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Athens Area Habitat for Humanity & Lydia's Place Tackle Student Homelessness

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Two Athens nonprofits are working together to provide housing for homeless students in Athens.

Athens Area Habitat for Humanity and Lydia’s Homeplace will provide shelter for 8 local college students at a time. April Farlow is the founder of Lydia’s Place.

“On average, 400 young adults age out of foster care every year, many of them don’t have a plan,” according to Farlow. “One of the biggest barriers that our friends face is that they don’t have an adult who can cosign with them, they don’t a deposit for an apartment, they don’t have credit. The first thing on a job application is where do you live.”

She says young people struggling with having reliable shelter face several unexpected problems, which can often be solved by paying one bill.

“There was a young girl that we got a call from Kennesaw State University, she worked three jobs, she ended up with a major medical crisis and was in the intensive care unit when she called me. By us paying one bill, just her rent for one month, she was able to send me a graduation invitation.”

According to Farlow, there are specific problems for cities like Athens.

“We’re a college town, and the University of Georgia has incredible housing and incredible dorms, but we have three other schools here that don’t have housing opportunities. It’s great when someone gets financial aid to go to school but where are they going to live?”

Habitat is dedicating this year’s annual fund dive to that effort. Executive Director Spencer Frye shares details/explains/has more.

“We have this event that we do every year, called the Committee of 1,000 and the idea is to get 1,000 people to donate a certain amount and we can provide housing for folks that need it,” Frye said. “This year we wanted to raise the funds to complete the quadruplex that we’re working together on and hopefully even have some more for potentially the next one.”

A local foundation is offering matching funds for contributions to the habitat General Fund for the drive. Visit AthensHabitat.com/Homeplace to donate or for more information.

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