The Holy Highland Five, a group of Archdiocese of Louisville parishes, is building its 10th Habitat for Humanity house in 27 years.
The house is sponsored by St. Agnes, St. Brigid, St. Francis of Assisi, St. James and St. Raphael churches — located in the Highlands — plus Holy Trinity Church, which joined the group in 2017.
The parishes sponsor a house every three years. The latest build will go to Angela Young.
“I drove the first nail,” said Young during an interview at the building site. She noted that as an owner, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Louisville requires her to perform 400 hours of work on the house.
“I am grateful to the Holy Highland Five and all the volunteers,” said Young. “I couldn’t do it without them and Jesus.”
Young said she’s excited about the house, located in the 600 block of Breckinridge Street, and that it allows her to return to her roots. She lived in the East End for years but wanted to return to the downtown area closer to where she works and attends church, she said.
Rob Locke, who serves as CEO of Habitat for Humanity, said that home building with Habitat is a true partnership that “all originates from God.”
“I want to believe in a world where God calls me to community,” said Locke. This call is evident in building these houses, he said, when so many individuals come together to use their resources to “build the kingdom.”
“When we work together, we start seeing each other. … We create a future where all people” can live up to their potential, he said.
Mary Sullivan, who represents St. James and St. Brigid churches, said each parish contributes $6,000 to the building cost. Just as important, she said, are the volunteers that come from each parish.
She noted that parish volunteers work along with professional builders from Whittenberg Construction Company, who also serve as volunteers.
John Vidal, a member of Holy Trinity Church, said between 10 to 12 volunteers per day is ideal. It typically takes 18 weeks to complete a house, he noted. Parishioners are always receptive when asked to volunteer said Vidal.
“There’s always a lot of energy. … They’re seeing tangible results by the end of the day,” he said. Vidal noted that volunteers help to build walls, hang doors and windows and even help put on a roof — all under the guidance of professional builders.
Building Habitat houses is part of his and his parish’s commitment to helping the community and families that are “underserved,” Vidal said, adding:
“We all should feel like we need to pay it forward. When you are helping a family, (a house) couldn’t be a better gift.”