WKU Habitat for Humanity chapter participates in special build for disabled veteran

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Habitat for Humanity is an organization that builds affordable housing for those in need.

As part of an affordable housing advocacy campaign, members of the organization will meet with Kentucky lawmakers on Thursday in Frankfort to discuss including a bill on affordable housing as part of the state’s budget next year.

Before those meetings take place, though, one local chapter was involved with a build on Saturday morning that will play a key role in Thursday’s negotiations.

“We’ve got the WKU campus chapter kids are framing up a home for a homeless, disabled veteran and his family in eastern Kentucky,” said Mary Shearer, the Executive Director for Kentucky Habitat for Humanity.

Before this new house is occupied, the frame of the building will be set up in front of the Kentucky state capitol building to raise awareness for affordable housing in the state.

“The goal is to get a line item in for the first time in a Kentucky state budge for substandard housing,” said Bryan Reaka, the advisor for the Western Kentucky University chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

For this specific build, around 20 students from the WKU chapter teamed up with an organization called Help Build Hope for the framing portion of the project.

“They’ve really come out and wanted to work,” said Brian Snivley, Director of Help Build Hope. “Know what they’re doing. Just have that eagerness to do something and do something good.”

“I got involved because I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself,” Chelsea Smith, a student of the WKU chapter, added. “A cause I think is really important, because affordable housing for all. Everyone deserves a decent place to live.”

As Shearer mentioned, this specific home is being constructed for a disabled veteran, his wife, and their two daughters, making this an extra special build for all involved.

“For the kids, I think it really speaks to them to help a family,” said Shearer. “That they’re actually doing something concrete to help a family have a better life.”

“It means giving back to someone who has already given to our country,” added Smith.

“Being able to give back to them a small portion of what they’ve sacrificed for our freedom,” Snivley said. “It really does bring the whole thing together.”

This house will serve as just a small thank you for an individual who gave so much more.

“They’re giving up their time,” Reaka said. “That is the most valuable resource that any of us have that we don’t ever know how much we have.”