Greetings Friends and Neighbors,
Due to the ongoing outbreak of Covid-19 in our community, the Strathmore Speaker Series has decided to postpone our Spring 2020 season. We hope to return in the fall, but will follow public health guidelines.
The Strathmore Speaker Series is proud to announce that Andrew Lunetta, Founder and Executive Director of A Tiny Home for Good, Inc., will speak at the Strathmore Speaker Series on Thursday, October 13th, 2016 at 7:00 pm.
Lunetta, who lived in Syracuse as a child and attended Ed Smith Elementary through third grade, grew up in Massachusetts before returning to Syracuse in 2008 to attend Le Moyne College. He graduated from Le Moyne in 2012 with a degree in Peach and Conflict Studies and went on to earn his Masters in Public Policy from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School in 2014.
Drawn to helping others since a gap year spent substitute teaching in Cleveland, Ohio through the AmeriCorps program, Lunetta quickly sought out ways to help others upon his return to Syracuse. As a freshman at Le Moyne, he started volunteering regularly at the Brady Faith Center, an organization which would eventually invite him to join its board. Through the center Lunetta became involved with helping the city’s homeless and quickly found his calling. He created a drop-in center, started a program that provides sandwiches, and began a bike give away program for the Center’s homeless patrons.
His involvement with the Center eventually led to the establishment of his latest endeavor, the A Tiny Home for Good project in 2014, which aims to provide affordable, safe and dignified housing for Syracuse’s homeless. With the help of volunteers, the project completed the construction of its first two homes on Rose Street in Syracuse earlier this year.
Each modest home measures 12′ by 20′, and contains a single room that includes a living area, bed, kitchen, and bathroom. They also include a small outdoor shed to store they occupants’ bikes. Costing less than $25,000 each to construct and making use of already vacant lost, the project’s homes are a compelling alternative to VanKeuren Square, a state-of-the-art East Side housing complex for homeless vets that cost $11.4 million for 50 units, or $228,000 per apartment.
Since finishing his first two homes, Lunetta has begun construction of three new homes on South Salina Street which are expected to be completed this fall and plans are already in the works to build more new homes near the Rescue Mission.
Writer and long-time Strathmore resident, Sean Kirst, will speak on Syracuse: What I loved, why I stayed, what still drives me wild at the Firebarn at 2 pm, Sunday, October 18th, 2015. The event is free and open to the public.
Since receiving his first paycheck as a journalist more than 38 years ago, Sean Kirst has built his writing career on his passion for the cities and countryside of Upstate New York. Before coming to Syracuse, Kirst worked for newspapers in Rochester, Niagara Falls, and his hometown, Dunkirk, New York. Kirst joined The Post-Standard/Syracuse Media Group as a writer in 1988 and became a columnist in 1991. Today his work focuses primarily on civic issues – often starting at the neighborhood level – involving struggle, hope and passage, the themes that dominate our Upstate lives.
Photo from Newshouse.
In 2009, Kirst became the first Upstate journalist to win the Ernie Pyle Award for human interest writing, presented annually to the one journalist nationally who best personifies the approach and ethic of Pyle, the renowned World War II correspondent. In 2010, Kirst received both the national Sigma Delta Chi Award for excellence in column writing and the national Capitol Beat award for commentary, for his columns on state government in Albany. He has won two national Clarion Awards for opinion writing. Kirst has also been recognized by the American Association of Sunday and Features Editors for his interactive involvement with readers, through his blog, and he has been honored by the U.S. Justice Department for sensitivity to victims of violent crime. In 2014, the Syracuse Press Club added his name to its Wall of Distinction.
Kirst is also the author of “The Ashes of Lou Gehrig,” a collection of baseball essays, and co-author of “Moonfixer: The Basketball Journey of Earl Lloyd,” the autobiography of basketball Hall of Famer Earl Lloyd, who in 1950 became the first African-American to play in the National Basketball Association. The England-based Tolkien Society credits Kirst with proposing the worldwide Tolkien Reading Day that is now held every March, a celebration that always includes a gathering in Central New York.
Born in 1959, Kirst lives in Syracuse with his wife, Nora, a kindergarten teacher in the Syracuse city schools. They have three children: Sarah, Seamus and Liam.