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For a first-generation homeowner, SU and SUNY-ESF students are the key to a new family home
For a first-generation homeowner, SU and SUNY-ESF students are the key to a new family homeApril 16, 2009Bev Caspersen firstname.lastname@example.org
After eight months’ dedicated fundraising, awareness-raising and construction by hundreds of Syracuse University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry students, a Habitat for Humanity house at 621 Tully St. will be dedicated on Sunday, April 19, at 2 p.m.
The house, located in the heart of the area served by the Near Westside Initiative Inc., is entirely student-created by the SU/SUNY-ESF Habitat for Humanity campus chapter. Students will host Sunday’s dedication ceremony as a celebration of this community effort to make local resident Sukema Cook a first-time homeowner. The home is being dedicated to Cook and her son, Nicholas, who is autistic; it will permit Nicholas the space and location to receive the proper therapy for his disability.
The dedication ceremony will feature remarks from SUNY-ESF President Cornelius B. Murphy Jr.; the Rev. Kelly Sprinkle, interim dean of Hendricks Chapel; Marilyn Higgins, SU vice president for community engagement and economic development and president of the Near Westside Initiative Board; and student and professional Habitat for Humanity board members. The ceremony is open to the public.
Construction of the Tully Street house began in March 2008, when a group of SU students traveled to Albany and constructed the home’s exterior walls on the steps of the New York State Capitol building. A group of incoming first-year students completed the interior walls as part of a pre-orientation program in August 2008. Ground was broken that summer, and hundreds of SU and SUNY-ESF students became involved in building and fundraising to make the completion of the home a reality.
The SU/SUNY-ESF Habitat for Humanity campus chapter was founded in 1991 and at present has 300 active members. In addition to its work in Syracuse, the chapter sends as many as 100 students per year on alternative break trips to destinations throughout the southeastern United States where poverty and barriers to home ownership are problems.
For more information, visit http://students.syr.edu/habitat/housebuild.html.