Ithaca Now spoke with Barry Segal, a local contractor who helped establish Ithaca’s new transitional home for men coming out of homelessness, incarceration and drug addiction. “When people walk in, they feel like they’re in a home, not an institution,” Segal says of the new transitional home. The project has been in the works for about a year — in partnership with the Syracuse Rescue Mission. Residents have moved into the Court Street House about one week ago.
More on the Court Street House:
It’s one house — four bathrooms, three kitchens, ten rooms and an apartment. It was quite an ordeal. I’m very thankful how it went down. Even though I own a small construction company, I was unable to use my employees to do it. I tried to do this and with friends, but a lot of people got involved when they heard what was going on. It was a wonderful event.
Why Segal decided to pursue the building project:
It’s really cold outside, and you should imagine what it’s like to be homeless and live outside in weather like this. There are guys that are living in tents and wandering around. There was a time when people could find a warm laundromat and sleep in there or [in] a hallway, but they’ve all been shut down in the past few years now that we have key cards and swipe cards and things like that. It’s really difficult for guys to find homes, and there’s some couch-surfing going on, but that wears thin on people. Just imagine waking up everyday and thinking, ‘Where am I going to eat? Where am I going to sleep?’ That’s much of what inspired me to do this.