SHA team helps spruce up a neighborhood with Revitalize CDC
Eight Springfield Housing Authority employees spent a recent Saturday doing what they love – helping out the community.
The men and women from SHA were among 1,200 volunteers who raked, shoveled, pruned, hauled, painted and spruced up along a two-block stretch of King Street in the Upper Hill neighborhood of the city, as part of the third annual Revitalize Community Development Corporation’s Green-N-Fit Neighborhood Rebuild. In all, 28 homes were repaired or rehabilitated, and as many yards and lots were cleaned out as part of the day’s effort.
SHA has had a team at the massive neighborhood effort since it began in 2013. This year’s team included Deputy Executive Director Nicole Contois, who is treasurer of Revitalize CDC, Celina Corrrea, Richie Daigneault, his son Matt Daigneault, Pamela Ledoux, Mary Ellen Lowney, Joan Miranda and Ray Milanes.
SHA Executive Director William H. Abrashkin thanked the employees for their dedication and for caring about the city in which they work and live.
“Springfield Housing Authority residents and many of our employees are a part of the Springfield Community, and it’s in all of our best interests to have the city cared for,” he said. “It’s no secret that many areas of Springfield need beautification. We’re happy to do our part.”
Contois said the SHA is committed to sending a group each year because “we support other non- profits that provide services to low income residents of the city. Revitalize CDC provides home owners the resources necessary to stay in their homes.”
That effort includes age in place modification as well as home repairs that low income home owners cannot afford to do on their own, she noted.
“With SHA’s long waiting lists the service that revitalize CDC provides enables homeowners to stay in their homes and allows for other city residents with a high level of need to receive subsidized housing,” she added.
For the volunteers, it was a beautiful day to be outside, and to help others in the community.
“I want to help out,” said Miranda, who is Administrative Assistant in the Executive Department. “I like to see the before and after. It makes me feel good to know that I had something to do with the neighborhood looking better. Not only is this beneficial to other property owners, but it’s also good for the SHA. Being able to work on an SHA property tells the tenants that we care. I think it also makes owners and tenants appreciate their neighborhood more.”
District D Property Manager Celina Correa had similar motives.
“It was a great day – tiring, exhausting, and very rewarding,” Correa said.
“I wanted to help the community. I’ll definitely be doing it again next year. I like volunteer work” she added.
The initiative is part of a 10-year plan to revitalize homes in 10 contiguous city streets from Tyler to Hickory streets and Hancock Street to Eastern Avenue.
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