Manatee County Habitat Announces Project in Collaboration with State College of Florida MLK Day of Service

Published: Wednesday, 02 January 2019 14:25
Manatee Habitat joins State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota to transform the federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. into a day on, not a day off. Manatee Habitat will install free smoke detectors for eligible homeowners in the Samoset neighborhood.


Building on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of the “Beloved Community,” Manatee County Habitat for Humanity announced plans today to honor King’s legacy through a series of projects in the Samoset community. Over the next year, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity International and The King Center’s MLK 50 Forward initiative, Manatee County Habitat for Humanity is renewing and strengthening its commitment to build a world where everyone has a decent place to live and the opportunity for a better future.

Through funding from the Florida Legislature and State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF), Manatee Habitat will join a nationwide effort to transform the federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. into a day in which people make a difference in their communities.

For MLK Day of Service 2019, Manatee Habitat, in partnership with United Way Suncoast, the Samoset Neighborhood Association, and Southern Manatee Fire & Rescue, will install free smoke detectors for eligible homeowners on Saturday, Jan 19th, 2019. Samoset residents may sign up with Habitat to participate in this free safety program, which includes a free smoke detector, free emergency preparedness kit, and a fire safety demonstration at the Oasis Community Center in Samoset. A community cook out will follow. Manatee Habitat recently announced the Samoset neighborhood to be the site of their fourth housing development, Poling Gardens. The planned 17 home development will provide much needed affordable housing to families in need of safe and secure housing. Poling Gardens is currently in the planning process and will begin construction in 2020.

This effort will build on work being performed by other Habitats across the country undertaking Beloved Community projects, including the construction of new affordable homes, critical home repairs and community revitalization initiatives.

“In 2018, as we mark the 50th anniversaries of Dr. King’s tragic death and the passage of the Fair Housing Act, we renew our pledge to make the concept of a Beloved Community a reality,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “This will never be a world of equality, of fairness, of human decency that leaves no room for poverty or prejudice or violence, unless we build it. And so we build.”

Habitat is partnering with The King Center in Atlanta as it marks the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination.

“With every new home that Habitat for Humanity builds, we move one step closer to my father’s vision of the Beloved Community,” said Dr. Bernice A. King. “Since its founding, Habitat for Humanity has been lifting families up through God’s love and showing them the path to take control of their lives through homeownership. This year, we’re going to have an even more powerful voice for those families and future homeowners so that one day, everyone lives in the Beloved Community with agape love.”

Manatee County Habitat for Humanity invites others to join in pledging to help build the Beloved Community and joining us for the MLK Day of Service 2019. Samoset residents interested in participating in the fire safety program may contact Crystal Frazer, Community Outreach Manager, at (941) 748-9100 ext. 116.