Tuesday, December 11, 2012

West Side Ministries renovates 19th house

In carrying out a mission to develop low-income housing for families that need it, West Side Ministries is collaborating with area students to rehabilitate a home at 369 14th St.
West Side Ministries acquired the property from the city in 2011 and it had sat vacant since.
“We weren’t ready to start work on it yet, so we let it sit for a little while,” said Brittany Barber, head of the housing development program at West Side Ministries. “We secured the property and made it look nice on the outside.”
The development of the property marks the 19th project  that the organization has had a hand in rehabilitating. Construction is under way.
“We’ve been able to gut it in just a couple weeks and we started putting up drywall and finishing hardwood and installing kitchens and bathrooms,” Barber said.
For West Side Ministries, working with local students on the rehabilitation of houses has become commonplace.
“All of the students that volunteer are willing to help because they feel called to service,” Barber said. “We have a couple groups from Buffalo State that come on their own will because they enjoy giving back to the community.”
“It’s so worthwhile to not just do everything for yourself,” said Aleah Sierle, a volunteer from Buffalo State College. “When there’s a need, go out there and do something about it. You don’t need the committees that talk about it, you just need a few people to start doing something about it and people catch on.” By Mike Straw and Tom Gallagher