Peterborough chapter of Habitat for Humanity launches new youth initiative

Click to play video: 'Habitat for Humanity Youth Project'
Habitat for Humanity Youth Project
Habitat for Humanity in the Peterborough area has launched a new youth initiative – Nov 6, 2017

Peterborough’s branch of Habitat for Humanity launched its new Every Youth Initiative on Friday, as students from Peterborough Alternative and Continuing Education (PACE) worked on a new build site in the city.

The initiative encourages teens to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and participate in the charity’s home-building program.

Branch executive director Sarah Burke said the volunteer work empowers youth while providing them with key life skills.

“Young people are our future leaders. They’re the ones who are going to be making decisions someday,” Burke said. “So it’s really important to get them out on the build site as early as possible, learning about affordable housing, learning how to give back.”

READ MORE: Habitat for Humanity family gets sneak peek at new St. George home

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A handful of students spent Friday morning hammering floorboards with encouragement from seasoned volunteers.

PACE student Dakota McCue said the experience was a first for her.

“I’ve never actually been on a build site, so coming here today and having all these really nice people around, it’s been very enjoyable,” she said.

READ MORE: Habitat for Humanity set to snap up land in Kingston — for $1

The Lorenz family was at the site Friday morning to watch the build. They’ll be moving into the home once construction is done.

“We’ll be able to have a safe place for my family to sleep [and] to play,” Melissa Lorenz said.

The family has two young children and are currently living in a townhouse in the south end of Peterborough, but were running out of room to grow in their current location.

Their new house will be “a place to raise our children, in our own home, and create memories,” Lorenz said.

The Every Youth Initiative is supported by the charitable foundation of the Cowan Insurance Group, which raised $125,000 for the program through its charity golf tournaments earlier this summer.

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The funding “has given us the opportunity to engage more youth in the Habitat experience, where they will build valuable skills and learn about the transformational impact of affordable homeownership, strengthening themselves and their communities,” Habitat for Humanity Canada president and CEO Mark Rodgers said in a statement.

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