This past January, I vlogged a tour of Ithaca’s infamous tent city called “The Jungle.” It was freezing cold outside. So cold it’s hard to imagine homeless men and women living outside in a tent yet approximately 40 people call the woods around Ithaca, New York home.
For some reason, I imagined a tour of the same tent encampments this time of year a little easier. I imagined homelessness during the summer months somewhat easier as if there is anything about living homeless is easy.
The mosquitoes were relentless. You can see welts increase on my face while I vlog. When I got home, there were bites all over my body. The darn things even bit me through my shirt. I am still itching. I cannot imagine the challenge of having to go to the bathroom outside.
The vlog I posted before this featured residents of Koreatown stepping up to take tangible actions to help their homeless neighbors. This video is similar in many ways in that it features ordinary citizens assisting homeless people in their own community. The big difference is that Koreatown is in Los Angeles and Ithaca is a rural community that faces the challenges of rural homelessness.
Carmen Guidi of Second Wind Cottages is a superhero. He may have the biggest heart of anyone I know. Carmen is also pretty much the only help homeless people living in the tent camps around Ithaca have. Government is not helping. The faith community is not helping. Truth is, there is little support for homeless people to get out of homelessness in Tompkins County, New York.
Carmen owns an auto body shop. He is not a social worker. Carmen has no background in professional homeless services. He is not wealthy. Carmen simply cares for people but not with just words, he takes actions to do whatever he can to help his homeless friends in the Jungle.
In this video, Carmen shares why he started Second Wind Cottages almost six years ago. He also shares his thought about NIMBY and a bunch of other brilliant ideas I hope you’ll watch to the end to hear.
And yes I said BRILLIANT because to me Carmen is a genius! You’ll hear throughout this video Carmen talk about other people who have an academic background. It doesn’t take the smartest person to see that homeless people need housing, but only a person with extreme intelligence would actually do something about it. Carmen is the king of YIMBY because he built 15 (soon to be 18) cottages in his backyard. Carmen lives YES IN MY BACKYARD every single day!
It’s inspirational seeing more regular every day people taking real actions to help fight homelessness. We need everyone to help. EVERYONE! That includes YOU!
Please support Second Wind Cottages here.