July 2019
Your Intermittent News & Updates
Syracuse Financial Empowerment Center is Open for Business
Syracuse Financial Empowerment Center kick off on the steps of city hall. Many people pictured including Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, Home HeadQuarters CEO Kerry Quaglia and Syracuse FEC customer Valerie Hill
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, along with Home HeadQuarters and a host of community partners, announced last week that the Syracuse Financial Empowerment Center (Syracuse FEC) is officially open for business. The public program will provide professional, one-on-one financial counseling as a free service to city residents.

Home HeadQuarters is the City’s lead partner for providing counseling to residents and also hosts counseling services at its HomeOwnership Center. The Syracuse FEC provides free professional financial counseling to any city of Syracuse resident, regardless of income. Financial counseling will help city residents address financial challenges and needs as well as develop plans for a strong and stable financial future. Financial counseling goals look to:

• Improve Credit: Establish a credit score or increase credit score 
• Decrease Debt: Decrease non-mortgage debt 
• Increase Savings: Establish or increase savings 
• Establish Banking: Open or transition to a safe and affordable bank or credit union account

Make an appointment today!
Call (315) 474-1939 x5 or visit www.syrgov.net/FEC
Valerie Hill, the Syracuse Financial Empowerment Center's first customer, sits at her desk at the Southwest Community Center.
Syracuse FEC Customer Advice? Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help!
Everyone needs a second of Valerie Hill’s time, or at least it seems that way for the Director of Youth & Family Services at Syracuse Community Connections as she entertains a seemingly endless stream of visitors to her office. Between a constantly ringing phone and the towering stacks of books and papers on her desk, Valerie provides direction on the afternoon’s math activity for the younger kids, signs a stack of staff training certificates, offers encouragement to a new summer camp counselor and talks to a pre-teen about making good choices. To look at her, Valerie Hill is the epitome of a person in charge and at the top of her game, so when you ask her about needing financial counseling services, one of the first thing she says is, “this is not me.”

Like the popular children’s book series, Valerie Hill’s financial challenges can best be described as “a series of unfortunate events.” Always a hard worker, Valerie’s early adult life seemed to go as planned: full college track scholarship, first African-American female to play lacrosse in Division III, two master’s degrees, successful entrepreneur, multiple women-owned business enterprises and investment properties and ultimately marriage and children.


Read more of Valerie's story and how the Syracuse FEC helped her get back on track HERE!
New Syracuse Financial Empowerment Center counselors Kazmira Pitzrick and Jasminn Rey
New Financial Empowerment
Center Counselors Land at HHQ
Kazmira Pitzrick (pictured left) and Jasminn Ray, both natives of Syracuse, feel well-prepared for their roles as two of five new financial counselors for the Syracuse Financial Empowerment Center launched last week. Both have attended countless training sessions, workshops, webinars, planning sessions and even logged in weeks of shadowing other professional counselors all as part of the stringent training requirements set forth by the creators and funders of the national program.

Kaz and Jas (we like to rhyme!) may have had different paths to the Syracuse FEC, but both are hoping to impact Syracuse and its residents with financial know-how and coaching within a program they know works. Kazmira, originally from Liverpool, has a degree in applied mathematics and Spanish and knows she can apply that knowledge to her counseling sessions held at the Southwest Community Center. She's excited to stay in Syracuse to see the city continue to grow and be near family. Jasminn, grew up on Syracuse's Southside and holds a degree in business administration from SUNY Cobleskill. She has seen first-hand the challenges people have with saving and using credit and is looking forward to sharing some great financial tips for those who visit her at ARISE and Cooperative Federal.
Employees from Pathfinder Bank help paint a fence during Home HeadQuarters' 2018 Block Blitz
Key to end of Summer Happiness? Volunteering for the Block Blitz!
Really! And sealing driveways and painting fences increases happiness even more! Look at how happy these Pathfinder Bank folks are in this photo! It's all because they sponsored a team for Home HeadQuarters' Annual Block Blitz: a one-day, rain or shine event where
more than 300 people come out to help make repairs and clean up properties in a city of Syracuse neighborhood. This year's event is on Friday, September 13 (it's going to be lucky!) from 9am-3pm and is right in our very own backyard on Syracuse's Westside.

Want to sponsor a volunteer team? Want to see a map of this year's Block Blitz area? Want to donate some plants, paint, mulch, cupcakes? Know someone who lives in the neighborhood and could use some free work? Visit our Block Blitz page on our website for all of this and more!
Thank You to our Block Blitz
Sponsors to Date!
Home HeadQuarters Welcomes Jim Williams
Home HeadQuarters is pleased to welcome Jim Williams as Construction Projects Manager. Jim will be responsible for overseeing HHQ's commercial and mixed-use development projects, as well as larger residential renovations. Jim joins HHQ after more than 20 years with Time Cap Develop-ment Corporation, where he was involved with the management of over one million square feet of commercial and residential construction. This work included local Destiny projects such as Wonderworks, the IMAX addition and the Pedestrian Bridge over Hiawatha Boulevard, as well as regional work for national chains such as H & M, Filene's Basement, Regal Cinemas and DSW. Jim is a graduate of Roosevelt University in Chicago and lives with his family in the Eastwood neighborhood of Syracuse.
Commercial Lending: It Takes Money to Make Money
Andrew James remembers 2005 as being the year everything started. He was working on getting his business degree, living with his mom in New York City, when her furnace broke down. After the contractor left a quote of $1,200 for what Andrew thought was a simple fix, he immediately made two decisions, "One, no one was going to take advantage of my Mom and two, there was money to be made in the heating and cooling business."

Right after graduation, Andrew hired a handful of his classmates and never looked back. After more than a decade as a successful business owner in New York City and under the impression that he would like to see some snow and a change of scenery, Andrew moved to Syracuse and started Heat & Cool Solutions . He became a New York State-certified MWBE, bid on some larger, commercial jobs and quickly realized that he needed to grow his company and needed the capital to do it.

Andrew James' first commercial loan from Home HeadQuarters allowed the business owner to go from two employees to six and helped position Heat & Cool Solutions solidly in the commercial field. He's since secured another HHQ commercial loan and doesn't discount taking advantage of a third somewhere down the line.

"Listen, you want to bring your business to the next level?" asks James. "It takes money to make money."

Want to learn more about commercial financing? Visit our website HERE!
Hooray for Interns!
HHQ is relieved and overjoyed to welcome Syracuse native Adavia Fudge to its Block Blitz team for the summer. Adavia joins us through OnPoint for College , a great organization that assists low-income, traditional and non-traditional students overcome the barriers to higher education. Adavia is a recent Medaille College Graduate and plans on working towards her master’s degree in business law and sociology. Prior to HHQ, Adavia interned with WISE Women’s Business Center, Digital Hyve, Centerstate CEO and CNY Roots. Ms. Fudge’s long-term goal is to own her own company and “give back to my community and pave the way for others to follow their dreams."
Lead in the News
GHHI Syracuse at HHQ Wins Award
The National Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) announced that Home HeadQuarters was one of five organizations across the United States selected as Lead Catalytic Awardees with each organization to receive $20,000 in direct funding support and an additional $10,000 in technical assistance support. These grants support innovative, community-based organizations working to eliminate lead poisoning by: implementing lead poisoning prevention policies and best practices, increasing effective communication and public awareness and developing strategies that increase lead hazard reduction investments in primary prevention. The grant awards are part of GHHI’s National Campaign to End Lead Poisoning, a national collective dedicated to the elimination of lead poisoning within five years
Windows & Doors Program for Investors
Home HeadQuarters Window & Door Program, made possible with funding from the CNY Community Foundation, was recently highlighted in a story on the LeadSafeCNY Initiative's website. If you're an investor-owner on the city's North or Southside (Census Tracts 23, 54, and 58) and are interested in grant funding to replace windows and doors, visit our website HERE!
HUD Secretary Visits Syracuse
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson visited Syracuse last Friday to listen to a round table of lead and housing experts including Home HeadQuarters' CEO Kerry Quaglia. U.S. Representative John Katko facilitated the discussion which included Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and many others and highlighted childhood lead poisoning rates and landlord requirements for lead funding.

Read more HERE or HERE!
The Architect's Inspection Team
It seems our more often than not architect was out inspecting the siding installation at our latest energy-efficient home on Otisco Street on Syracuse's Westside last week. While you don't see the actual architect in the photo, it appears that her apprentice thinks that the job is going "a-okay."
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