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In This Issue    Parade Festivities | Weatherization Assistance
Financial Fitness Tips | West Side Clean Air Meeting | B District Meeting
Bulk Trash Schedule  | Know Your Contractor | West Side Little Paper




It's that time of year again- time to celebrate the 11th Annual Puerto Rican & Hispanics Day Parade of WNY right here in the Lower West Side!

The primary purpose of the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade of Western New York Association, Inc., is to host a parade inclusive of all people and communities. The parade promotes civic pride, celebrating the history of Puerto Rico and Hispanics, and increasing awareness of Latin America's diverse, cultural heritage. The Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade of Western New York Association collaborates with a variety of social and service-oriented agencies to build a stronger Western New York community on a foundation of pride, knowledge, and empowerment

While the Flag Raising Ceremony already took place this past Thursday, the parade will be held on Saturday, September 7th, 2013 starting at 1:00pm in front of Buffalo City Hall and marching north on Niagara Street (Avenida San Juan). There will be amusement rides, great food and a free concert imediately following at LaSalle Park, on Buffalo’s beautiful waterfront.

There will also be a Hispanic Youth Day on Sunday, September  8th, with youth providing entertainment all day long.

For more information on events, visit the Puerto Rican & Hispanic Day Parade of WNY's official website. And don't forget to share your photos from the festivities with your neighbors on the Lower West Side Facebook Page.


With Fall on it's way, you're probably starting to feel the drafts in your home and notice repairs that need to be made. Don't wait until the temperature drops- address these issues this month!

While we currently have a waiting list for our Green & Healthy Homes minor home repair program, there are still other options available for residents in the Lower West Side.

Did you know that South Buffalo Neighborhood Housing Services provides weatherization grants for the West Side of Buffalo? You can learn more about eligibility online or call (716) 837-0071 today.

Another great weatherization program offered by the state is NYSERDA EmPower Program. Income qualified residents can have energy upgrades made for no cost. Tenants may qualify, as well, with your landlord's approval. Learn more about how EmPower works online, or call 1-800-263-0960.

There's also plenty of DIY techniques to help keep your home warm! Check out the Home Depot's How To guide for weatherization here.




Sending the kids back to school can be expensive with all the books, art supplies, and sports equipment adding up. It can make staying on top of your home maintenance costs in Fall tricky. This is a great time of year to take advantage of income supporters, if you're not already.

Previously known as The Food Stamp Program, SNAP provides low income households with benefits to purchase food in order to reduce hunger and improve nutrition and health. Households must meet certain income guidelines in order to be eligible to receive SNAP. These guidelines are higher than for Temporary Assistance. Find out if you are eligible online or by calling 858-8000

Another great benefit your family may qualify for is the Home Energy Assistance Program, better known as HEAP. HEAP is a federally funded program that may help you pay for electricity, propane, natural gas, wood, oil, kerosene, coal, or any other heating fuel. HEAP is currently accepting Early Access applications from those who received benefits in the last 2012-2013 season. Regular HEAP applications will open to new applicants starting October 15th. Find out if you are eligible online or call the HEAP hotline at 858-1969.


The Clean Air Coalition of WNY (CAC) is holding an informational memebers meeting to talk about what they've been doing on the West Side and other neighborhoods in Erie County to protect the rights of citizens to breath clean air and live in healthy neighborhoods where people in power are held accountable and listen to the concerns of residents.

CAC member or not, join them on Tuesday, September 10th at 6:30pm in Primera Iglesia Metodista Unida (United Methodist Church) at 62 Virginia Street, Buffalo. Learn more about air monitoring, the Peace Bridge's Expansion Plans, and more! Meet your neighbors and enjoy refreshments!

For questions or a ride, call Natasha at CAC at 852-3813


The next B District Police meeting will be held on Monday, September 9th at 10:00am in 695 Main Street. For more information, contact the District's Community Police Officer (CPO), Officer Quintana.


Be sure to get your bulk items out to the curb on Sunday night for your district's week. 
Ellicott: Past Until Spring 2014
Past Until Spring 2014
Fillmore: September 22nd
Click here for more information.




With many homeowners and landlords doing work on homes to prepare for the cold months ahead, it's important to know that you're hiring a responsible contractor.

First and foremost, shop around. It's good to have a written estimate from at least three contractors. You should insist on time lines, including start and end dates. You can always look for references online or at check the Better Business Bureau to see if the contrator is accredited.

Under New York State law, a home improvement contractor must provide you with a  written, legible copy of the contract for jobs exceeding $500. This written contract can help protect you if the contractor does a poor job or does finish work. Make sure the contract includes the contractor's name, company name, address, phone number, and license number. Keep a copy of the contract, and be sure to add any changes that may be made as work proceeds.

Avoid scams by creating a payment schedule within your contract and sticking to it. Never pay in full upfront. You are entitled to withhold the final payment until all of the contracted work is complete.

For more helpful tips, visit the New York State Attorney General's website.



A new publication has come to the West Side to help share information about community businesses and events. Check out the West Side Little Paper for your business or community group's advertisement needs, or to simply stay up to date on what's happening in our community!

Heart of the City will be carrying copies of the West Side Little Paper right here in our office. Stop by 251 Virginia Street to grab one anytime!

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