By: Samantha Smith

Mount Saint Mary College students, faculty and staff worked with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh to assist at a build site on October 8. 

This Habitat project, just minutes from campus, took place at a two-family home on Johnston Street in the City of Newburgh. From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Mount volunteers got to work outside clearing and removing debris from the backyard to prepare for the building of a retention wall. 

In attendance were, Peter Witkowsky, associate professor of English and chair of the Division of Arts and Letters; Chris Neyen, associate professor of Art and Graphic Design, CMA Gallery coordinator, and director of the Communication, Art, and Digital Media Program; Gina Trask, Assistant Librarian for Assessment & Instruction; Michael McGuire, Assistant Professor of History and Political Science; Mike Daven, Professor of Mathematics; and a Nursing student. 

“Habitat is a wonderful organization that has done a lot of good for the City of Newburgh, reclaiming blocks from blight and involving future homeowners in both service and community building,” said Witkowsky.

This isn’t the first time the Mount has been involved in making positive changes for the city of Newburgh. This past July, faculty and staff worked on a brick home at Overlook Place, demolishing the back deck, ripping up floorboards and clearing the overgrown backyard. 

“I love to see MSMC involved, since we are a part of the community and also benefit from this good work,” Witkowsky added.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh is dedicated to providing decent, affordable homeownership through partnership with families. Reaching across religious, cultural, and racial boundaries, they seek to strengthen a sense of community with the common goal of strengthening neighborhoods through homeownership.