Charlotte, NC (October 2, 2023)-
October 1-6 saw an influx of goodwill and hundreds of volunteers pouring into Charlotte as Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region hosted the 2023 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project. Joining the hammer-wielding Habitat volunteers was Jenna Ross, Assistant Director of Habitat for Humanity of Catawba County.
Some 800-plus volunteers a day from across the southeast and across the country will helped build 27 new affordable Habitat homes at two separate west Charlotte job sites.
According to Habitat Catawba Valley Executive Director, Mitzi Gellman, “It is wonderful to have the Habitat for Humanity Carter Work Project in Charlotte and in the backyard of Catawba County. The lack of affordable and safe housing is more than an urban problem, extending into rural communities which have problems that include more than just adequate housing. In the Hickory MSA, low-income residents often live in homes over 50 years old, needing major repairs and lacking access to clean water and safe sewer systems.”
The Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project has been Habitat for Humanity International’s signature annual event since 1983. This year marks the second time for the Carter Project in the Queen City; in 1987 the Carter Project in Charlotte resulted in 14 new homes built in the Optimist Park community.
As President and Mrs. Carter are no longer able to travel and participate, country music superstars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood served as celebrity hosts leading volunteer building crews throughout the week. This was Brooks’ and Yearwood’s 13th Habitat build.
“Though we could never fill their shoes, we are so incredibly honored to be given the opportunity to carry President and Mrs. Carter’s legacy forward through the continuation of the Carter Work Project,” Brooks said.
The much beloved former president and first lady are celebrated as Habitat’s most renowned volunteers. Together, from 1984 to 2019, they worked alongside more than 104,000 volunteers in 14 countries to build, renovate and repair 4,390 homes — always serving as champions and strong voices for decent, affordable housing around the world.
The 2023 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project took place at Habitat Charlotte Region’s large-scale affordable housing neighborhood, The Meadows at Plato Price. Named after the Plato Price School, this historically significant West Charlotte area was once a thriving African-American neighborhood. Plato Price School closed in the 1960s when desegregation took hold, and the land lay vacant until the city of Charlotte donated it to Habitat Charlotte Region in 2019.
The Meadows at Plato Price community will sit on land formerly occupied by Plato Price School, an all-Black school for grades 1 through 12 that was closed in 1966 as part of the county’s desegregation plan.
Over five days, future homeowners worked alongside Brooks, Yearwood and hundreds of other volunteers from Charlotte and around the world to build 27 single-family affordable homes.
Habitat Charlotte Region broke ground on the project Sept. 8, 2021. With seven homes already under construction, the entire 39-home project is expected to be completed by early 2025.