A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Refugee family thankful they’ll ‘have a better place to live’ when Habitat home is finished

Young Mwanjuma is already dreaming of the day she will have her very own room. She knows it will be purple and she also knows that none of her three brothers will be allowed to enter – ever.   “I can’t wait!” she said.   Patu Venance and Mwashite Ramadhani and their four children will soon be able to move into a Habitat for Humanity Home now under construction. (Photo...

Broken stove, lack of yard, problem neighbors soon will be a thing of past for Habitat family

When you ask Ablam Toulassi about the problems he’s had in his current home, he shares the story of the day the upstairs neighbors’ teenage son poured water through their deck floor onto his daughters.   “The water was all over,” he said, still visibly upset by the incident. “I was so very upset. I tell the landlord and (the landlord did) nothing.”   The...

Art in Unlikely Places: Group’s ‘Future Doors’ project brings art to those who need it most

People at the Christian Health Center take in Caitlin Serey’s work on the Future Doors project. Future Doors was the first project for Art in Unlikely Places, an arts organization launched by a group of UK arts administration students to bring art to Lexingtonians who need it the most. The group has begun seeking community support with their own Kickstarter campaign. (Photo from UKNow)   By...

More than 150 Habitat, police, church, city volunteers work to become 'Jesus in the skin'

More than 150 volunteers, including police officers, worked to clean up two neighborhoods and wooded areas in and around Martin Luther King Park off Russell Cave Road. (Photo from Lex. Habitat)   “Jesus in the skin” was how Center Point Church’s pastor described a joint task force of Lexington Habitat for Humanity volunteers, members of the Lexington Police Department and representatives...

Four Lexington architecture firms competing in 2014 Design Slam; local groups to benefit

Watch teams from Lexington architecture firms put together compelling designs for the corner of High and Broadway streets, catty-corner to Rupp Arena, at the 2014 Design Slam. This event is scheduled for Saturday, May 31, from 6-8 pm at West Sixth Brewing.   Admission to the event is $10 and includes a custom pint glass, an AIA EKC COTE sketchbook, and a vote for your favorite design. Additional...

Habitat house an answered prayer for family who 'just knew there had to be better life'

  For years, Juan Cervantes of Lexington tried to fix up his trailer to make it more comfortable for his family, but the temporary repairs to the 30-year-old home just have not helped.   The thermostat does not work. There would be a burst of heat, then nothing on winter nights when frigid air swept in through the thin walls and floor. There are only two bedrooms, so Juan and his wife, Leticia,...

Habitat house an answered prayer for family who ‘just knew there had to be better life’

  For years, Juan Cervantes of Lexington tried to fix up his trailer to make it more comfortable for his family, but the temporary repairs to the 30-year-old home just have not helped.   The thermostat does not work. There would be a burst of heat, then nothing on winter nights when frigid air swept in through the thin walls and floor. There are only two bedrooms, so Juan and his wife, Leticia,...

As a Habitat for Humanity recipient herself, student Jaliya Slaton now building for others

Jaliya Slaton was just 4 years old when her family became one the first families in her hometown to get a Habitat home in 2000.   Hundreds of Madisonville residents showed their support by helping to build the four-bedroom house – football teams, church groups and other complete strangers. Slaton, her parents and her siblings – two little sisters and three older brothers – also helped build...

Bids 4 Builds online auction has gifts that give back to Lexington Habitat for Humanity

Staff report   Online shopping through Dec. 8 can do more than garner gifts. Every bid made and every gift purchased in Lexington Habitat for Humanity’s fourth annual Bids 4 Builds Online Auction goes to helping the organization build homes for local families.   The project created by Lexington Habitat’s Ambassador Program receives 100 percent of the proceeds.   The 22 categories...

Thrivent Builds Repairs partnership allows Lexington Habitat to repair existing homes

Thrivent Financial and Lexington Habitat for Humanity have partnered to help Lexington Habitat homeowners spruce up their home and neighborhood through a unique partnership program called Thrivent Builds Repairs.   Lexington Habitat staff, 150 volunteers, Lexington Habitat homeowners and Thrivent Financial representative Robert Lawson will come together on Saturday, Oct. 26, at 9 a.m. at Gerald...

Everyday Heroes: Habitat volunteer was ‘ordinary man who did extraordinary things’

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist   This story about Pat Smith is taken from Steve Flairty’s 2008 book, Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes. The Pat Smith Habitat for Humanity Endowment Fund, established by the executive committee of the Board of Directors of Lexington Habitat for Humanity, continues to raise money to build Habitat houses locally and around the world. With the blessing of...

Volunteers often ‘fall in love’ with Lexington Habitat for Humanity and families it serves

To shine the spotlight on the contributions nonprofits make to the quality of life in Central Kentucky, KyForward joined with a University of Kentucky School of Journalism advanced journalism class taught by Dr. Michael Farrell for a series of stories about area organizations and the people they serve.   By Kayla Pickrell Special to KyForward   Fifteen volunteers giving 20 days to build...

Lexington Habitat for Humanity gets support from Rick Dees for deconstruction project

(Photos from Lexington Habitat for Humanity)   Special to KyForward   While the more traditional method of supporting Lexington Habitat is building a home, Weekly Top 40 Count Down host Rick Dees helped support Habitat’s mission by removing items from a home.   On Jan. 18, Lexington Habitat’s deconstruction team removed cabinetry, windows, doors, hardwood flooring, and other...

New registration website makes volunteering for Lexington Habitat for Humanity simple

Lexington Habitat for Humanity has made it easier than ever to join their organization as a volunteer.   By clicking this link, individual volunteers can register, complete a general orientation and schedule to join us on an upcoming date. The new system will allow you to track your volunteer hours, book volunteer dates months ahead and invite your friends to volunteer with you via Facebook. The...

Lexington Habitat for Humanity provides family of refugees with home, hope, security

Special to KyForward   Two things have given African refugee Chantal Botakile inspiration. First is her children, both honor students at Henry Clay High School. Her daughter, Merdi, already is taking classes at Bluegrass Community and Technical College and plans to eventually go to medical school and become a pediatrician. Her son, Jevic, plans to become an engineer.   Chantel with her daughter,...

Lexington Habitat for Humanity dedicates remodeled house for family of seven

The home dedication and celebration was for Emmanuel Katchofa and his wife Marceline Ilunga and their five children. (Photos from Lexington Habitat for Humanity)   Lexington Habitat for Humanity hosted a new homeowner dedication on Wednesday evening, Dec. 19. The celebration was for Emmanuel Katchofa and his wife Marceline Ilunga and their five children. The family volunteered more than 500 sweat...

Habitat to dedicate home made possible through Neighborhood Stabilization Program

At a purchase price of $10, Lexington Habitat for Humanity received 10 lots through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). Five of the lots had existing homes that could be remodeled by Lexington Habitat for Humanity to create simple, decent, affordable housing for low-income families. The remaining five lots were designated for new home construction.   Emmanuel Katchofa, Marceline Ilunga...