Hello all! Welcome to the first 2016 Building Futures blog post! I would like to begin by thanking everyone who followed and tuned into the first ever Building Futures blog, which began in September of 2015.
As we begin a new year, Building Futures is beginning a new cohort of students and hitting the ground running. New students are being introduced to the Building Futures philosophy of service by giving back to our community, self-actualization and empowerment through leadership development, and gaining employable skills through training in facilities maintenance. Of course, let me not forget about the rigorous and high quality GED preparation coursework that our excellent instructors have developed for our students as well.
For the start of 2016, Building Futures is reconnecting with a long time partner Lewis and Clark Habitat for Humanity Alton Area Chapter. For those of you who don’t know, Habitat for Humanity is an organization dedicated to providing affordable housing for low income families. Habitat for Humanity has been a key partner for Building Futures developing a symbiotic relationship. The symbiotic relationship that has been developed through the Habitat for Humanity and Building Futures partnership is centered on civic engagement and providing affordable housing.
Although Building Futures is not directly involved in providing affordable housing through this partnership, Building Future’s students have been able to apply their facilities maintenance skills and building training, working on Habitat for Humanity homes.
The type of work that Building Futures students conduct while working on Habitat for Humanity homes are Blueprint Reading, Carpentry Skills, Electricity Principles, Plumbing Principles, Construction Measurement, Painting /Drywall Repair, Landscaping and Weatherization.
The work that the Habitat for Humanity and Building Futures partnership has produced changes the lives of each family that Habitat for Humanity provides affordable housing. Each new family that moves into a Habitat for Humanity home has a chance at a new beginning and is provided with a sense of ownership and self-empowerment. Ownership and self-empowerment is derived from the Habitat for Humanity strategy of “Sweat Equity.” Habitat for Humanity does not simply give a family a home but requires that each family commit to 400 hours of labor (aka Sweat Equity) themselves in the building of the home.
Jacqueisha Howard explains what it meant to her to work with Habitat for Humanity and Building Futures:
“I believe the work that Building Futures does is very beneficial to the community. First, it helps others to know that good is being done in their community not just when disaster strikes like a hurricane or something, as someone put it when I told them about Youth Build. And secondly, now we feel like we are part of the neighborhood instead of just the new house on the corner.”
In their efforts to provide services for low income families, Habitat for Humanity conducts fundraisers to help cover the costs for providing affordable housing to Alton area residents. Habitat for Humanity in conjunction with Lewis and Clark Community College and Building Futures YouthBuild will be hosting a Trivia night at L&C March 12, 2016. The tickets are $15 each or $120 for a table. There will be basket raffles, 50/50 and other opportunities for people to win door prizes. Feel free to bring your own snacks, a cash bar will be provided.
According to Habitat for Humanity, your donation will help families break the cycle of poverty and build long-term financial security. With an affordable, stable home, families have more to spend on food, medicine, child care, education and other essentials. Your support can help us do more in all the many ways that Habitat builds.
Please join Building Futures and Habitat for Humanity and support an Alton area family!
Until the next time – signing off,
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”
~ Dr. Martin Luther King