Dexter Group Prepares New Home for Family


By Doug Marrin, STN Reporter

Dexter Rotary recently spent a day prepping one of the new Hilltop View Apartments for a family in need of a home.

“Rotary wanted to be involved in this project because we want the families to feel welcome in Dexter,” says Rotarian Alix Smith. “Housing stability is the key to helping people achieve their goals. This project fits into one of Rotary's seven areas of focus - Community Development.”

Hilltop View Apartments in Dexter. Photo: Doug Marrin

Hilltop View Apartments in Dexter are a 24-unit Avalon Housing initiative. Six of the apartments are designated for veterans with support services provided by the Veteran’s Administration. Nine of the units are income-based. The remaining nine apartments are for housing insecure families. These nine will receive supportive services from Bennice Byles, Faith in Action’s on-site social worker. Of the nine FIA-supported families moving into Hilltop, eight are from Dexter.

Rotarians. Back Row (L-R) Ed Smith, Francie Kivel, Miranda Jackson, Becky Dunlavy, Sherri Simpson, and Caryl Burke. Front Row (L-R): Shaw Pierrel, Alix Smith, and Sarah Shugart.

Each of the FIA-supported apartments is being furnished through the generosity of local community members and groups. Dexter Rotary offered to sponsor one of the three-bedroom apartments. FIA provided a list of needed furnishings. Friends in Deed and FIA provided the beds and couch. What furnishings Rotary couldn’t find among themselves, the group purchased in order to make the apartment move-in ready.

Becky Dunlay (L) and Francie Kivel readying the kitchen with cookware, dinnerware, and utensils.

Rotary’s sponsored high school organization also got in on the action. Members of the DHS Interact Club, Carter Hill, Will Kletzka, and Jack Bearman helped set up the apartment sponsored by Webster United Church of Christ.

Chris Gordon and his son Brody are attaching the mirror to the dresser.

Dexter Rotary is one chapter of a global network of 1.4 million people who unite and take action to create lasting change worldwide, in their communities, and themselves. Rotary’s seven areas of focus are promoting peace, fighting disease, clean water/Sanitation/Hygiene, Maternal, and Child Health, Education, Growing Local Economies/Community Development, and the Environment.

"Being a part of the Hilltop project through sponsoring an apartment was a great way for Rotary to be able to put our actions behind our motto ‘Service above self,’” observed chapter president Shawn Pierrel. “Rotary is truly blessed to be a part of a community of people that are willing to rally together and create living conditions that are stable, clean, and turn-key ready for families in need."

FIA volunteer Jeff Neese assembling an end table. Much of the day was spent assembling furniture.

Unless otherwise noted photos courtesy of Alix Smith

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