Habitat gets higher-educated help - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Habitat gets higher-educated help

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - As the housing crisis continues, more people are turning to a world-renowned south Georgia home-building charity for help.

More than 150 people registered for a Habitat for Humanity home through the Flint River chapter in February.

Over the next few weeks, more than 200 college students will spend their spring break working on as many as four homes.

That's typically what the Albany chapter builds in a year.

It's likely to be anything but quiet in the Hidden Oaks subdivision for the next three weeks. This week 66 college students from Muskingum College, Boston College, and St. Vincent have put away the books to build.

"I think it's really cool that someone's going to be living here," said Ashley Fraser of Muskingum College.

"We're just putting in these spacers between the studs. Eventually this is where the cabinets will be placed below here and in between," said  Craig Holy Cross of Muskingum College. 

The work comes at a time when more people are appealing to Habitat for a hand up, but volunteer coordinator David Wilson says fewer people are willing to lend a hand to help with construction.

"We have some, but very few in comparison to those who come out consistently."

In February, Flint River Habitat had their largest group yet to request information for new homes leaving the organization to juggle the demand versus their ability to build. Students we spoke with say volunteering was an easy choice.

"A lot of us come from very privileged situations, being able to go to B.C. and all that so, it's great to help out someone who otherwise may not have had a home like this," Pat Viklund of Boston College.

With 120 more students in the following two weeks, Flint River Habitat hopes enough work can be completed to start a fourth home and that the work of several hundred college students might inspire others to lend a hand even during tough times.

While Habitat for Humanity is a hand up, it's not a hand out. Home owners must pay an interest free mortgage and must volunteer between 300 and 500 sweat equity numbers. The organization has constructed 117 homes in Dougherty and Lee Counties.


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