Xavier Habitat for Humanity Helps Repair Homes

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Students worked on every part of the front of the house, brushing off dust and dirt and preparing for a day of painting. Others had an old gate on plastic sheets in the yard, ready to be primed and painted as well. Xavier University of Louisiana‘s Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter was out in the early morning sun for their first day of service for the school year, helping a Gentilly homeowner repair her house.

“Our goal is to positively impact our community through giving back and other community service,” said Adia Brantley, Secretary of Xavier’s Habitat for Humanity campus chapter. “That’s one of the major values that Xavier University of Louisiana holds. We’re out here giving back.”

NOAHH’s A Brush With Kindness (ABWK) program is a home repair service for local homeowners who might not otherwise be able to afford to fix their homes. Projects range from painting and exterior repairs to more significant work, like roof repairs and flooring projects. For many, a few small repairs can mean holding onto insurance policies that keep a longtime homeowner in their home and in their community.

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“I think that home maintenance significantly impacts how people view their own definition of home,” she said. “Everyone has their own definitions, so I can’t sit here and say there’s only one definition. But I feel like home is where you’re most comfortable at. I’m glad we can be out here and try to make her home as comfortable as possible.”

Fifteen students had joined Adia on site for what she referred to as a “paint day.” The campus affiliate at Xavier has four special volunteer days each year, including both ABWK days (“paint days”) and days on site for new construction (“build days”). She says she is looking forward to helping build new homes.

“Especially seeing how the foundation of a house is built. I think that will be cool,” she said. “I’m a very hands-on person. I like moving around.”

By the end of the day, the house would be completely painted and external repairs would be complete.

“I’m looking forward to her reaction,” Adia said. “We’re making sure she enjoys what we’re able to do. I want to make sure we do the best job we can out here. That’s all community service is about.”