BUILDING BEYOND BRICKS
16 MARCH 2019
By Brittany Kielbasa
trong houses are made of concrete, lumber, and shingles, but a strong home is much more—it’s a place for family, for coming together, and for building the foundations of a healthy life. For many families in Otsego County, however, home ownership is a dream out of reach.
been hard at work building the home with a goal to complete the project in the summer of 2019. Upon completion, the students will have earned 14 college credits, a 10-hour OSHA industry certification, valuable experience, and the opportunity to play a role in providing one Otsego County family a home.
“Many hard-working, low-income families in our community are trapped in a cycle of poverty and instability no matter how hard they persevere,” said Litecia Jankowski, executive director of Otsego County Habitat for Humanity. “Housing for them can be extremely expensive, inadequate, often unavailable, and can come at the expense of other important necessities. We work to bring home ownership, and brighter futures, within these families’ reach.”
“We wanted a way for area high school students to get an experience doing something for their community, as well as have the opportunity to earn some college credits,” said Steven Fosgard, dean of occupational programs at Kirtland Community College. “It’s an all-around good skill-building opportunity, and it gives students a chance to do something good in the community.”
The Otsego County Habitat for Humanity (OCHFH) has served its community for 25 years, striving to bring people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Now building its 25th home, OCHFH is bringing together more community members than ever through a partnership with Kirtland Community College (KCC).
In addition to helping families, the students are taking part in a project that will positively impact the environment for years to come. All Habitat for Humanity homes are built to be as energy efficient as possible, utilizing Energy Star-rated products with special energy efficiency consideration for the foundation, lighting, windows, HVAC, insulation, furnace, and water heater.
Beginning in September 2018, KCC developed the program out of a need which blossomed into a truly unique educational and philanthropic opportunity for six area high school seniors. These students have
The home, currently being entirely constructed on KCC grounds, will be even more environmentally friendly when it is relocated to its permanent destination later this year. Like many of the families