Local Habitat Youth United and Sacred Heart University Habitat Campus Chapter to Sponsor Habitat Home

Bridgeport, CT (Dec. 3, 2010) – Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County (HFHCFC) announced today that they will break ground on their second Habitat home fully sponsored by students at 554 Jane Street in Bridgeport, CT. The groundbreaking ceremony will take place on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 1:00pm.

Youth United, a Habitat for Humanity program initiative to engage local youth from ages 5-25 in raising awareness and support for affordable housing, began fundraising for the Jane Street home in 2007. A diverse group of students from over 15 schools and 12 towns, many of whom are the children of Habitat homeowners, have worked together to raise funds by building and selling step stools, collecting returnable bottles and cans, and holding various other fundraisers.

The house will be co-sponsored by the Sacred Heart University (SHU) Habitat Campus Chapter. Sacred Heart’s fundraising projects have included sleep outs, leaf raking, and bagging groceries. The SHU students have been mentors for the younger members of Youth United in many of their activities.

Together, these two groups have raised over $46,000 to date. In November, Bridgeport’s Youth United was one of 5 groups in the nation to receive a $10,000 matching grant from State Farm Insurance, the national underwriter of Habitat’s Youth United Program. They were previously awarded a State Farm matching grant of $4,000 in 2009. Together, Youth United and SHU Habitat will raise $75,000. Additional funding for the home comes from the City of Bridgeport’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) grant under the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

To kick off the partnership, representatives from Youth United and the Sacred Heart University Habitat Campus Chapter will join HFHCFC staff, volunteers and Habitat partner families from the neighborhood at the build site on Bridgeport’s East Side to celebrate with a Ground Breaking Ceremony on December 11. The Ceremony will mark the beginning of construction and commemorate this new journey. This will be the fourth Habitat home on this block; helping to improve the over-all community, a key mission goal of HFHCFC.

“Members of the Sacred Heart University Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter, along with the hundreds of other students participating in the local Youth United initiative, have worked tremendously hard to see their dream turn into a reality,” said Keith Cook, Co-President of HFHCFC. “We are thrilled to be a part of these young people’s leadership effort in helping their peers’ family find their own healthy, affordable home. We are very excited to help them celebrate the success of their accomplishments.”

Community members are invited to attend the Ground Breaking Ceremony on Dec. 11at 1 p.m. at 554 Jane Street, Bridgeport. For directions or further information please call the HFHCFC office at 203-333-2642 or visit our website at www.habitatcfc.org.

About Youth United
Youth United is a Habitat for Humanity program run by youth and for youth ages 5 to 25. It brings young people together from all walks of life to play active roles in transforming their communities. Youth United mobilizes young people to sponsor and build a house with their local Habitat affiliate. Through Youth United, students gain a better understanding of their communities and poverty housing. All students are engaged in fund-raising, education and advocacy activities and those over 16 help with actual house construction.
The four goals of Youth United are to Involve youth in their communities, Engage youth in Habitat’s mission of eliminating poverty housing, Foster teamwork among diverse groups of youth and Develop youth leaders.

About Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County
Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County is an independently run, local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, nonprofit ecumenical housing ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing wherever it exists. Habitat CFC seeks to build community and improve lives by partnering with low-income families in need of a place to live and with community volunteers and donors to build simple, safe, and affordable neighborhoods. Volunteers, donors, homeowners and staff are people of all faiths. For more information or to make a donation, visit the Habitat CFC website at www.habitatcfc.org or call 203.333.2642. To donate new or used furniture, appliances and building materials, visit Habitat CFC’s ReStore website at www.fairfieldcountyrestore.org or call 203.383.4358.

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