Archive for Sunday, January 6, 2008

Baldwin City calls for aid in building Habitat home

January 6, 2008

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Help is needed in Baldwin City.

Habitat for Humanity and Baker University are partnering to build a house in Baldwin, but they need assistance in several ways.

Jeremy Hahn, executive director of the Lawrence Habitat for Humanity, and Ruth Sarna, Baker University director of student health services, will be hosts to an informative meeting at 7 p.m. Jan. 14 at the Baldwin City Public Library community room.

"Once we get the word out, we are hoping to get a lot of community support," Sarna said. "We also want to get all three Baker campuses involved. We hope this can be a complete community and Baker project."

The Jan. 14 meeting will inform people about the project, especially the fundraising efforts. But the main purpose will be trying to find a family for the house that will be constructed.

Hahn said finding a family that qualifies and is interested is the first obstacle of the long process. One of the biggest obstacles, he said, is trying to get a family to live in the house.

"We want to have that nailed down before we start building the house," Hahn said.

Sarna said they want to start the application process for families interested in the house. She said that must be done before the rest of the project can begin.

Hahn went on to explain the other two obstacles: finding a location to build the house and funding the project. He said they are trying to find a lot for the house, but don't have anything nailed down yet.

"That's obstacle No. 2," Hahn said. "We are still working on that. We have a couple of locations we are looking at, but nothing has been decided yet."

The other obstacle is raising enough money to build the house. Baker University is the primary fundraising group for the project, but other donations are welcome by Sarna and Hahn.

Sarna said Baker has to raise around $90,000 for the house to be built. Hahn said he hoped other groups or individuals would step up and contribute to the project.

"Baker is taking a lead on the project on the fundraising effort," Hahn said. "We are still looking for other donations to help with the house."

Baker students decided to take on this Habitat for Humanity house to celebrate the university's 150th anniversary. Sarna said the Baker student senate was the primary leader in organizing this effort.

"It's our project that the students are supporting, and the faculty is contributing, too," Sarna said. "The student senate wanted a contribution for the 150th celebration. That's where it all started."

For more information on the project, contact Hahn at (785) 832-0777.

Baldwin City Signal Reporter Jimmy Gillispie can be reached at 594-7080.

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