Long-term goal: What do we do when all the neighborhoods are rehabbed?
Additional businesses would also be created to increase competencies and to extend the scope of the project.
- Rehabbed homes could have solar power added to make them more affordable and increase the skill sets of the students.
- Tiny homes and shipping container homes could be built by students and by hiring people in the community.
- Kitchen cabinets would be one of the most expensive parts of rehabbing homes, so a cabinetry shop would be an obvious business.
- Students could design and build furniture; perhaps textiles and lighting fixtures, and then ramp up and hire local residents to build them, creating small businesses in the neighborhood.
- Habitat's ReStore stores have sold products, specifically picnic tables, built by students, so there is a model for production and resale. (See below.)
- Hydroponic gardens could be another side business. They could be grown on the roof, and supply fresh vegetables for the cafeteria and surrounding neighborhood stores.
- They could also create a corner home-made ice cream store... I've noticed how the Charmery ice cream store has positively affected the nightscape of Hampden, and could provide the same to this neighborhood.
A resource for the community
In addition, the school would only be teaching students during the day. What if the school offered classes in the evenings, teaching simple home repair to neighbors, and work skill training to adults?
What if the school offered dorms to homeless kids so they would have a safe place to live and study? How hard must it be for most students to pay attention to school when they don't know where they're sleeping tonight?
Students could do community service projects repairing homes in their neighborhood under the supervision of professionals, preventing the sorts of problems I see along North Avenue.