Catholic Build, Pope Francis House to kick off in September

JACKSON – Habitat for Humanity’s Mississippi Capital Area Chapter will build two houses this year with help from the Catholic community – the annual Catholic Build house and a house dedicated to Pope Francis. The agency announced Tuesday, Aug. 11, that it had raised the needed pledges to get started on both projects. Catholic Build partners raised $80,000 for their regular house and another $40,000 for the Pope Francis House. An anonymous donor will match that.
The next step is organizing and feeding the volunteer teams who will build the houses. The project starts Saturday, Sept. 19. Two crews will work almost every Saturday from then until November 7. Crews work either a morning or afternoon shift while other volunteers feed the workers.
Habitat met with the Catholic Build partners on Aug. 11 to give them the good news about meeting the fundraising goal. “Most folks are going back to their churches this weekend to announce the build dates and recruit and sign up volunteers,” said Peggy Hampton, public relations director for Habitat in Jackson. A parish can send an entire work crew for a half-day or can offer individual volunteers to work with other parishes to fill all the crews needed.
The houses will be built on Greenview Street in South Jackson, but improvements won’t stop there. Habitat is inviting members of the community to a press event Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 11 a.m. on Greenview.
“At this gathering announcements will be made regarding plans for revitalizing this street. Because you play a part in our work, we wanted you to know about it first,” wrote Hampton in an invitation to the event. Greenview runs along St. Therese Church property and parish members have already been active in making improvements to the area. Other parishes involved in the effort include Flowood St. Paul, Gluckstadt St. Joseph, Jackson St. Richard and Holy Family, Madison St. Francis, the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle, St. Dominic Health Services and the Knights of Columbus.
The anonymous donor has offered to pay for half the cost of several houses across the nation for Habitat. The donor asks that the houses be dedicated to Pope Francis and that Habitat make an effort to involve young people in the project. The choir from Madison St. Joseph High School will be on hand for the Sept. 16 event and volunteer coordinators are working to raise awareness among young people about opportunities to help.
Those interested in volunteering to be on the Habitat Build teams should contact the Habitat coordinator at one of the participating parishes.