Who: Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, Houston Habitat for Humanity and volunteers

WHAT: MLK Day of Service that includes volunteers cleaning historic Evergreen Cemetery and Houston Habitat for Humanity house framing.

WHEN: 8 a.m. to noon Jan. 16

WHERE:  Evergreen Cemetery, Lockwood at Market streets (Key Map 494G); Finnigan Park, 4900 Providence (494 G)

WHY: Both events will be communitywide volunteer projects to improve historic Fifth Ward as part of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis will host a MLK Day of Service event on Jan. 16 from 8 a.m. to noon that will include a cleanup of the historic Evergreen Cemetery and a Houston Habitat for Humanity house framing project at Finnigan Park.

The two events in the Fifth Ward are fitting tributes to the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the slain civil rights leader whose birthday will be celebrated nationwide that same day.

The cemetery, which dates to the late 1800s, has been neglected for decades because no group regularly maintains the site at Lockwood and Market streets. Precinct One crews mowed the tall weeds about a week before MLK Day. Community volunteers will do final sprucing on the holiday.

At Finnigan Park, which is a Precinct One facility, Habitat for Humanity volunteers will build walls that later will be used to build a home at another location in the Fifth Ward area.

Habitat for Humanity allows people to purchase homes in a unique partnership. If a potential buyer meets the criteria and is selected as a future homeowner, he/she will be required to complete 300 “sweat equity hours” that include participating in homeownership training classes as well as building your home and your neighbors’ homes.

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