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Saturday 22 September 2018
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Walt Dixie, Jubilee Homes Set to Celebrate 31st Anniversary

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By Lisa Dumas –

 

Walt DixieJubilee Homes of Syracuse Inc., and executive director Walt Dixie, are set to celebrate the organization’s 31st anniversary on July 14.

According to Dixie, the event is slated to highlight Jubilee’s historic accomplishments throughout the years, in addition to continuing the non-profit’s longstanding commitment to the community.

Jubilee Homes was founded in 1987, in an effort to foster housing development in undeserved neighborhoods.

And, since then, the non-profit agency has grown to include services such as community workforce development initiatives, as well as additional programs to help provide home ownership and rental opportunities for people with low and moderate incomes.

However, the organization’s most noteworthy accomplishment, to date, Dixie said, has been Jubilee Homes’ efforts to open a Price Rite supermarket on Syracuse’s south side, which came to fruition in 2017, in an area that had formerly been known as a food desert.

We have built over 100 homes,” Dixie stated. “We have done extensive workforce training programs. And, the supermarket, of course, was a great accomplishment. Our greatest accomplishment was building a Price Rite supermarket in the neighborhood.”

And, as the organization continues to specialize in revitalizing the area’s undeserved neighborhoods, as well as to wade into the waters of commercial development, Dixie said there are also additional projects in the works for the south side, and Jubilee Homes is currently gathering input for from the community as part of its planning process.

There’s community interest in building a new barber shop, and an African grocery,” he stated. “There’s also a family who’s interested in building an apartment building, with mixed-use commercial on the bottom. So, those are things that are happening, and between there, we’re looking at how to get a gas station in the neighborhood. And, there’s a store that closed down, there’s going to be a plaza there. And, Jubilee Homes has a project to build a halfway home. So, there are some practical things that are happening.”

Dixie has been in the public eye recently, more due to his vocal support for politicians like Independent Mayor Ben Walsh during the last mayoral election, and voicing his support for current Democratic congressional candidate Dana Balter, rather than the agency’s new development projects.

Yet, although he recently secured state funding for the organization’s new “Build to Work” program, with the help of Sen. David Valesky (D-Oneida) in 2015, don’t expect Dixie to announce Jubilee Homes has any new political leanings any time soon.

That’s separate from Jubilee Homes,” Dixie stated. “But, one thing is, you want to advocate to the politicians for what your community and the organization needs.”

In fact, according to Dixie, he expects the organization to receive cuts in federal funding this year, which makes it as important as ever to raise funds as for the organization during the anniversary event, in an effort to offset the agency’s deficit.

We already know we’re going to get a lot of cutbacks from the federal government,” he stated. “So, now we’re trying to branch out. It’ll help us close our deficit.”

Ultimately, Dixie said Jubilee Homes will continue to be a force and a catalyst for change in the community, following this historic event.

And, in keeping with the agency’s efforts to revitalize the local community, this year’s event will feature local minority-and women- owned vendors, including Henry’s Hen House Catering, Jerk Hut, Jandy’s, Holisticsupernatural Nutrition Company, and Habiba’s Ethiopian Kitchen.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to enjoy the evening’s musical entertainment, which will be provided by Brownskin Band and DJ Maestro.

Tickets for the event are $75 per person, or $700 for a group of 10, and can be purchased online, at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/jubilee-homes-of-syracuse-inc-31st-anniversary-celebration-tickets-43255709993 .

Visit https://www.jubilee-homes.org/ for additional information regarding the event.

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