Habitat for Humanity ODU House Dedicated

The Habitat for Humanity house the Old Dominion University community adopted last November as a volunteer project was officially dedicated in June.

Hundreds of ODU volunteers helped build the house on a vacant lot at 1522 W. 39th St. in Lambert's Point, just south of the campus. At the June 19 ceremony, the volunteers were thanked, and the home’s new residents - LaShawn Jones and her daughters Deja and Dijon - received keys to the house along with several housewarming gifts.

An emotional LaShawn Jones offered her thanks to everyone who participated. “I am so thankful and so grateful for all the volunteers - Habitat, ODU, everyone who pitched in to make my daughters’ and my dream come true. ”

Geneva Walker-Johnson, ODU executive director of student affairs and dean of students, was among those at the dedication who spoke and presented gifts. She gave Jones an ODU flag for her future garden as a remembrance of the university’s partnership. “We know that it takes many hands to build a future, and we were glad to be able to lend ours,” she said.

Many groups and offices on campus, in fact, helped with the project, including employees and students from Administration and Finance, Athletics, College of Business and Public Administration, Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology, Grounds, University Advancement, Institutional Research, ROTC and Student Activities.

“A large portion of the Monarch community pitched in during the ‘blitz week’ back in November. It was amazing to see, within Homecoming Week, a bare foundation turn into a fully sheathed, rough-framed house. Since then it has been transformed into a home - one we hope the Jones Family will enjoy for many years to come,” said Rick Massey, ODU’s associate vice president for foundations and campus coordinator for the project.