MILLEDGEVILLE — Georgia College student Ashley Anderson saw areas in the Harrisburg community in dire need of repairs and revitalization. Anderson encouraged three of her peers to join forces with the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Habitat for Humanity in an effort to help improve the quality of life for area residents.
“It’s very refreshing to know that Ashley brought three of her colleagues with her and she would not take no for an answer,” said Murali Thirumal, local Habitat executive director. “As young as they are, they still see the need to help and they believe in the cause.”
With Thirumal’s help, the students paired up with four Harrisburg neighborhood residents, known as block captains, to kick off the organization’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI).
“The students and block captains went door-to-door [Tuesday] to get quality of life surveys done. We want to do the survey now to see how the quality of life is currently and then do the survey again a year later to see if their quality of life has improved. The survey asks questions like do they feel safe going to the grocery store. The net outcome of this is actual improvement of the neighborhood in different facets,” Thirumal said. “We picked out a block in the Harrisburg area, and the block captains are supposed to make calls to other residents to see if they would be interested in taking the survey. Most of the residents were not interested in taking the survey or having their homes fixed. If the community wants us there, then we can help.”
Through NRI, Habitat is able to serve more families by responding to community needs with an expanded array of products, services and partnerships. According to The State of the Nation’s Housing 2010, roughly 1 in 6 Americans is in need of a decent, affordable place to live.