighborWorks® Rochester offers financing for home repairs.  But we, ourselves, don’t do them. We help to get the customer an estimate of all the work and to solicit bids from qualified contractors, so that virtually, any type of home repair the customer needs/wants to get done, our contractors can do!

Do you have a question that you don’t see here? Ask in the comments or give us a call at 585.325.4170 and one of our experts will answer any other questions you may have.

Spring Revival- New Community Garden & Community Kick-off Event

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After a long vacancy, the empty lot at 622 Merchants Road recently became a community garden once again. The garden is a result of a partnership between St. Mark’s & St. John’s Episcopal Church, Foodlink, Covenant United Methodist Church, the City of Rcohester and Healthy Blocks. The garden contains 16 raised beds, flower garden, a picnic table and a tool shed in the near future. Our United Way Day of Caring volunteers from Paychex and New Directions helped clear the lot and build the raised beds all in a day!

This garden is the church’s second growing site after a very successful initial effort on church property. With the generous donation of materials by Foodlink, a portion of the food produced goes to those in need. Food is distributed locally through various food pantries, including the one found at St. Mark’s & St. John’s.

Neighbors are encouraged to participate in the community garden throughout the growing season. Volunteers may join Mike Finn, lead garden coordinator, this Friday at 10am to plant seeds in the raised beds. The garden will have scheduled harvest days where the food is weighed before being distributed. Gardeners also reap some rewards for their efforts by taking fresh produce home with them!

Gardening plus several other eco related topics will be featured at “Taste of the Triangle” on May 31st, from 11am-3pm. This event will feature free food tastings from local restaurants, live music, as well as community and “green” resources. The Merchants Road garden coordinators will be at the event ready to chat about the project.

For more information about the garden or “Taste of the Triangle,” please send me an e-mail or give me a call: mkraines@nwrochester.org 325-4170 ext. 317.

Happy Gardening!

Michelle Kraines