Syeisha Byrd on her renovated, lead-free porch with her three sons.

LeadSafeCNY: TNT Story

Byrd’s carpeting had been breathable, allowing lead particles to enter the air from the high traffic of playing children.

When she purchased her Northside home years ago, Syeisha Byrd knew there was a possibility that it had lead paint, as do many of the aging homes in Syracuse. So to keep her children safe, she took several proactive steps to ensure the house was lead-safe before moving in.

A few years after having the house lead abated, Byrd was shocked when she received a phone call from her children’s doctor.

“They had just been in for a routine appointment and were being called back in because lead was detected in their blood tests,” said Byrd. “I panicked. I knew what lead poisoning was and how severely it could impact them for the rest of their lives.”

It was later determined that when renovations were done on Byrd’s home, there had been one major, potentially life-altering flaw: the front porch carpeting. It is recommended that carpeting installed over lead paint be rubber-sealed. Byrd’s carpeting had been breathable, allowing lead particles to enter the air from the high traffic of playing children.

Thankfully, Byrd’s children had lead levels that were caught in time and do not seem to have caused long-term effects on their development. She knows, though, that many other families in her neighborhood have not been so lucky. This ignited a spirit in her to help prevent this from happening to other innocent children. She is now working as a volunteer for Tomorrow’s Neighborhoods Today (TNT).

TNT received a grant through our LeadSafeCNY initiative to conduct a grassroots communications effort to educate residents on the dangers of lead poisoning and the actions they should take to make their homes safer. Byrd will be assisting in the effort. She and fellow volunteers are working closely with Syracuse residents to facilitate lead testing and provide resources on its remediation.

“This effort is sorely needed because people forget how dangerous lead can be,” said Byrd. “We’re going to continue to have this problem until everyone becomes more knowledgeable on how to make their homes lead safe.”

For Byrd, joining forces with TNT is a way to give back to the community that she loves.

“I want to be more involved so that my children can happily live and grow here,” said Byrd. “I want to make Syracuse a better place to live.”

Related Stories

hand holding growing money
Publications September 18, 2023

Helping your Clients Get Organized: Structure Is a Critical Step in Multi-Generational Philanthropy

Learn how Jeff Knauss and his wife use their donor-advised to engage their children in ...

Blogs September 15, 2023

Reflections: Continued Learning for Equity/Reflexiones: Aprendizaje Continuo para la Equidad

Yeisha Núñez-Denson, tells us about her experience joining our efforts toward an equitable internal work ...

Woman sitting with girl holding books
Blogs August 21, 2023

Unlocking Potential through Reading as A Book Buddy Volunteer

Juliet Nabinger, employee benefits senior specialist at OneGroup and Book Buddies Volunteer, shares how her ...

Family sits on porch of new home on Shuart Ave
Stories August 19, 2023

Impact Investing Profile: Home HeadQuarters

A $500,000 Program Related Investment (PRI) to Home HeadQuarters (HHQ) acted as a loan loss ...

Stories August 17, 2023

Impact Investing Profile: Cooperative Federal

A $250,000 secondary capital loan is helping Cooperative Federal expand lending in the Syracuse community.

Stories August 14, 2023

Impact Investing Profile: Pathfinder Bank

Pathfinder Bank tells us how a $500,000 deposit at their new Southwest Branch helped serve ...

Blogs August 7, 2023

Reflections: Amplifying Voices for Equity

Juliet Maloff, senior communications officer, explains how we are shifting some of our storytelling to ...

Children looking through binoculars on Syracuse street
Publications August 1, 2023

Payment Pending: CNY Nonprofit Funding Delays From the State Level

Colby Cyrus, CAPM and Frank Ridzi, Ph.D. outline our analysis of how often New York ...

News Releases July 27, 2023

LeadSafeCNY: A Look at our Neighborhood Investments

A new heat map demonstrates the impact of our neighborhood investments so far through the ...

hand holding growing money
Publications September 18, 2023

Helping your Clients Get Organized: Structure Is a Critical Step in Multi-Generational Philanthropy

Learn how Jeff Knauss and his wife use their donor-advised to engage their children in ...

Blogs September 15, 2023

Reflections: Continued Learning for Equity/Reflexiones: Aprendizaje Continuo para la Equidad

Yeisha Núñez-Denson, tells us about her experience joining our efforts toward an equitable internal work ...

Woman sitting with girl holding books
Blogs August 21, 2023

Unlocking Potential through Reading as A Book Buddy Volunteer

Juliet Nabinger, employee benefits senior specialist at OneGroup and Book Buddies Volunteer, shares how her ...

Family sits on porch of new home on Shuart Ave
Stories August 19, 2023

Impact Investing Profile: Home HeadQuarters

A $500,000 Program Related Investment (PRI) to Home HeadQuarters (HHQ) acted as a loan loss ...

Stories August 17, 2023

Impact Investing Profile: Cooperative Federal

A $250,000 secondary capital loan is helping Cooperative Federal expand lending in the Syracuse community.

Stories August 14, 2023

Impact Investing Profile: Pathfinder Bank

Pathfinder Bank tells us how a $500,000 deposit at their new Southwest Branch helped serve ...

Blogs August 7, 2023

Reflections: Amplifying Voices for Equity

Juliet Maloff, senior communications officer, explains how we are shifting some of our storytelling to ...

Children looking through binoculars on Syracuse street
Publications August 1, 2023

Payment Pending: CNY Nonprofit Funding Delays From the State Level

Colby Cyrus, CAPM and Frank Ridzi, Ph.D. outline our analysis of how often New York ...

News Releases July 27, 2023

LeadSafeCNY: A Look at our Neighborhood Investments

A new heat map demonstrates the impact of our neighborhood investments so far through the ...

View More