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Sunday, January 25, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Single mother thrilled with new Habitat home in Elba

post by Howard B. Owens in elba, Habitat for Humanity

As a 22-year-old single mother, Megan Curry never thought homeownership was a realistic goal, but then a coworker told her about Habitat for Humanity and how the organization helped her move into her own house.

Soon, Curry and her son Kayden will be living in their own home on Old Oak Orchard Road, Elba.

The property was donated by MY-T Acres Farm and the Call family. Habitat volunteers, along with Curry, built the three bedroom house from the basement up.

"I never thought something like this would be possible, so the fact that I can be a homeowner and the fact that I helped build my own house is a big deal," Curry said. "It's really empowering."

Pictured are Stephen Curry, Megan's father, Kayden and Megan, her grandmother Phyllis Darling, sister Kayla Curry and her mother, Laura Curry.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Come on out to the Smokin' Eagle tonight and I'll pour you a drink

There should be some fun times at the Smokin' Eagle in Le Roy tonight -- it's the annual Habitat for Humanity fundraiser, "Pour You A Drink."

All tips to the celebrity bartenders will benefit Habitat.

I'll be there, with Mayor Greg "Porp" Rogers, Bill Pitcher from the Ghost Riders, Joe "The Comedian" Condidorio and Rick Ellis, from the famed band Duke Jupiter. 

The fun starts at 6 p.m. and doesn't stop until 10 p.m.

Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 9:55 pm

Photos: Habitat for Humanity project on McKinley Avenue

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Habitat for Humanity, McKinley Avenue

Habitat for Humanity of Genesee County has made good progress on its latest project, a home on McKinley Avenue for Muriel Austin and her daughter Brooklyn, who were on the job today to help with the restoration.

Alicia Calcote, a student at RIT, with Sarah Harley and Brooklyn.

Friday, April 11, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Mr. Batavia presents $2,200 check to Habitat for Humanity

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, Habitat for Humanity

Spencer Hubbard, 2014 Mr. Batavia, presented a $2,200 check today to Jess Tomidy, CEO of Habitat for Humanity in Genesee County. The Mr. Batavia competition at Batavia High School raises money for the winner's charity of choice. After winning the competition last month, Hubbard said he picked Habitat because, "I feel like it's a basic need, that people need homes. A lot of people are homeless who don't deserve to be. They really need that help."

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 9:20 pm

Filling vacant homes a growing need for City of Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Habitat for Humanity

Of the past half decade, vacant and abandoned homes have become problem in Batavia, according to City Manager Jason Molino.

Vacant and abandoned homes bring down residential home values in the immediate area, attract crime, suck up city resources with code enforcement and police responses and eventually the city ends up paying for property clean-up.

On the other hand, a vacant home filled with a family adds $20,000 in retail buying power to the city's economy.

"Vacant homes are a burden on any municipality," Molino said. "Whether it's the resources we have to use to address them, the lack of buying power because of the vacancy, the deterioration of the home itself or the deterioration of the neighborhood around it, there's a lot of studies, a lot of data on the impact of vacant and abandoned homes and they have a negative impact."

Over the past two years, the City of Batavia has taken properties taken in foreclosure for lack of property tax payments and deeded the properties to Habitat for Humanity.

The program has proven a resounding success, Molino said. Properties restored by Habitat have increased in assessed value by 30 to 40 percent and are occupied by families that take care of the properties.

"You've got owner-occupants who take pride in their home," Molino said. "It's a good program. I wish we could do more of it."

One of the tasks for the yet-to-be-hired assistant city manager will be to look at ways to get more vacant and abandoned houses into the hands of responsible homeowners.

"With continued focus and leadership the city could make an aggressive effort to target four or five properties annually with more partnerships similar to that with Habitat for Humanity," Molino wrote in a report to City Council. "This includes several initiatives such as attempting taking title of abandoned properties quicker, greater accountability of mortgage holders and partnering with not-for-profits for rehabilitation and investment in these properties."

Monday night, the council approved the sale of four house seized for back taxes (six properties total). The houses are at 5-7 Buell St., 6 Madison Ave., 3 Manhattan Ave., and 11 S. Spruce St.

So far, there's no deal in place to deed one or more of the homes to Habitat, but Molino said such an arrangement is still possible. If an agreement is reached, the council would have to approve the transfer.

No date has been announced for auction of the seized properties.

Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 11:28 am

Five Star Bank donates $5,000 to Genesee County Habitat for Humanity

post by Billie Owens in five star bank, Habitat for Humanity

Press release:

Five Star Bank has announced a $5,000 donation to Genesee County Habitat for Humanity for the construction of a family home in the area.

"We are committed to the well being of the communities we serve,” said Marty Griffith, regional president of Five Star Bank. “Genesee County Habitat for Humanity serves its community with diligence and sincerity, and Five Star Bank fully supports their mission. We want to help foster strong, safe communities, and they are the ideal partner for this vision."

Five Star Bank has also announced $5,000 gifts to the counties of Livingston, Chemung, Orleans, and Ontario, as well as Genesee Valley Habitat for Humanity organizations in support of the bank’s commitment to the communities it serves. The bank also served as the 2013 presenting sponsor of the Habitat for Humanity Leaders Build Luncheon, and the co-sponsor of the Leaders House.

Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Photos: City firefighters pitch in to help with restortation of Habitat house

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire, Habitat for Humanity, IAFF Local 896

City firefighters, members of IAFF Local 896, have been volunteering their time to help with the revitalization of a house on Harvester Avenue by Habitat for Humanity.

Joining in the tasks today were Dave Adams, Tim Stengel, Chuck Hammon, Mike Dorgan, Adam Palumbo, Nathan Kinne, Mark Mikolajczyk and Christina Marinaccio.

Top photo, Kinne and Palumbo. Bottom, Marinaccio and Stengel.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 11:16 am

Part time retail manager wanted

post by Jessica Maguire-T... in Habitat for Humanity, Part time, retail

Company Name

Habitat for Humanity

Job Type

Habitat for Humanity is seeking an individual to serve as a part time ReStore Manager. Our ReStore is a thrift style store with a focus on furnishings and home improvement items. 
The preferred candidate will be a self-starter, possess a high level of follow through, be able to work independently and as a part of a team, have excellent interpersonal skills and maintain a highly ethical store environment with excellent customer service. We are looking for someone who has entrepreneurial ambitions, as we are in the set up phase of this endeavor and need someone with vision to help us make the store as successful as possible. We need someone who is a creative problem solver. Someone who seeks order, but thrives in a challenging, sometimes chaotic environment is ideal. We are seeking someone who is extroverted and truly enjoys dealing with donors and customers. Retail experience is mandatory, with a minimum of 2 years in a managerial role required. This position reports to the CEO. 
The anticipated hours for the position are:
Mondays: 9- 1 for staff meeting and inventory
Thursday: 9-4 for store operations
Saturday: 9-4 for store operations
When applicable: attend Fundraising Committee meetings and events
Total: 20 hours per week
Pay: $10 per hour (review in 6 months)
During the initial hire period (and for approximately 1 month until opening) this position will be responsible (through self efforts, and the use of volunteers) for setting up the retail store in our newly renovated building. All email and call inquiries about ReStore will be directed to the manager for processing. 
This includes stocking, displaying, pricing, organizing and devising markdown systems. During this phase, the store will be "set-up" to optimize space and promote best use of retail space. The manager is responsible for the effort of accomplishing this task. The manager will work with the Operations Manager to develop and communicate with a list of ReStore volunteers needed to operate the store. Further, the manager will work with the OM to develop a training program for volunteers, process paperwork when necessary and communicate with the OM as to volunteer needs to be posted to our volunteerhub cloud based sign up system. Volunteer staff oversight and training is the responsibility of the manager. Any major issues to be reported to CEO. During this time, the manager will develop a plan for donation pick ups/drop offs/processing. During this period, the manager will devise a plan for use of social media, craigslist and ebay for supplemental sales efforts. Planning a grand opening is also the job of the manager in this phase of the project. 
Normal operations of the store commence. Managers daily tasks will include:
Opening store and readying cash drawer (and developing quality opening procedures)
Ensuring adequate volunteers are lined up to help run the store
Sticking to a rigid donation acceptance policy where sub-par items are not accepted for donation
Scheduling donation pick ups (when applicable)
Oversight of pricing items
Developing and adhering to a strict mark down system with the goal that nothing sit on our sales floor for more than three weeks
Managing all customer service related issues
Tracking volunteer time at store and report it to the OM
Issuing donation receipts to donors (with no value assigned)
Communicating with customers and donors during the course of operations
Adhering to a one day policy where merchandise must be independently priced and sit on sales floor for one operating day before staff or volunteers can purchase it. 
Closing procedure to include deposit processing, deposit dropping and drawer counting to match sales
Tracking sales and maintaining sales tax reports are mandatory
Development of realistic policy and procedure will be an ongoing, but important aspect of this position. 
Flexibility is a must, as the nature of the position will require that additional tasks and duties may be assigned as needed. 
Habitat for Humanity of Genesee County NY is an equal opportunity employer. Thank you for viewing our job description. Resumes can be emailed.
Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Photos: Women Build Day at Habitat for Humanity house on Harvester Avenue

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Habitat for Humanity, Harvester Avenue

Today was Women Build Day at the Habitant for Humanity project house on Harvester Avenue. More than 75 percent of the workers at the job site were women, part of a national week that recognizes women in the construction trades.

Work on the house began Wednesday with the Day of Caring.

Above, Kelly McCaffery, of Rochester, removes from debris from the house. Also pictured below, Charlotte Dickson (carrying wood out of the house) and Marsha (no last name given) from Wyoming, who was prying wood from the walls of the kitchen.

Monday, April 29, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Habitat helps local mother into restored home in Batavia

post by Tasia Boland in batavia, Habitat for Humanity

Amy Burdick and her son, Mikah, were living in a subsidized, substandard apartment in the City of Batavia until Habitat entered their lives and worked with them so they could experience what it feels like to own a home of their own for the very first time. 

Burdick is Habitat for Humanity of Genesee County’s 10th homeowner. Burdick showed volunteers a cell phone photo she had taken of her current front door (having an inch gap where light and heat were escaping) as she stood next to her brand new energy-efficient home with a big smile. 

Habitat of Genesee did a complete rehab at 104 North St. in a total of 10 months. 

“Being a part of Habitat for Humanity as a homeowner is a life-changing experience,” Burdick said.

She highly recommends it to other families who are trying to make ends meet. 

Before Burdick received a flier about homeownership with Habitat, she hadn’t considered buying a house in the near future. But she decided to call about the opportunity, and before she knew it, she was selected as a partner family.

“I remember how excited my mom, sister and I were.” Burdick said. “We were peeking through the windows before construction had even started.” 

Burdick’s family was thrilled to know they could provide lunches to the volunteers. Along with other volunteers, Burdick’s family was very dedicated in making sure the volunteer work crew was properly feed.

One RIT student said one of the best parts of volunteering with Habitat are the delicious home-cooked meals.

The demo for this house was started during the National Women’s Build Day sponsored by Lowe’s on May 12, 2012. Women’s Build Day brings together women from all walks of life to address the housing crisis facing millions of families worldwide. Women and children are often hardest hit by this epidemic.

Because Habitat is a program that is structured to be a “hand up” and not a “hand out,” Habitat homeowners are required to put in sweat equity hours. Burdick put in a total of 350 hours on top of working two full-time jobs. 

Her favorite part of partnering with Habitat?

“The wonderful people,” she said with a warm smile. “I didn’t know there were people out there still like that, who are so caring, kind and promising."

The house was built by volunteers who met two days a week, six hours a day. There were more than 150 volunteers who gave their time to help make this house a home.

Burdick is still in amazement she said because; “People who do not know me are doing all of this for a total stranger.” She commented about volunteer PJ Riner who spent countless hours in between the work days volunteering his time and how grateful she is for him and those who spent so many hours on this house.

Burdick said she will always be connected to Habitat because "they are a group of people with big hearts who want to improve the community and we always had a good time.”

Genesee Habitat will begin rehabbing their next home on 11 Harvester Ave. in Batavia. The demo on this house will kick off with the 2013 Women’s Build Day. Work will take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Volunteers are needed and all skill levels are welcome. Visit www.geneseehabitat.com to sign up and learn more.  

Tasia Boland is operations manager for Habitat for Humanity in Batavia.

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