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Thursday, June 20, 2013

NeighborWorks Week 2013

NeighborWorks Week

June 1, 2013 - June 8, 2013

 NeighborWorks Week is a week packed with volunteer events and community engagement activities. This year's events kicked off with a street clean-up on West Division Street, followed by a week's worth of special homebuyer classes and volunteer events with Hopkins High School.
Saturday morning was a wonderful gathering of NHS staff and West Division Street residents, young and old, working together to clean, dig, and add some beauty to the street. Fortunately, we had enough tools to go around!


Monday through Thursday, NHS had the pleasure of hosting students from Hopkins High School. For three full days and a final half day, the Community Building and Organizing staff worked with rotating groups of students in their senior year who were ready and eager to give time and labor to help the community before they graduated.

It was a rough start with heavy morning rain on Monday, but the students were fearless! One group geared up with plastic bags as ponchos in order to spend time removing litter all along Sherman Avenue. Another group went door to door with flyers containing information from the city’s Urban Resources Initiative to help inform residents on how they can obtain street trees.
Fortunately, before long, the rains cleared and students were able to spend time at our future demonstration garden. Currently there is a vacant lot near our office complex that will eventually become an outdoor demonstration area showcasing rain gardens and storm water management techniques. So much progress was made because of the hard work by these Hopkins students!
 Another project students participated in was some good ol’ painting! Like any rehabilitated, older house, the NHS main building was due for some tender loving care and general maintenance. The students were happy to help us out! Deep cleaning and a couple applications of fresh paint did wonders for one of the entrances to our main office building.

While our days were active with volunteer efforts, the evenings were similarly busy with various educational classes. New Haven residents gathered each night to hear from our staff at the HomeOwnership Center to learn tips and valuable information related to becoming a homeowner. One night was dedicated to providing current homeowners with strategies on home maintenance. Another night was devoted to a special Spanish version of our Financial Fitness class. Additionally, an 8-hour homebuyer class on Saturday included a surprise cookout for lunch!
Finally, to end our resident-focused week, we held a wonderful Pancake Breakfast for NHS HomeOwners. Homeowners from NHS’ past and present met and shared stories with each other and NHS staff. This first annual event is one we definitely look forward to continuing!