JACKSON – Bishop Joseph Kopacz blessed the foundations for two homes set to go up on Greenview Drive in Jackson on Wednesday, Sept. 16, as part of a Habitat for Humanity plan to revitalizean entire street and hopefully kick off a community renaissance. The choir from Madison St. Joseph School provided music for the event that featured community leaders, neighbors, representatives from supporting parishes and Habitat homeowners.
The homes, the annual Catholic Build and the Pope Francis House, are just the beginning. Later this year the inaugural bankers’ build and the Episcopal build will start projects. Nissan and the ever-popular Womens’ build are planning to participate in 2016.
The Catholic Build is in its 30th year. Parishes all across the metro area join together annually to raise the $80,000 and provide work teams and food for the project. The Pope House is an addition. An anonymous donor provided half the funds, the community raised the other $40,000 to build a home dedicated to Pope Francis.
Bishop Kopacz spoke of his hope that the community would become a place where families could thrive. He pointed out a nearby charter school was working to improve education for the community and personally thanked the many police officers who attended the event, saying he knows they are on the front lines of any community improvement effort.
Greenview Drive is a half-mile of mostly abandoned or derelict properties. On the day of the Habitat event, a tree long dead still rested on a roof of one home, and another home, once boarded up, showed signs that the door had been kicked in.
Habitat has taken on projects similar to this one, turning blocks of run-down rental properties in to family-owned, well-maintained homes. Christopher Coleman, who owns a house renovated by Greenview a few years ago, spoke at the kickoff event, saying how grateful he was for the opportunity to give his family a home of their own. “Welcome to the new Greenview,” he said, to much applause.
Mississippi Catholic will check on the progress of the construction throughout the fall.