Just off Route 13 in Newfield, a cluster of cottages overlooking a wooded valley offers a fresh start for men who have been homeless. Since 2013, Second Wind Cottages has provided a safe place to live and a caring community. Each furnished cottage is equipped with the basics, since some residents move in with little more than just their clothing.
“Our mission is to help people restore their lives,” volunteer Sarah Widercrantz explains. More than just providing a home, the faith-based group behind Second Wind Cottages is “helping men learn to live in community in a very local sense and in the broader sense, where engagement is constructive rather than destructive.” They offer support and the accountability of an occupancy agreement and a “good neighbor” policy to help residents work toward their own goals. “It’s been beneficial for me being around a group of positive people that stand behind you,” explains one resident, who credits his sobriety to living in the community. “It’s a good place for one person to live, and my daughter comes to visit. I don’t have to be stressed out because help is there” from other residents as well as volunteer staff members.
For a number of years, Significant Elements has partnered with Second Wind to provide furniture for the cottages and construction materials for the common building that anchors the site. Widercrantz reached out to Significant Elements for help. “One of the things that I really appreciate about Significant Elements is the job training and mentorship program,” Sarah explains, “and Second Wind Cottages has a similar focus on investing in people’s lives. Also, the aspect of taking good stuff and being able to repurpose it for the community is a great thing.”
To donate durable furniture or bath and kitchen items directly to Second Wind Cottages, contact Donations Coordinator Amy Bach at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cash donations can be made through the Second Wind Cottages website.