May 4, 2016

Cornell Students Build Trusses to Support Homeless

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Students will help construct roof support structures on Ho Plaza this week, as a part of Cornell Habitat for Humanity’s annual Truss Days event, according to Daniel Waizman ’16, the organization’s president. These trusses will be used to build homes in the local community.

“These particular trusses are actually going to Second Wind Cottages, a local organization which provides transitional housing for homeless people,” Waizman said.

Although Cornell typically builds trusses for its local Habitat for Humanity affiliate, students are currently building for Second Wind Cottages — which already has 15 cottages set up in Newfield — because the affiliate has not started a new house this year, according to Waizman.

Waizman said Cornell Habitat for Humanity will continue to produce trusses for Habitat next year, but wanted to continue Truss Days with a different organization in the meantime.

The cottages — which often take several months to complete, although the trusses will be finished by the end of the week — provide people in need with places to stay until they can find their own homes, according to Waizman.

“[The cottages allow people to] pick up their life a little bit, and then go find a job and then slowly earn enough income or credit to be able to buy their own house,” he said.

Students in The Cornell Tradition — an organization dedicated to community service — are also participating in Truss Days, according to Paige Trexel ‘19, one of the organization’s members.

Trexel, who has also worked with Habitat for Humanity in the past, said the goals of Truss Days are similar to those of her work with Habitat.

“I really like it and I like their mission, and so I wanted to help out here today,” Trexel said.

Truss Days will continue on Ho Plaza through Friday and all students are invited to participate, according to Waizman.