New renovation project helps local non-profit expand services

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OGDEN, N.Y. Homesteads for Hope is a farm for people with all abilities to learn, work, live and grow. And this new house will help its apprentices do just that.

Located in Ogden, this farm and non-profit helps people of all abilities work and grow in an inclusive environment.

“Inclusion just happens naturally here,” Program Coordinator Rebecca Tschudy said.

“When I first came here, it’s like a family,” Apprentice Emily Sorta said.

Apprentices like Alyssa Tomasetti work hard to become full-time employees, training and working in the café, farm store, field and other opportunities in the program.

“I do the weddings and stuff so I’m like the wedding ambassador,” Tomasetti said. “When the weddings are here on Saturdays, I’ll help out and stuff with that.”

Having reliable transportation to their jobs is difficult for some workers and Homesteads is working at combating that. The 200-year-old house on Manitou Road is being revamped to help, even after so many people told them to just tear it down.

“How could we tell the apprentices that when our whole goal is to build them up and make them strong and give them what they need,” Grants and Media Coordinator Heather Burroughs said. “It’s like we had to do the same for the house.”

This home will have gathering spaces, classrooms and five bedrooms for employees of the farm to move into.

“I want a bedroom in the forever homestead,” Farm Assistant Stephen Voelki said.

The non-profit is only $300,000 away from its goal to finish the house but staff and apprentices are confident it will reach it.

“Everybody’s welcome, very friendly and I hope they can come and support that,” Sorta said.

The house is slated to be finished and ready to move in by this fall, so apprentices won’t have to move off campus for the first time.

If you are looking to get involved with or learn more about Homesteads for Hope or donate to its cause, you can find its website here.