Tonawanda News

May 16, 2013

Project HOPE kicks off in NT

Staff Reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — A contest sponsored by a local businesshas been launched again for this summer to rehabilitate one North Tonawanda home. 

For the third year, Jesse Gooch, who owns Painters Plus on Walck Road, said the citywide contest, called “Helping Others Paint Exteriors,” or HOPE, began in an effort to help those struggling to keep up their homes. 

The company formed a partnership with the city, both of which will choose a person or family who are disabled, elderly, suffering financial hardships or a disabled veteran and pressure wash, prime and paint their home with a crew of volunteers. The work will take place the weekend of Aug. 17, with a winner announced in July. 

“It has always been my passion to help people and to make a difference in my community,” Gooch said, adding that a desire to prevent the onset of blight in North Tonawanda is at the heart of the project. “During these tough economic times, it has been a struggle for people to maintain or improve their homes. I have seen many homes in the area that have loose and peeling paint, dingy colors, and rotted siding.”

A home on Robinson Street was painted in 2012 and a Wheatfield Street house in 2011. Gooch said more often than not, a disheveled home is often the result of financial or physical difficulties. 

“I believe that in many cases it’s not neglect,” Gooch said. “And that’s what drove me to start and continue with the Painters Plus Project.”

Mayor Rob Ortt, who volunteers for the event, said the venture also brings the community together, helping people in the process. 

“We are happy to have a business like this in our city and I know they are happy to be here,” he said. 

Those who want to submit an application for the contest can go to www.paintersplus.us or by picking up at application at the store at 800 Walck Road, North Tonawanda. The deadline for submissions is July 20. 

 Applicants are asked to, in a short paragraph, introduce themselves, explain their particular hardship situation, and provide pictures of their house.  They are also asked to provide their name, address, and a telephone number they can be reached at. Photos will not be returned.