Lafayette Habitat for Humanity (LHFH) will welcome more young volunteers from all over the United States to help build homes for local families in need of affordable housing. In March, Lafayette Habitat hosted more than 120 collegiate students and will host an additional twenty-four students in May. These students will be from St. Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania and Gateway Church in Texas.

“What is so unique about this volunteer effort is the fact that these young people are giving up their school break for community service,” said Joelle Boudreaux, LHFH Volunteer Services Director. “Instead of going to the beach, they will be in Lafayette, Louisiana building homes in partnership with local families in need of decent housing.”  Just as before, several local restaurants will be donating lunches in order to feed volunteers on the construction sites.  Participants will also meet with LCG Community Development and Planning staff to discuss initiatives currently underway to address affordable housing needs and to develop a comprehensive plan for Lafayette. The students will not only experience a first-hand taste of Cajun culture, but will also leave with a deeper understanding of the impact their work will have in revitalizing Lafayette’s core neighborhoods.

The college students will be continuing to work on two homes on Marne Street in LHFH’s focus neighborhood, McComb/Veazey.   “Due to weather and other circumstances outside our control, we’re a few weeks behind on our current construction schedule,” says Boudreaux.  “These two students groups have the potential to help us get back on our deadlines, and ultimately, help us build more homes in 2013.”

For the past 24 years, more than 208,000 students have spent their school breaks volunteering across the country through Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge program, donating more than $20 million to Habitat affiliates.

In addition to the Collegiate Challenge groups, an 8-member AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) team will be working with LHFH in May through July. NCCC’s mission is to strengthen communities and develop leaders through direct, team-based national and community service in partnerships with non-profits.

“We are immensely grateful for the national volunteers we will be hosting,” said Boudreaux. ”Collegiate Challenge and AmeriCorps have historically made a huge impact on Habitat’s work, both here in Lafayette and across the country.”