Habitat for Humanity and WVU athletics team up to build homes for 6 families

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Mon Valley Habitat for Humanity and WVU Athletics are partnering up to build affordable homes for six families.

The ground-breaking ceremony took place Thursday and the plan is to build three duplexes. Habitat said they hope to have one unit finished before the snow rolls in.

Executive Director Shawnda Cook said the two organizations had been talking for roughly two years and that she was glad to see those talks turning into something tangible.

“In the communities that we serve there is a huge need for affordable housing so to be able to provide affordable housing to six more families is just a tremendous thing,” Cook said. “That’s six more families that are going to have a safe place to lay their heads down at night.”

The project is the first of its kind for Habitat. One of the families that will receive a home is the four-person Graham family. Cathy, the mother, smiled the whole time and said she was very thankful for the opportunity.

Athena Graham talks about her future room.

“I think it’s amazing that we are going to be able to have our own house,” Graham said.

Shane Lyons the athletic director for WVU said the collaboration is significant because it provides an opportunity to give back to the community. He said it was in line with other charitable works WVU student-athletes had taken part in, like serving meals and reading to children at different schools around the community.

He said this was a little different opportunity this time around, an opportunity to partner with the Habitat and come out and build a homes for those in need.

“Obviously with the terrain you have here, with the weather and adversity, our student-athletes face that every day and to be able to come out and do something like this and give back to six new families who will have an opportunity in these duplexes, to have reliable affordable housing is something we’re really excited about,” Lyons said.

Cook said Habitat was very excited to have the partnership but that in order to complete the process, they would need some help from volunteers. She said the more people that help, the faster they can finish and get six families into their new homes.

If you would like to volunteer with the Mon Valley Habitat, you can call the Program Coordinator, Christina Cook at 304-292-0914, ext. 101.

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