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Marist Students Pay The Price For Informality, Youth House

Categories: Email Newsletter, Homeless Aid, Recycling, Volunteers
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Date: Monday, July 10 2017

     Students at Marist High School recently joined the growing ranks of donors to the St. Vincent de Paul Youth House when the school's Key Club raised $300 to help fund the conversion of the former Presbyterian Church at 3350 Willamette St. in Eugene into housing for homeless high school girls ages 16 through 18.

     The 25-member club, affiliated with the adult international service organization Kiwanis, raised the money by selling, with the blessing of Marist administrators, $10 "passes" that allowed students to dress informally during finals week at the end of the school year. "It’s been done a few times in the past, but I believe this was the first time it’s been done during finals week ," said Krista Hocker, a Marist math teacher and advisor to the Key Club.

     The students learned about the Youth House project during a recent presentation by Paul Neville, director of public relations at the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County and a lead administrator of the Youth House project. "They were absolutely passionate about helping with this project," Hocker said. "And they are eager to find other ways to help with this project as it proceeds."

     Neville said he appreciates the support from Marist students who he said made clear that they understand the need for a project that will benefit homeless students their own age and want to find ways to have ongoing direct involvement with the project. "This is one of many examples of how the Youth House project has touched a deep nerve among the many people in this community who want to help homeless teens," he said.

     Fund-raising for the Youth House project continues to gain ground, and St. Vincent de Paul has so far raised more than 70 percent of the $1.85 million needed to complete the project. Construction is scheduled to begin at the site in July, and the first homeless teens are expected to move into the project before the end of the year.