Digging Out from Under: The Crew that’s Working Hard to Catch Up

SMNC Crew Members pictured left to right: Brian Printup, Corey Dillon, Kevin Schoon, and David Rodriguez

The phones at Syracuse Model Neighborhood Corp. (SMNC), one of the city’s largest non-profit, affordable rental housing providers, started ringing at a fever pitch a couple months ago. SMNC Site Director Kevin Schoon thinks the phones and emails really picked up once word got out that Home HeadQuarters was lending a hand to get the Southside rental housing organization back on track. “Well, that and the Crew started getting out into the neighborhood; people began putting names to faces and learning that we can be counted on.”

All the guys agree on one thing: getting SMNC back to being a place where people want to live is the main goal. “I know we can turn this place around,” says David Rodriguez, who came to Syracuse from Brooklyn seven years ago. Also, originally from the Syracuse area, Brian Printup and Corey Dillon both joined HHQ as part of Opportunity Headquarters’ construction crew. Both guys find working on SMNC properties a daily challenge, but also an opportunity to meet many different people, learn new things and solve big problems. As Brian says, “this is definitely not a job you would call monotonous.”