Hundreds of teens coming to CNY next summer to offer free home repair for those in need
Onondaga Hill Presbyterian Church in partnership with Group Mission Trips in Loveland, Colo., will bring hundreds of teens to Central New York next summer to offer free home repair to those in need in our community.
“We are partnering with local schools, churches, businesses and government offices to bring help to those in need in the city of Syracuse and surrounding areas,” said the Rev. Robert Langston, the pastor of OHPC, in Syracuse.
Group Workcamps are intensive one-week trips that help teens grow in Christian faith through service to the community. Adults and teens from around the country, who represent many Christian denominations, will spend one week in our community performing hands-on home repair projects for elderly, low-income and/or disabled families.
The youth, who are 14 to 20 years old, will be in CNY from June 24 to 30, 2018.
OHPC and Group Mission Trips are currently seeking applications for homes that are eligible for repair. The work at each home will be done by about five teens and at least one adult leader.
Eligible repair projects may include: Porch repair/construction, step repair, exterior painting, interior painting, weatherization, wheelchair ramp repair/construction, mobile home skirting and roofing but no tear offs.
Both labor and materials are free to qualifying households. Applicants must own their home. To learn how your home might be included, please complete the confidential application, which is available on the OHPC’s website at www.ohpc.us or the OPHC’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OHPC315.
All applications will be reviewed by the Syracuse Workcamp Team, and qualifying projects will be selected. All applicants will be informed whether or not they have been selected in or around March 2018.
Onondaga Hill Presbyterian Church has 14 years of experience with Group Mission Trips. This is the first time a workcamp has been held in the Syracuse area. Langston said he has witnessed the transformation of lives and communities all over the country as young people work for and serve with others.
“Participating in what Group Workcamps has accomplished in other communities has been a powerful blessing,” Langston said. “Given the reality of some articles and reports over the last several years about Syracuse’s poverty ratings, our church felt called to try to make a difference right here at home. There’s no doubt in my mind that bringing about 400 kids into the city for a week to help those in need take care of some simple home repairs will do just that. Homes and lives will be rebuilt, hope will be restored and relationships will grow and deepen as love and faith are shared in a concrete way. I can’t wait to see the change in our city and surrounding communities.”
The West Genesee Central School District has also partnered with the workcamp and will house the volunteers during their week stay. The students will sleep and eat at West Genesee High School.
“We are very proud to be hosting such a great community outreach group,” said West Genesee Superintendent Christopher Brown.
The purpose of a workcamp is to assist those who are in need with home repair projects that they can’t manage themselves, to provide cross-cultural service experience for young people and to help young people grow in their Christian faith through service.
Local organizers are also trying to raise $40,000 for construction supplies. Donations can be made payable to “OHPC” and checks should have “Workcamp 2018” in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to Onondaga Hill Presbyterian Church, 4797 Makyes Road, Syracuse, NY 13215.
“Together we can truly make a difference,” Langston said.