01.26.15

SCHUMER LAUNCHES PUSH TO FEATURE NIAGARA FALLS-BASED ISAIAH 61 PROJECT ON HGTV SHOW ‘REHAB ADDICT’ – ISAIAH 61 PROJECT TRAINS UNEMPLOYED CITY RESIDENTS IN HOME RENOVATION SKILLS; ORGANIZATION IS CURRENTLY TURNING A VACANT FIREHOUSE INTO ITS NEW HQ & WOULD GAIN VALUABLE EXPERTISE & EXPOSURE FROM HGTV SHOW

Isaiah 61 Project Provides Free 400-Hour Trade & Home Renovation Training to Unemployed & Underemployed Niagara Falls Residents – Over Past 2 Years, 200 Individuals Have Participated & Half Have Become Employed Post-Graduation Renovating Vacant Homes Scheduled for Demolition & Making Them Ready for Home Ownership

Schumer Urges HGTV Show ‘Rehab Addict’ to Feature Isaiah 61 Fire House Reno Project– Isaiah 61 Project is Renovating Vacant 1917 Firehouse That Will Allow It To Expand Its Offering; Would Enable The Organization to Expand Their Training Options To Include HVAC, Welding, And Pre-Demolition Salvage And Re-Sale

 

Schumer: Isaiah 61’s Rehab Efforts in Niagara Falls Are Perfect Choice for ‘Rehab Addict’

 

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today launched his push to have Niagara Falls-based community organization Isaiah 61 Project featured on the popular HGTV show ‘Rehab Addict.’ The show features a different home in each episode that is being restored to its former glory and saved from demolition. Schumer said that the Isaiah 61 Project, which trains local unemployed and underemployed city residents in home renovation skills, is a perfect candidate to be featured on the show, particularly because the organization is currently planning to rehab a vacant firehouse to turn it into its new headquarters. Schumer said that over a two-year period, Isaiah 61 Project has enrolled 200 individuals, providing them free 400-hour trade and home renovation training, as well as OSHA-10 certification, and it has placed half of these students in new employment after graduation from the program.  These students and their instructors renovate vacant, city-owned houses that are headed towards demolition, making these properties available for first time home ownership.  If the Isaiah 61 Project is able to renovate the fire house, it would allow the organization and the city to expand their training options to include HVAC, welding, and pre-demolition salvage and re-sale. Schumer said that having this effort featured on ‘HGTV’ would provide valuable exposure for this incredible organization and for the City of Niagara Falls, and it would also enable Isaiah 61 Project to get invaluable advice and assistance on the firehouse renovation.

“The Isaiah 61 Project is one of the main organizations helping to turn Niagara Falls around, and it is the perfect choice to be featured on ‘Rehab Addict.’ The skills that its students learn – and the impact they then have on rehabbing vacant homes throughout the city – are second-to-none,” said Schumer. “Isaiah 61 Project’s expansion efforts could be a real game-changer for the city, its unemployed and its stock of vacant housing. I61 is changing lives, and indeed the City of Niagara Falls, one house at a time. Being featured on such a popular television show would be a real boost to the efforts.”

"The City of Niagara Falls is very thankful for Senator Schumer's advocacy and support, as always,” said City of Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster. “We have a great deal of respect for Ms. Curtis and her dedication to improving neighborhoods through thoughtful renovation. This is a great opportunity to showcase our commitment to rethinking historic buildings to a national audience while rallying our community behind an exciting local project. We appreciate Senator Schumer’s help to bring attention to this outstanding project and organization." 

Senator Schumer wrote a letter to Nicole Curtis, the host of ‘Rehab Addict,’ in support of the Isaiah 61 Project’s efforts to be featured. A copy of that letter is included below:

Dear Ms. Curtis:

I write regarding a worthy and important renovation project in Upstate New York. In an attempt to save an historically significant structure, Niagara Falls Community Development and a group of local partners is renovating a vacant 1917 fire house that has been scheduled for demolition by the city.  Featuring this project on Rehab Addictwould bring attention to this fantastic effort, which seeks to both renovate an important building and improve the surrounding community.

The goal is to transform the 4,000 square foot building into the new headquarters of the Isaiah 61 Project (I61) in 2015.  I61 is a local non-profit that provides free 400-hour trade and home renovation training, as well as OSHA-10 certification for unemployed and underemployed city residents.  Over a short two year period, the program has enrolled 200 individuals, placing half of them in new employment after graduation from the program.  These students and their instructors renovate vacant, city owned houses that are headed towards demolition, making these properties available for first time home ownership.  Renovating the fire house would allow I61 and the city to expand their training options to include HVAC, welding, and pre-demolition salvage and re-sale. The I61 project empowers individuals who otherwise would not have access to this training. I61 is changing lives, and indeed the City of Niagara Falls, one house at a time.

As you may know the City of Niagara Falls has fallen on some hard times over the years. 23% of city residents live below the poverty line, and crime is an ongoing and serious issue within the city. Organizations like Niagara Falls Community Development and I61 are working to change all of that by instilling a sense of pride in residents through job training and placement, as well as rehabilitating dilapidated structures. That is why I am supportive of this important project, which is not just about saving an historic building, but is truly about improving the quality of life in Niagara Falls.

I know of your dedication and focus on restoring old buildings and saving structures like the fire house. I also know that it would bring a strong sense of pride and resolve to the community to be a part of Rehab Addict, and we would welcome your work ethic and expertise with open arms.  Niagara Falls Community Development will work around your schedule, and have expressed to me that they are open to any suggestions you and your team may have.

I know you are extremely busy and appreciate your time.  To learn more about the Highland Avenue Fire House project and Niagara Falls Community Development, please visit www.facebook.com/NiagaraFallsCD.  You may also contact my Grants Director, Marissa Emanuel, in my Washington office for additional information at 202-224-6542.

Sincerely, 

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

 

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