Joint Project with Habitat for Humanity Builds Community through Education
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Nov. 18, 2011) – With the theme, “Building Community Through Education,” a collaborative effort between the University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg R-VI School District, and Habitat for Humanity of Johnson County will make it possible for a family to realize their dream of home ownership.
This new partnership was announced on Thursday, Nov. 17 during a meeting of the UCM Board of Governors, which was also attended by representatives of three partnering organizations. University President Charles Ambrose, who provided details to the board, said it is a tremendous opportunity to get students involved in community service.
“This is going to engage students in service learning at both the high school and college levels, while literally helping us to capture the spirit of building community,” Ambrose said. “Students will have an opportunity, in many cases, to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to a real-life setting and attain new skills that can benefit them the rest of their lives.”
Deborah Orr, superintendent of the Warrensburg R-VI School District, added, that the district “is proud to partner with the University of Central Missouri as we begin this community's first Habitat for Humanity ‘Educational Build.’ The local Habitat affiliate has already proven the difference a clean, safe home can make for families in need. Our district is proud to be a part of this new effort and we look forward to that moment when the door opens to welcome a family into their new home."
Shari Bax, vice president for student engagement and experience at UCM, will coordinate the project. She will work with other partnering groups to ensure goals are met over the next two years by bringing UCM students and local high school students together to collaborate on different aspects of the project.
Students in manufacturing and construction, public relations, business, sociology, and a wide variety of other areas can find opportunities to assist along with high school students.
Bax said the home will be built at 1628 W. Gay St., and a portion of the total cost for construction will be paid through a fundraising effort between the three partnering organizations. More details will be announced sometime during the spring 2012 semester. Habitat will select the new homeowners, and they must secure a loan to pay for the house.
“There’s a family selection process, and it’s by application,” said Mary Solomon, co-chair of the development committee for Habitat for Humanity of Johnson County. “Applicants are selected by level of need and ability to assume the mortgage.” She added that Habitat will spend time getting to know the prospective family before the home is awarded.
In Johnson County, there is a tremendous need for safe, affordable housing, according to Solomon, and Habitat has already received inquiries from families wanting to know when Habitat will be build another home in Warrensburg. These individuals will be contacted when the application process begins in January. Habitat also will work through local churches, the media and other mans to inform area residents that qualified applicants are being sought.
Solomon is looking forward to the collaboration effort between the partnering organizations.
“This is such a positive move of us, not just for fundraising, but for the volunteers these entities will bring. I think there’s a wealth of opportunity for us to benefit from that,” she said.