makes a difference in our community
Syracuse Habitat for Humanity
Syracuse Habitat for Humanity is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a non-profit ecumenical agency whose mission is to eliminate substandard housing in the world.
Syracuse Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with God and people everywhere, from all walks of life, to develop communities with people in need by building and renovating houses, so that there are decent houses in decent communities in which people can live and grow into all that God intended.
How do we accomplish this mission?
Syracuse Habitat for Humanity was incorporated in 1984 and our first house was completed in 1986. Since then, we have built or renovated over 70 homes. Syracuse Habitat for Humanity “lends a hand up, not a hand out.” Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Syracuse Habitat for Humanity homes are sold to partner families at no profit and are financed with no interest, 30 year loans. To ensure commitment, Syracuse Habitat for Humanity requires homeowners to invest 300 volunteer “sweat equity hours” in labor, as well as provide a $1,000.00 down payment. Our houses are sold at 0% interest; therefore the first mortgage payment begins to build equity and credit for families who would not otherwise qualify for a mortgage due to income level.
Habitat for Humanity International Vision
A world where everyone has a decent place to live.
Habitat for Humanity International Mission Statement
Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.
Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliated organizations will not proselytize. Nor will HFH work with entities or individuals who insist on proselytizing as part of their work with HFH. This means that HFH will not offer assistance on the expressed or implied condition that people must adhere to or convert to a particular faith or listen and respond to messaging designed to induce conversion to a particular faith.
Suzanne Williams, Executive Director
Lisa Palleschi, Administrative Assistant
Keri Bucktooth, Development/Office Assistant
Noel Baker, Construction Supervisor
Tony Williams, ReStore Assistant Manager
Rob Herring, ReStore Associate
Eleanesse Pinto, ReStore Associate
Ben Harris, ReStore Associate
Billy Deyneka, ReStore Associate
Bill Dolan, AmeriCorps Community Outreach Coordinator
Scott Farnett, President
Lou Levine, Vice President
Melvin & Melvin, PLLC
Jean Cole, Treasurer
Firley, Moran, Freer, and Eassa
Mary Thompson, Secretary
Home Builders & Remodelers of CNY
Geddes Federal Savings Bank
Ashley McGraw Architects
Homes in Uganda
Syracuse Habitat for Humanity tithes to Habitat for Humanity Uganda and has done so since our inception in the mid-1980s. Through this Habitat for Humanity International voluntary tithing program, Syracuse Habitat has built over 100 houses in Uganda and assisted in eliminating substandard housing globally.
Habitat for Humanity Uganda was founded in 1982 in the Gulu District (Northern Uganda) but work was suspended due to civil war. The program was later restarted in 1988 in the Kasese District (Western Uganda) and to date, has expanded to 19 Districts, but remains active in only 7 of the Districts.
Uganda is located in East Africa covering 235,796 square kilometers. The country has a population of 26 million and over 80% of this population lives in rural Uganda. Uganda is a landlocked country bordered by Sudan in the north, Kenya in the east, Tanzania in the south, Rwanda in the south east and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west.
Habitat for Humanity Uganda homeowner applicants earn their sweat equity hours by carrying the water and making the bricks for their house. This daily activity includes a trek of several miles to collect enough water to construct the bricks.
One program Habitat for Humanity Uganda offers is to assist HIV/AIDS widows, orphans and vulnerable children. Through this program, training is offered in HIV/AIDS prevention and mitigation, succession planning, hygiene, sanitation, and malaria prevention.
In October 2007, Syracuse Habitat for Humanity proudly hosted a visit from Scott Metzel, National Director for Habitat for Humanity Uganda, and Ronald Ongopa, Resource Development Director for Habitat for Humanity Uganda.
This special visit marked a significant milestone between Syracuse Habitat for Humanity and Habitat for Humanity Uganda — the completion of their 100th house.
The Uganda Mission Project
The Uganda Mission Project is a privately funded mission project started and currently administered by Gary and Nancy Wilson.
The goal of this mission project is to improve the quality of life for the people of the village of Kinyamaseke, Uganda in East Africa. This is accomplished by sending goods, sponsoring students, and sending money for food. Special projects have included building a house, beekeeping and poultry projects, irrigation kits and mosquito nets.
Education is the foundation for the development of the Ugandan society. By sponsoring students, we enable them to become contributing members in their community. As little as $200 quarterly pays tuition and fees for a student to attend college.
Goods are collected and shipped to the people of Kinyamaseke on a regular basis. Items that Gary and Nancy collect and send include:
Sheets & towels
Children’s clothes & shoes
Adult clothes & shoes
Books up to a 3rd grade reading level
Backpacks & tote-bags
Toothbrushes & toothpaste (ask your dentist for donations)
Pens & pencils
Markers & crayons
Paper & spiral notebooks
Tylenol & vitamins
Books up to a 3rd grade reading level
Backpacks & tote-bags
In 2005, Ngamije and Mary started a tradition of hosting a Christmas dinner for orphans in the area. That year they served 50 children. It has grown over the years and in 2008, 260 orphans and needy children were fed dinner on Christmas Day.
If you have items to donate or simply wish to help Nancy and Gary Wilson in their mission, please contact them directly at 315-492-9602 or via email at
Frequently Asked Questions
Where does Syracuse Habitat for Humanity build?
Syracuse Habitat for Humanity builds homes in Onondaga County. In 2000, the affiliate made a commitment to the City of Syracuse to build 25 homes on the City’s Near Westside. Syracuse Habitat has since exceeded that number, building 32 homes in that neighborhood.
How are funds raised?
The majority of funds come from individual donors. The remaining sources of funding come from faith communities, foundations, organizations and businesses.
Are donations sent to Habitat for Humanity International in Americus, GA used to build houses in Syracuse?
It depends. If the check is made payable to SYRACUSE Habitat for Humanity, or if you specifically state that gift is for Syracuse or Onondaga County, then the donation will be sent to Syracuse. Unspecified gifts, or checks made payable to Habitat for Humanity that are sent to Americus, GA, will be used to build houses overseas.
I want my donation to stay local. How do I achieve this?
Make your check payable to Syracuse Habitat for Humanity, and send it to the Syracuse office at 308 Otisco Street. You can also donate online by clicking our Donate Now button.
Does Syracuse Habitat for Humanity tithe?
Yes! A tithe of 10% of all unrestricted donations received by the affiliate are sent to Habitat for Humanity International, and are used to build homes in Uganda.
How are partner families chosen?
Syracuse Habitat for Humanity is an Equal Opportunity Builder and Lender. In order to qualify, families must have an income too low to qualify for a conventional mortgage, live in substandard housing conditions, and have a willingness and ability to partner with Syracuse Habitat for Humanity through volunteer work and repayment of the mortgage.
Does Syracuse Habitat for Humanity give away homes?
No, we build the homes and then sell them to qualified partner families. A homeowner must be able to provide a $1,000 down payment and be willing to work 300 hours of “sweat equity” on the building of their home.
Does Syracuse Habitat for Humanity accept donations of building materials for their homes?
Yes we do. If you have access to building materials that you wish to donate, please contact the office at 315-422-2230. If we can’t use the materials for our Habitat homes, we might be able to take them at the ReStore.
What is the ReStore?
The ReStore is a DIY dream - good, usable building materials at a fraction of retail prices. The ReStore accepts donations of new and used building materials and resells them to the GENERAL PUBLIC. All proceeds are used to support Syracuse Habitat for Humanity in its mission to provide home ownership opportunities for low income families in our area.