Friday, June 24 2011
The city of Evansville plans to grant $100,000 to Habitat for Humanity of Evansville Inc. to put together a plan to revitalize the historic Jacobsville neighborhood. As part of the plan, Habitat will build new homes and rehabilitate existing homes in the area.
Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel is pleased to announce the City of Evansville’s intention to grant $100,000 to Habitat for Humanity of Evansville, Inc., to lead the development of a comprehensive community development plan for the revitalization of the Jacobsville neighborhood, which is roughly bordered by Division St., Diamond Ave., Garvin St., and First Ave. The grant will come from County Option Income Taxes and is subject to approval by Evansville City Council, with the first reading this evening.
“The Jacobsville neighborhood has a deep history; proud, hard-working residents; and, judging by the number of people coming together on this initiative, a very bright future,” said Mayor Weinzapfel. “I know that Habitat has the leadership, manpower, vision, and passion necessary to bring the Jacobsville community together to make this initiative a resounding success.”
Both the City of Evansville and the Jacobsville Area Community Corporation (JACC) approached Habitat about serving as the lead convener for this project, in part due to the success of a similar planning effort in the Glenwood neighborhood. JACC, a 501(C)(3) formed in 2002 to improve the physical, economic and social environment of the Jacobsville area, has already done extensive work toward developing a comprehensive development plan.
As the lead convener, Habitat will work closely with JACC and other groups actively pursuing the goal of a revitalized, sustainable Jacobsville area to bring key stakeholders together to help ignite the process to push existing revitalization efforts forward. Habitat will facilitate the planning process; conduct a needs assessment, community engagement activities, market analysis, neighborhood surveys, and focus groups; and promote capital investment. In addition, Habitat will build new homes, rehab existing homes, and weatherize existing homeowner-occupied homes in Jacobsville.
After information regarding needs and wants of key stakeholders has been gathered, community discussions will then be held in an effort to frame the primary issues. These community discussions will be held quarterly and will take place over the next two years.
Playing lead convener fits well into the scope of Habitat’s work. In 2010, Habitat International invited Habitat for Humanity of Evansville to join its Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI). Habitat is one of about 40 Habitat affiliates working on procedures that will guide neighborhood development at the national level. The initiative involves expanding its housing solutions in an effort to serve more families.
Source: City of Evansville & InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report
Monday, April 26 2010
It's not unusual for home improvement stores to host how-to workshops, but the one Saturday at Evansville's East Side Lowe's was a bit different.
It was aimed at women, and it was about more than just home-improvement skills.
The session was the first of two clinics held in conjunction with Women Build, a Habitat for Humanity program that encourages women to help construct homes for families in need. Another clinic will take place Saturday at Lowe's on the West Side.
Habitat for Humanity joins with families worldwide to build affordable housing. Habitat homeowners pay for their homes through interest-free mortgages, and they must contribute 300 hours of volunteer labor, or "sweat equity," to build their homes and those of others.
Women Build recognizes that 80 percent of Habitat homeowners are single mothers, said Sister Jane Michele McClure, development director for Habitat for Humanity of Evansville.
Lowe's workshop targets Women Build volunteers
"As Habitat, we know the power that comes from building your own house. ... It's a way for women to take charge of their own life."
Habitat's national Women Build week is May 1-9. The Evansville affiliate will mark the occasion with a ceremony and work session May 8 at a home under construction in the Glenwood neighborhood at 314 Ridgeway Drive. The official Women Build home project, also in Glenwood, takes place in September.
This will be the sixth Women Build event in Evansville, but it's the first time local Lowe's stores have hosted Women Build clinics.
Lowe's is a national sponsor of Women Build. Locally, the retailer is donating $5,000 to the effort.
Susan Simon, manager of Evansville's East Side Lowe's, said her store was glad to host the clinic — especially because some of its employees were affected by the November 2005 tornado.
"We've had the personal experience of someone losing their home," she said.
One of those employees, Simon said, is now a Habitat homeowner.
At Saturday's clinic, about 50 women learned about painting, window and door installation, tool use and landscaping.
Among them was Harriet Burtt of Grayville, Ill., who came for two reasons. She's remodeling her own home, and she wants to become a Habitat volunteer.
Burtt said she considers herself "fairly handy," but she did pick up some pointers at the clinic.
Impressed with what she learned about Women Build, Burtt plans to join the Evansville project this fall.
"To help women all over the world who are disenfranchised," she said. "I'm all for that."