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Catawba and Livingstone Colleges Partner to Help Build Habitat for Humanity Home

October 5, 2018

Category: Events, Staff, Students

co-habitat.pngCatawba and Livingstone Colleges are partnering with Habitat for Humanity of Rowan County to build a home for a local family. When completed, the home at 570 South Martin Luther King Avenue will house a family of six.

The official groundbreaking for the home was held Saturday, September 29thand included a ceremony attended by representatives of Habitat, both colleges, as well as family members and friends of the future homeowner.

Catawba College President Brien Lewis spoke at the groundbreaking, recalling Catawba’s move from Newton to Salisbury in 1925.  At that time, the Rowan-Salisbury community embraced the institution and gave the college a home. Catawba’s participation in the building of one family’s new home is “a way to pay it forward,” he said.

Livingstone shares a similar history as it was the City of Salisbury that invited the college to relocate from Concord to Salisbury, offering it a second home as well.

“We know the value of home ownership and the hope that it can stimulate, and believe this new home will provide that for a local family,” said Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr.

Livingstone and Catawba Colleges have each respectively participated in a Habitat build before, but this is the first time the two institutions have partnered on one.

“This is a great day for collaboration between Livingstone College and Catawba College to participate in a service-learning project that brings joy to a family who appreciates civic responsibility in this joint effort,” said Dr. Orlando Lewis, Livingstone College vice president of student affairs, at the groundbreaking ceremony. “Under the leadership of Dr. Jenkins, this build represents one of the concepts of his holistic vision, providing civic opportunities to help our students and communities grow.”

Volunteer Catawba Director Johnathon Boles ’16 noted the inclusivity of the project and his hope that this volunteer collaboration between the two Salisbury colleges “would bolster ties between us.”

Following the groundbreaking ceremony, the volunteers set about installing the floor system which involved sawing boards, placing joists, and faceting the joists to the foundation. The group anticipated that framing the walls of the home would be completed during the week that followed.

Those interested in volunteering to work on the project should reach out to Rowan Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Coordinator Jane Hartness at 704-642-6292, ext. 101 or by email at

Habitat for Humanity of Rowan County was established in 1988 as an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International.  Since that time, the nonprofit, Christian housing ministry has been responsible for the construction of 129 homes in Rowan County.

Habitat does not build houses for families, but with them.  Family members and volunteers work side-by-side in building the home. Upon being selected for the Homeowners Program, each family partner must earn a total of 400 hours of sweat equity; the first work 100 hours is typically worked before the construction of the house begins, and the remaining 300 hours are worked during the construction of the house. When completed, the home is sold to the family at the approximate cost of land and construction (including materials and subcontactors) by way of a 20-year, no-interest mortgage loan.

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