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Johnson Park Community is changing the look of a community, and changing people's lives

Monday, August 6th, 2012

By Rachel Polansky

CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO ON CNYHOMEPAGE.COM

An area care shelter is changing the look of a community. But more than that, it's changing people's lives. Johnson Park Center offers supportive housing for women, children, and families. And they do it all while "going green." Eyewitness News reporter Rachel Polansky spoke with two residents who say the center has changed their lives.

Right in the heart of Cornhill, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Utica sits a small center, but they'd rather you call them a community. Johnson Park provides a safe haven to families in need. And there new apartments are the 1st Green-LEED certified supportive housing for chronically homeless and single women.

"I came out of 2 violent marriages and i had a breakdown with depression and i tried to commit suicide," says Becky McCormick, Johnson Park resident.

"And I was using drugs and I relapsed a couple times and I ended up here because I needed somewhere I could get a good foundation and structure," says Jana Green, Johnson park resident.

And a place to call their own is exactly what Johnson Park gave them.

"I'm living in a beautiful home now," says Green.

"it's so big kitchen, it's so gorgeous," says McCormick.

Johnson Park provides supportive housing for women, children, and families, while helping residents become self-sufficient and contributing members to the community.

"They help so that you can move forward, they teach you to help others, and they teach you to enjoy and work for community, and they teach you how to work for the community," says McCormick.

"It takes women who are homeless, who have have disabilities, and families and tries to find them stable housing first to deal with them. So these 2 new buildings, the idea behind them is to stabilize the women," says Marques Phillips, Johnson Park Volunteer.

"The idea behind what we do is take the biggest liabilities in our community and turn them into the biggest assets in our community," says Phillips.

Johnson Park has helped to revitalize Cornhill and the new apartments also represent a groundbreaking standard for the future of clean energy technology. Plus, it gives the community something to be proud of.

"It's one of a kind not only for this neighborhood, but for the area and being from cornhill, its feels nice to be first at something," says Phillips.

"It has definitely changed my life and i know it only gets better," says Green.

The Johnson Park community will be celebrating the grand opening of the 2 innovative "green" apartments this Tuesday afternoon. And everyone is welcome to attend.

SOURCE: CNYhomepage.com