Catawba and Livingstone partner to help build Habitat for Humanity home

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 18, 2018

Catawba College

Catawba and Livingstone colleges are partnering with Habitat for Humanity of Rowan County to build a home for a local family.

When completed, the home at 570 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. will house a family of six.

The ground-breaking for the home was held Sept. 29. Representatives of Habitat and both colleges as well as family and friends of the future homeowner attended.

Catawba College President Brien Lewis spoke at the groundbreaking, recalling Catawba’s move from Newton to Salisbury in 1925. At that time, the Rowan-Salisbury community embraced the institution and gave the college a home. Catawba’s participation in the building of one family’s new home is “a way to pay it forward,” Lewis said.

Livingstone shares a similar history as it was the city that invited the college to relocate from Concord to Salisbury, offering it a second home as well.

“We know the value of home ownership and the hope that it can stimulate and believe this new home will provide that for a local family,” said Livingstone President Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr.

Livingstone and Catawba colleges have each participated in a Habitat build before, but this is the first time the two institutions have partnered on one.

“This is a great day for collaboration between Livingstone College and Catawba College to participate in a service-learning project that brings joy to a family who appreciates civic responsibility in this joint effort,” said Orlando Lewis, Livingstone College vice president of student affairs. “Under the leadership of Dr. Jenkins, this build represents one of the concepts of his holistic vision, providing civic opportunities to help our students and communities grow.”

Volunteer Catawba director Johnathon Boles noted the inclusivity of the project and his hope that the collaboration between the two Salisbury colleges “would bolster ties between us.”

Following the groundbreaking, volunteers set about installing the floor system, sawing boards and placing joists. The group anticipated that framing the walls of the home would be completed during the week that followed.

Anyone interested in volunteering to work on the project should contact Rowan Habitat for Humanity volunteer coordinator Jane Hartness at 704-642-6292, Ext. 101, or

Habitat for Humanity of Rowan County was established in 1988 as an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. The nonprofit, Christian housing ministry has been responsible for construction of 129 homes in Rowan County.

Habitat does not build houses for families but with them. Family members and volunteers work side by side. Upon being selected for the homeowners program, each family partner must earn a total of 400 hours of sweat equity. The first 100 hours worked is typically worked before the construction of the house begins, and the remaining 300 hours worked is during construction.

When completed, the home is sold to the family at the approximate cost of land and construction (including materials and subcontractors) through a 20-year, no-interest mortgage loan.