cottages_built_for_homeless-Second_WindA few years ago, Carmen Guidi read a book that changed his life and, in turn, the lives of many others—from homeless men, women, and children to university students and professors.

The book and its author challenged Carmen, as a Christian, to fully live his faith in the world.

Like many people, he was unaware of a homeless problem closer to home. When he began volunteering at a local shelter, however, he heard about “the jungle”—a tent-city settlement of sorts on Ithaca’s west end, just five miles from his home.

Carmen didn’t initially set out to end homelessness in Ithaca, New York. He simply set out to befriend a few men. As for helping them, his approach was unconventional. Believing that everyone wants to do something useful, Carmen invited the men to do volunteer work for others. Many responded, eventually contributing hundreds of hours.

Eventually Carmen helped every person in the encampmet to find a place to live. He parked six campers on his own property so the men could live in dignity.

In 2013, he took another leap in faith, and organizing a huge effort that would construct six cottages and named the enclave of homes built behind his auto painting business “Second Wind Cottages.”

(READ the story in Chesterton House)

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