Springhill Habitat For Humanity meeting tonight

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Public call for volunteers

SPRINGHILL – The first public meeting and call for volunteers on a Habitat For Humanity build takes place tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre.

Habitat For Humanity

After a three-year partnership between the NSCC Cumberland Campus and Habitat For Humanity NS, a first for Cumberland County is about to take place.

The former Town of Springhill Council donated a parcel of land on Main and Princess Streets and the community is now ready to move forward on a local build in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia and other partners such as NSCC.

“It’s not a handout, it’s a hand-up,” said School of Trades & Technology faculty member Cheryl Veinotte-Mackey. “Build recipients do have a mortgage… for families in the income bracket we’ll be looking at that wouldn’t be able to get a down payment on a home, it breaks that cycle of renting.”

This marks the fourth project the campus has partnered with Habitat For Humanity Nova Scotia. The campus first volunteered on a build in Halifax in 2012, before taking on building a promotion playhouse that was on display at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Later a build in Sackville, N.B., drew on the campus for volunteers.

Habitat For Humanity projects have allowed trade students to develop hands-on experience in their chosen field and the future Springhill build will be an opportunity for them to continue that education while building stronger partnerships with the community, Veinotte-Mackey said. Many, volunteers and partners will be needed and an information session is being held Tuesday, Nov. 19th, at 7:30 p.m. at the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre.

“We want anybody with an interest to come out,” Cumberland Campus Academic Chair Andrew Moore said. “We will be hosting a session on how a Habitat build happens and from there steering committees are going to be formed.”

Bringing volunteers together for Habitat For Humanity builds, Moore said, is not only a good deed in itself, but an echo of an era sometimes forgotten.

“At the end of the day, if we can build a home for a family it’s a community gathering,” Moore said. “It’s an old-fashioned way of the community coming together like they used to, to build for a member of their community.”

This build, however, won’t be without the modern world in mind.

“There is also a goal of trying very hard to look at energy efficiency,” Veinotte-Mackey said. “That means efficient heating models, EnerGuide appliances, energy efficient windows.”

The community will be responsible for raising one-third of the project cost, with the remainder coming from Habitat Nova Scotia and Habitat for Humanity’s national organization. The final goal is to hand over the key to the family, which be chosen by a volunteer selection committee, for Christmas 2014. The family selection process is set to commence this month.

For more information, the public session will take place in the CIBC Common Room at the community centre, Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 7:30 p.m. and questions may be directed to Cheryl Veinotte-Mackey or Andrew Moore at NSCC (597-3737) or to Mayor Snow.

To learn more about Habitat For Humanity visit http://www.habitatns.ca.

 Did you know?

• Habitat for Humanity broke ground on its first home in Canada in 1985.

• In Nova Scotia, Habitat for Humanity was first established in 1992.  In its first 19 years in the province, volunteers built 30 homes in the province.

• Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 in Georgia, USA, as a way for volunteers and community partners to provide safe, affordable housing for low-income families.

Organizations: Habitat For Humanity, Cumberland, Springhill Council School of Trades Technology Halifax Stanfield International Airport

Geographic location: Cumberland County, Sackville, Canada Nova Scotia Georgia USA

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Recent comments

  • noodle
    November 20, 2013 - 11:49

    I hope this truly is a hand up for those motivated low-income families who actually work for a living. Personally, if I thought these houses were being built for those who are sitting home on welfare it would completely lose my support. Hopefully, the application process is fair and not a case where organizers select recipients based on personal connections rather than those with the greatest need.

  • Cathy Fisher
    November 20, 2013 - 11:38

    I am so pleased to see that this program will continue to go forward. Thank you to all those involved.

  • winston
    November 20, 2013 - 11:32

    I wonder if Habitat for Humanity, which I feel is a great cause, wouldn't get a better bang for their buck, if they looked at purchasing 2 or 3 homes in Springhill instead of building one. Cost to build one new energy efficient home = $225000 plus. They could by 2 homes in Springhill for that price and still have some money left for renovating energy efficiency into them.