Elmira/Corning Regional Airport
Ithaca Jungle Death
Written By: Tanja Rekhi
NEWFIELD (WENY) -- Just a few days ago, Rick Sherman told Carmen Guidi he would help him with his latest project: building cottages for homeless men. They're called second wind cottages, and they'll give men dealing with things like alcohol or drug addictions a second chance at life.
"Life isn't easy," said Carmen Guidi. "People deal with life in different ways. Some people turn to alcohol, some people turn to drugs, some people turn to eating, some people turn to other things. Life's not easy and we have to deal with it the best we can."
Sherman lived in Ithaca's homeless camp known as "The Jungle" on and off for years regardless of the weather.
"When you get right down to it, they don't want to live like that," said Guidi. "He has a little Coleman stove in there to keep warm. I would imagine he was sitting or taking a nap, I don't know something happened, whether it tipped over."
Police are still investigating what happened. Sherman's tent went up in flames, and he was severely burned.
An employee from Cayuga Lumber tried to put the fire on his clothing out with snow. But Sherman died Thursday Afternoon from his injuries.
"If [the cottages] had been here, this is where he would have come and I think Rick would have been alive today," said Guidi.
Second wind cottages are being built by volunteers and the supplies are being donated. If you'd like to help there's more information at this link: http://secondwindcottages.org/