at Rock Point School

Service Learning: The Housing Crisis

Posted by Molly Huddle Coffey | May 9, 2024


This quarter, all students took part in a hands-on research project about poverty and the housing crisis in English class. This crisis affects all parts of the country, and our students wanted to learn more about the causes and possible solutions for this huge problem. In a state-wide study, the Vermont Housing and Finance Agency found that Vermont alone would need 30,000-40,000 new housing units by 2030. 

During this unit, students learned about the national and local economic trends that are contributing to the housing crisis. Each student chose an issue related to homelessness to research and then proposed a possible solution. The issues they chose ranged from the lack of a living wage to the lack of tax incentives for low-income housing. With the new understanding they gained for this complex issue facing our country, students then went to work.

53706821197_db4860994e_cOur Core 1 students volunteered at Restore, a non-profit thrift store run by Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity. Students helped rearrange the displays, cleaned, and swapped out inventory. All the proceeds from the store benefit Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity and help buy the land, building materials, and services needed to build affordable homes in Chittenden, Franklin, Grand Isle, and Lamoille counties.

Our Core 2 and Core 3 students volunteered at a Habitat for Humanity building site in Burlington! Students and staff helped construct a porch and a fence for new units that will be available this summer. “It felt really meaningful to impact the challenge of housing in our local community in such a tangible way. Most of the new housing in Burlington is set at a luxury price, but the houses we worked on will go to people who need it the most,” said Mark Spigos, our history teacher. This experience was extremely meaningful to the students and staff who volunteered, and they plan to continue working at this site through the end of the year.

Thanks so much to our amazing English Teacher, Kristy Willis, for organizing this effort!

Topics: community