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Officials celebrate grand opening of Scholar House in Bowling Green

Representatives of Kentucky Housing Corporation, Wabuck Development Company, Housing Assistance and Development Services, Inc. (HANDS), Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, The Cecilian Bank, Community Action of Southern Kentucky and state and local officials celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting for Bowling Green’s new Scholar House on Feb. 18.

The 56-unit, 61,000-square-foot facility at 701 Brownslock Road provides affordable housing, counseling and on-site childcare for individuals who are pursuing postsecondary education. The Bowling Green Scholar House is the third Scholar House to open in the state.

“The Bowling Green Scholar House is a facility that will allow individuals to achieve their full potential,” said Garry Watkins, president of Wabuck Development.

Education partners in the initiative include WKU, Bowling Green Community College, Bowling Green Technical College and Draughons Junior College.

Scholar House is a housing and education initiative administered by Kentucky Housing Corporation. The program is designed to help unemployed or underemployed individuals pursue an education to become self-sufficient. Participants in Scholar House attend workshops on health maintenance, parenting skills, management of family resources, nutritional knowledge, problem solving, work skills, and job-search techniques, in addition to their academic or vocational classes. They also receive continuous support from neighbors and staff while fulfilling academic or vocational training course work as a full-time student.

“In today’s economic climate, many Kentuckians need help to improve their lives,” said Richard L. McQuady, chief executive officer of Kentucky Housing Corporation. “This program is a solid foundation for families to build their dreams by allowing adults to improve their education while helping provide a safe, decent, and affordable place for their families to live.”

Each development in the Scholar House program includes an on-site childcare facility (provided by Community Action of Southern Kentucky) to allow time for parents to attend classes and focus on their education. All of these services are free as long as the participant is a full-time student and remains within program guidelines.

Pete Mahurin, director of The Cecilian Bank and chairman of the board of Hilliard Lyons, said the project “will open the doors of opportunity for a lot of people who wouldn’t have it otherwise.”

Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker and Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon called the facility’s opening a great day for the community and another example of improvements in the quality of life for residents.

This transitional housing will only be available to residents participating in the program and their children. Once residents have graduated from Scholar House, they will be allowed ample time to find and move into permanent housing.

“This is a very exciting day for us at HANDS,” said Deborah Williams, executive director.

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