Our Neighbor’s Story

Mary Lovejoy, Rochester
Mary Lovejoy edit
In 2003 Mary Lovejoy decided it was time to realize her dream of becoming a homeowner. She came to NeighborWorks® Rochester to learn about the home buying process and to help her make good decisions in choosing where she and her daughter would make a lifetime of happy memories. Armed with information, she found a home in Rochester’s historic 19th Ward community that met her needs. Housing stock in the city of Rochester is an average of 73 years old, and Mary’s neighborhood is one of the oldest in the city. Unfortunately, Mary’s was one of those beautiful older homes where lead paint was used on the interior and exterior of the home. Studies have shown that children who are exposed to lead poisoning face serious problems such as decreased IQ levels; higher likelihood of learning disabilities, behavioral problems and/or juvenile delinquency and higher high school dropout rates.

By having gone through the NeighborWorks® Rochester home ownership program, Mary was aware that help was available for home repair to assist her and her young daughter. As part of the NeighborWorks® Rochester’s loan program, lead testing identified the issues. In addition to remediating the lead issues in her home, NeighborWorks® Rochester replaced siding on the house and unattached garage, rebuilt the front porch, replaced windows and did electrical work. Energy work was also a big part of the work on Mary’s home. NeighborWorks® Rochester insulated the house and made repairs to her heating system, which improved safety and comfort and saved the family money in utility bills. “From the beginning, everyone was so friendly and helpful, especially in communicating what was going on to me” Mary commented. “I have recommended many people to them.”

New Executive Director Starts at NeighborWorks® Rochester

Maureen Murphy

NeighborWorks® Rochester is excited to announce the appointment of Maureen Murphy, M.P.A, as Executive Director. Ms. Murphy has a history of community service in the Rochester area and currently serves as Board President of the Friends of the Public Market and was a long-standing board member of the South East Area Coalition (SEAC) in Rochester. She previously served as Executive Director of the Habitat for Humanity of Ontario County.

“Maureen has significant non-profit leadership experience and brings knowledge and experience in housing programs, and experience managing staff, but as important, she brings a high level of passion, commitment, and heart for the work that we do,” stated Kim Brumber, President and CEO of the NeighborWorks® Western NY Affiliation. “Maureen knows our programs first-hand; she bought her first home through our Homebuyer Education and Counseling program and also lived in Swillburg during our first Healthy Blocks initiative, seeing up close and personal the impact and potential of Healthy Blocks.”

Maureen, who currently lives in the Park Avenue area of Rochester, is a graduate of SUNY Brockport and Nazareth College. She enjoys running and can be found most Saturdays at the Rochester Public Market.

Dedication of NeighborWorks® Rochester’s Education Center in Memory of Karen DiNardo

Dinardo Karen 600dpiWe were honored to dedicate our newly-renovated Education Center to volunteer and friend, Karen DiNardo, at our recent Annual Meeting. The following are remarks made by Kim Brumber, President and CEO of NeighborWorks® Community Partners, during the dedication.

Karen was one of those people that even though I didn’t know her really well, I was able to draw strength from her; that was just the type of person she was.

Karen was a real estate attorney with the local firm Phillips Lytle whom NeighborWorks® Rochester worked closely with at the time. I think we may all likely have an image that comes to our mind when we say real estate attorney – but I will venture to say that at least in my mind, she wasn’t your “typical attorney” – whatever that is! 

Karen served as a volunteer in our homebuyer education classes. For those of you that don’t know, we bring in experts for various sections of the class – a home inspector, a realtor, and an attorney. Karen was our go to person for the “Choosing and working with an attorney” section of the class.

As a volunteer she gave a lot of time to NeighborWorks® Rochester and to our customers. She would often present at the class and then hang around long after her presentation time to assure that she had met with every participant that wanted to ask her a question one-on-one. Her care for our customers and commitment to their success as homebuyers was palpable. I quickly learned through various circumstances that she was very protective of the first time home buyers that she worked with through here – that, I believe was representative of the person she was.  Caring, dedicated, committed and unwavering.

This quiet, gentle strength. She had a patience and calm with people that instantly put people at ease.

Karen left us too soon. She fought a long, difficult battle with cancer – but even through that, she remained positive and still gave of herself endlessly, for as long as she was able. She never gave up. In the years since her passing, when I remember Karen, I recall a very passionate person who cared deeply about those she helped and her work – I think of her as being “all in” when she did something; there was no half way with Karen. For me, she was one of those people that touches our life for a brief time but leaves an impression that goes on forever.  If I had to pick one word that comes to mind when I remember her, it is exceptional. 

It is my honor to dedicate this room, our education center in memory of someone who cared so deeply about our first time homebuyers that are educated here – this will assure that Karen’s life will be remembered through our work.

Home Sweet Home Puts Rochester’s Most Delicious Cakes All In One Place!

SOCIAL-MEDIA-hshWhere else can you find delicious desserts from all around Rochester under one roof? Dozens of area bakeries and bakers will be participating in the Home Sweet Home Cake Auction at the High Falls Interpretive Center and Museum in Rochester on Thurs., Nov. 6th. The event will feature an auction of cakes and other confections, along with food, live music from the Erik Stabnau Jazz Combo, champagne cocktails, a coffee bar and great networking, starting at 5:00PM. What a sweet way to support programs which benefit homeowners and healthy neighborhoods in our community! Check out all of our sweet friends!
Tickets are only $5.oo and will provide entre to an evening of yummy fun while helping to change lives. Each year, approximately 42% of the people who start their journey down the path to homeownership are single women, usually the head of their households. This event will help them create a better life for themselves and their children, while supporting strong city neighborhoods.
Thanks to our sponsors:

Fairport Savings Bank
Woods Oviatt Gilman
Heveron & Co., CPAs
Vincent Associates Real Estate – Vince Pace & Greg Stefl
Harter Secrest & Emery, LLPEmpire Realty
Innovative Solutions
Santariello, AKL & Associates, PLLC
Stewart Title Insurance Co.
Tompkins Bank of Castile
The City of Rochester
The Central Library of Rochester
The Office of the City Historian Rochester

To get in on the fun, purchase tickets online now at https://homesweethomecakeauction.eventbrite.com Or contact NeighborWorks® Rochester at 585.325.4170.

Volunteer Spotlight – Ann Donato

AnnDonato_picNeighborWorks® Rochester is thrilled to have had the talents of student intern Ann Donato this summer. As a Graphic Design student at RIT, Ann has assisted with updating materials, producing graphics for social media platforms, events and programs and branding-related projects. She helped produce our snazzy new logo! CEO Kim Brumber stated, “It was such a tremendous boost to have a talented young artist on our team, increasing the bandwidth of our staff and providing a fresh look to many projects. She did an outstanding job and we were pleased to have her here. ”
As a resident of Henrietta, Anne enjoys being outdoors hiking and biking and is also a talented baker. She hopes to obtain a career in web design or other graphic-arts related field, once she graduates this winter.

Would you be interested in making a difference in your community? Maybe you need to build your network or add specific skills to your resume. Volunteers are needed to help with event planning and on event days, on strategic planning committees, with copying and coalating materials for our classes and outreach events and more. Visit our website for more information on how you can get involved and give back. Or call us at 585.325.4170.

Leaky Roof? We can help…

Our area has had an almost record amount of rainfall so far this summer. That can mean some nasty business when your roof leaks or your gutters are missing or damaged. Damaged roofs can cause a lot of costly damage to the interior walls and floors of your home, while water that is not draining properly can flood your home and damage the furnace and other items in the basement.
Where can you get help? At NeighborWorks® Rochester, of course, where rehab, repair and remodel are what we do best. We offer an Emergency Loan from $2,000 to $5,000 ($12,000 for roofs) at affordable rates and terms. Our Emergency Loan funds can typically be available within 2-3 days. Great peace of mind!
Learn more about our Emergency Loans and our other products on our website.

Is Your Green Thumb Out of Shape?

Box of cukes (2)   Volunteer   Green tomatoes

The Garden of E.D.E.N. at 622 Merchants Rd is a community partnership between Foodlink, St. Mark’s & St. John’s, Covenant United Methodist Church and Healthy Blocks. Volunteers work together every Thursday morning, around 10am, to harvest food and tend to the garden. All the food is weighed and then submitted to Foodlink for distribution to the area.

Anyone of any skill level is welcome to help in the garden. For more information or to volunteer, call St. Mark’s & St. John’s at 654-9229.





Sandy the Snowman








We know it’s the grilling season and not the “Season of Giving,” but NeighborWorks® Rochester is hopeful that you’ll considering putting on your elf hat as you do your summer house cleaning, attack the long-forgotten piles in your basement or update your home office!  Thursday, July 25th will be our Christmas in July as we kick-off our new NeighborWorks® Rochester WishList program. We will share a list of items that our agency needs which, if donated, will allow us to focus on building healthy neighborhoods.

The actual list of items that we need will reside on our website’s Wish List page starting July 25th. The list will be updated as our needs change and as items get granted by fairy godmothers, Santa Clauses of all stripes and kind-hearted people such as yourselves.

We are seeking specific items in good or gently used condition that you might be looking to dispose of – and you might be able to obtain a tax deduction. We are not seeking certain electronic items (TVs, computers, printers) that may be too outdated and would not “speak” to our current technology (and might also be more expensive to dispose of than to keep.) Please see the website for the complete guidelines to giving.

Here are a few good reasons to participate:

o   Items you no longer need will be utilized rather than gathering dust.

o   You get the satisfaction of doing a good deed and helping others. And possibly be able to deduct the donation from your taxes.

o   It’s a great, “green” way to help the environment by recycling rather than tossing that item into a landfill.

Donations from your workplace are also welcome! If your office might be moving, updating equipment or have an overstock of office supplies, please check our list to see if there’s an item that might otherwise go into a dumpster. It’s an easy and cost-free way for to give to NeighborWorks® Rochester and a gift to mother earth if it doesn’t go into a land fill! Additionally, if you don’t have a specific item but still feel in the spirit of giving, we appreciate purchased items from the Wish List, gift cards to Target, Staples, etc.

Thank you, Neighbor, for all your efforts to support healthy neighborhoods! Happy Christmas in July!




ROC Transit Day- June 19, 2014

“ROC Transit Day (June 19, 2014) is a grassroots campaign organized by Reconnect Rochester to encourage Rochesterians to use public transit and go car-free for one day. Rochester area employers can request free all-day fare cards for their employees.

To make things a bit more fun, if you ride the bus on ROC Transit Day, you can use your fare card to redeem exclusive deals and offers at participating shops and businesses! PLUS, special events and activities are planned especially for you… like a treasure hunt!”

For more details, visit the website at: http://www.roctransitday.com/roc-transit-day.php#start