Dates: Spring Break 2019, March 9-16
Cost: $400 – Plus spending money for travel/souvenirs
Birmingham, the largest city in the state of Alabama, lies at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Home to 40,680 business, the city boasts a vibrant downtown and more green space per capita than any other city in the United States. Birmingham is also known as the cradle of the American Civil Rights Movement and hosts 99 historic neighborhoods from the era.
Once the industrial center of the South, Birmingham is now transforming into a medical research, banking, and service-based economy. During the reinvention of the Birmingham economy, the city has had its struggles, with 24.7 percent of the population living in poverty and a 6.7 percent unemployment rate.
Habitat Birmingham, our partner organization, was launched in 1987 to assist in alleviating the struggles of residents. The Birmingham affiliate is ranked fourth out of over 1,500 Habitat affiliates in the U.S. by Habitat for Humanity International based on actual service to the community.
During our stay in Birmingham we will take time to visit various local attractions such as the Civil Rights Institute, Sixteenth Stree Baptist Church, and Vulcan Park. We also plan to take a day trip to Montgomery, another historic city of the Civil Rights Movement. In Montgomery, we plan to visit the Legacy Museum and the new National Memorial for Peace and Justice.
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian organization that builds and repairs homes to support affordable housing and disaster recovery needs in a various regions across the United States and the world. Habitat for Humanity has over 1,500 domestic affiliates and more than 70 international affiliates, who altogether have assisted in building or repairing over 600,000 houses and serving more than 3 million people worldwide.
Habitat finances houses with zero percent mortgages and chooses to work with applicants who meet three qualifications: need for quality affordable housing, willingness to partner with Habitat to participate in homeownership education workshops, and the ability to repay a no-interest mortgage.
During the week, we will assist in new home construction and/or home rehabilitation on weekdays from about 8:00 AM to 4 PM with a 30 minute break for lunch at midday. After work hours we will clean up, cook and eat dinner as a group, and have the option to rest in the evening or have a scheduled recreational activity. We take one weekday off from our work with Habitat to explore the Birmingham area and learn about the city’s place in the Civil Rights Movement.
We will be staying in a Habitat Birmingham volunteer house. There are separate sleeping areas for men and women that have bunk beds with twin mattresses. All meals will be eaten together as a group: light breakfast, bagged lunch on worksite, and dinner at the volunteer house or a local restaurant. All food costs are included in the price.
Transportation is provided by Notre Dame College. All participants must travel together in Notre Dame College certified vans. All transportation costs are included in the price.