03/27/05 — Federal camp instructor named to Habitat board for prison partnerships

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Federal camp instructor named to Habitat board for prison partnerships

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on March 27, 2005 2:01 AM

David Holt, an instructor at the federal prison camp at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, has been named to Habitat's for Humanity's national advisory board on prison partnerships.

More than 500 partnerships between correctional facilities and Habitat for Humanity have been formed in the U.S. They offer offenders the opportunity to volunteer in building houses for families in need.

Holt has been an educator in the public schools for six years and a correctional educator for 13 years. He coordinates the vocational, apprenticeship and college programs at the federal prison.

Bill Edgerton, the president of Habitat for Humanity in Wayne County, said Holt was instrumental in creating a partnership with the local organization. Holt's students pre-fabricate the trusses, wall panels and storage sheds, and volunteer at the construction sites and in the re-sale store.

Wayne Community College provides instruction for the vocational construction program at the prison. Don Kevwitch, a retired general contractor, has been the instructor for the partnership since its beginning in August 2002. The Seymour Johnson prison has also begun partnering with Habitat affiliates in Harnett and Wilson counties.

In partnering with Habitat, prisoners learn valuable construction skills, improve their self-esteem and build relationships with the community.

Since the national partnership program was launched in 1999, prisoners have volunteered more than 780,000 hours and helped build more than 600 houses. They also have helped pre-fabricate nearly 2,000 housing components and worked on more than 500 special projects.