Providence Housing Development Corporation welcomed more than 60 volunteers from Paychex, Hyatt Regency, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and Bloomfield Central School District at various affordable housing communities throughout Rochester on May 8th, 2014 for United Way’s Day of Caring. Paychex returned for their second year at West Town Village in Henrietta and Hyatt for their fourth year at Rivendell Court in the Park Avenue area supporting Providence Housing. This is RIT’s first year at the Carlson Commons property, in the Plymouth and Exchange neighborhood, and students from Bloomfield middle school volunteered at the St. Salome community in Irondequoit. All volunteers helped with spring cleanup on the properties alongside staff and residents.
The Day of Caring is a community-wide event sponsored by the United Way of Monroe County that provides businesses and groups of individuals with an opportunity to give back to their community on one day and help a not-for-profit organization of their choice.
Many volunteers visit the same site each year, including Paychex and Hyatt Regency. Approximately 20 Paychex employees volunteered again at West Town Village, a senior community in Henrietta and remarked, “We enjoy the opportunity to meet the residents and know the positive effects we have on their quality of life. Day of Caring allows us a chance to work together as a team to help out others in need.” Resident Marisa Craig said she “always appreciates all the help we receive from Paychex and other volunteers each year.” She has lived at West Town Village since it opened.
The Rivendell Court volunteers from Hyatt Regency love the relationship they have with Providence Housing. “Coming back year after year allows us to come to Providence with ideas on improving the properties,” says Patrick Miller, “It gives us and the residents a sense of pride.” Several new residents at the supportive housing residences helped during Day of Caring, including Monique Graves and Traci Meacham, and each shared stories of their successes with Providence Housing’s Shelter Care Program and mentioned how much they enjoy volunteering and giving back to their community.
A large group of volunteers from RIT came to work at Carlson Commons, a residential community in the Plymouth Avenue area for families. One of the many volunteers from RIT grew up nearby Carlson Commons, told stories about buying candy at the corner store across the street when he was a boy, and was excited to come back and help “beautify” the property. He was impressed with what Providence Housing has done to revitalize the area and provide comfortable housing for residents, and “a place that’s home that they can take pride in.”
“PRIDE” was the reason a group of middle school students came to volunteer at a senior community in Irondequoit. This was their first Day of Caring experience. A school counselor from Bloomfield, Felice Prindle, brought a group of sixth and eighth graders who are part of the school’s P.R.I.D.E. club (Principles, Respect, Integrity, Dedication and Empathy) to volunteer at St. Salome in Irondequoit. The girls did a great job with chores around the property and enjoyed meeting with residents who also helped and prepared lunch for them. As Ms. Prindle said, the group “not only tries to find good things to do for the school, but for the community at large” and “we jumped at the opportunity to do United Way Day of Caring.”
Providence Housing, a not-for-profit organization affiliated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, develops, finances and manages housing for individuals and families in the 12 counties of the Diocese. Our mission is to strengthen families and communities by creating and providing access to quality affordable housing enriched by the availability of supportive services. Providence Housing recently completed construction on Son House Apartments, located at 539 Joseph Avenue, in October 2013. The 21-unit new construction apartment building provides permanent homeless housing with support services provided by Catholic Family Center.