The Union Recorder

Local News

July 30, 2013

Habitat volunteers collect data in Harrisburg

MILLEDGEVILLE — When a small group of local college students decided they wanted to help make a difference within the community, the mission of the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Habitat for Humanity in the Harrisburg neighborhood was the perfect match. In April, the volunteers kicked off their efforts to improve the quality of life for Harrisburg community residents by conducting surveys for Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI).

“When we went into the neighborhood, they weren’t receptive at first, and I think that was because of our generational gap,” said Katie Smoak, a Habitat volunteer and Georgia College student. “Each of us got paired with someone from the neighborhood, known as block captains, to help us give out surveys. We just wanted to do something that would help the community by serving others.”

Annie Beckom, a block captain, has been a Harrisburg community resident for 45 years. Living in a neighborhood with dark street corners and rundown homes, she is worried about the level of safety on Laverne Circle. 

“I saw a lot of old houses looking bad. A lot of people living here are on a fixed income, so they really need help,” Beckom said Monday while showing The Union-Recorder a nearby revitalized home. “I encourage anyone who can spare their time to volunteer to help do just a little bit of paint or cook a meal; anything is appreciated. If we fix up our neighborhood then maybe others will be encouraged to do the same in their neighborhood. If we come together as a community anything is possible.”

Under the NRI, the Habitat volunteers have already surveyed about 50 percent of the 100 homeowners within the focus area.

“Until there are tangible results visible to the community, there’s going to be reluctance, but tangible resources occurred during the week of River of Life,” said Murali Thirumal, local Habitat executive director. “Baldwin County Commissioner Tommy French [District 2] came on our board, took the ball and rolled with it. We wrote a letter to the residents and him and I both signed it. The surveys came to a slow stop during the summer because our sale group has been gone. When River of Life came out, everyone started seeing what was happening and it really generated a lot of enthusiasm in the community. River of Life and Habitat are certainly looking for a long-term relationship for all other Habitat projects.”

Text Only
Local News
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot