ASHLAND Build Ashland members updated the Ashland Rotary Club on their accomplishments, sharing that the group is expanding from just cleaning up the community.
Dave Daniel and Shannon Hill, Build Ashland leaders, discussed future ideas at the Monday meeting that included generating more jobs for Ashland and creating housing for those in need.
Build Ashland aims to better the city through the lending hands of eager community volunteers. The group has taken off on Facebook and now has 2,500 members in their Facebook group along with around 60 to 70 members who are consistently active with projects.
Daniel said the group is working on expanding their efforts to help Ashland in more ways and are halfway through the process of becoming a non-profit organization. They have already begun touching on other areas within the community by holding canned food drives at their cleanup events for places like River Cities Harvest and Shelter of Hope.
A potential idea that Daniel discussed for the future was providing web development classes.
“What we were thinking about doing is with a grant from the city getting a space and some computer hardware and teaching some people that might be unemployed, that might still be in this area and might want to stay in this area and start teaching some computer work … some of these skills that you see that the future holds,” he said.
He touched on the importance of these classes citing how one of the top complaints in the area is about younger people moving away after graduating. Daniel said the training could also be done in co-op with local business that could lead to potential jobs with younger people.
Hill said future housing opportunities are also a prospective idea. The group plans on helping the Dressing Room with painting next week and while meeting prior were told by members of the organization that there is a need for transition homes.
Hill said it’s a possible project that could be done by using abandoned houses in Ashland. He explained about 12 percent of houses are vacant within the 41101 area code out of about 8,500 housing units. Out of those, about 300 are what he said he would call “abandoned.”
He additionally mentioned the possibility of helping veterans find houses.
Hill also touched on the upcoming Repair Affair on May 20. The volunteer-based event assists low-income, elderly or disabled homeowners around town with renovation and beautification projects.
He encouraged Rotarians to reach out to their churches and community groups to find volunteers and those that need help.
“We need the people to know that we’re here to help them and that’s the biggest thing we’re asking today,” he said.
Volunteer and homeowner applications can be filled out on the city’s website at www.ashlandky.gov.
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