Each candidate for the Eagle Scouts is required to plan, lead and complete an 'Eagle Project', a service project that benefits their community and requires significant effort on the part of the candidate.
Austin Smith, a 17-year-old Life Scout (a rank in the Boy Scouts of America) and a member of Boy Scout Troop 4010 at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Clarksville, IN is one such candidate. Austin, in seeking a need he could meet, found the Haven House Homeless Shelter in Jefferson, IN.
The Haven House provides short-term housing while clients are seeking long term housing solutions and serves 14 counties in Southern Indiana. At times, the shelter has hosted over 100 people, including men, women and children. Austin noticed that the shelter's dilapidated playground was no longer a safe and welcoming space for the children of the center and decided this was a project, a community need, he could take on.
Upon applying for and receiving a 2018 Wholeness Ministry Grant from First Christian Church of Louisville, Austin gathered the supplies and recruited his friends to help him tear down the old wooden play set at the Haven House Homeless Shelter and completely replaced it with a new playground featuring two shaded areas, a 9 foot slide, a rock wall, two swings and a small child swing. Austin's group also provided and installed new mulch on the playground as well as two portable park benches which will serve a dual role; a place for parents to supervise their children while they play and as a double bed, if needed, by the shelter.
Over the summer of 2018, Haven House staff posted on their Facebook page to thank Austin and report that the new playground had made the children staying at the shelter at that time very happy! As time goes on, this beautiful new playground will provide a safe space for play and source of happiness to children whose families are going through difficult times.
The wholeness grant used to fund this ministry was made possible through your faithful financial support of our church and its ministries and help fund a variety of efforts to make our world a better place.