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Habitat for Humanity, Wichita diocese to build ‘Pope Francis houses’

Area youth work on a Habitat for Humanity house last year. Wichita is one of several cities across the country that have received a $60,000 anonymous donation to build two Habitat for Humanity houses in honor of Pope Francis. The additional $100,000 needed for the project will be raised by the Wichita diocese. (March 18, 2014)
Area youth work on a Habitat for Humanity house last year. Wichita is one of several cities across the country that have received a $60,000 anonymous donation to build two Habitat for Humanity houses in honor of Pope Francis. The additional $100,000 needed for the project will be raised by the Wichita diocese. (March 18, 2014) File photo

Wichita Habitat for Humanity is teaming up with the Catholic Diocese of Wichita to build two houses in honor of Pope Francis.

Wichita is one of several cities across the country that have received a $60,000 donation from an anonymous donor who wanted the construction to take place in the pontiff’s honor. According to Kathy Lefler of Wichita Habitat for Humanity, similar donations to build “Pope Francis houses” have been received from Sacramento, Calif., to Washington, D.C., in the past year.

The additional $100,000 needed for the project will be raised by the Wichita diocese. The diocese will also be responsible for organizing volunteers.

Bonnie Toombs director of the diocese’s Respect Life and Social Justice office, is coordinating the project.

“We are asking for double the amount of volunteers since this is twice the amount of work,” Toombs said.

“There’s a lot to be done.”

Since his election to the papacy in 2013, Pope Francis has received worldwide attention for his emphasis on alleviating poverty and caring for the underprivileged.

“Pope Francis has been such a great example of social justice and is really asking the Catholic community to support and be out among those struggling in poverty,” Toombs said.

Construction of the dual three-bedroom houses will take place during the pope’s visit to Philadelphia in September for the 2015 World Meeting of Families.

The houses will be located on North Green. Groundbreaking is scheduled for Aug. 27 with hopes to finish by Oct 17.

To volunteer or donate to the project, visit catholicdioceseofwichita.org or call 316-269-3935.

Contact Lara Korte at lkorte@wichitaeagle.com.

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