SCAD students partner with Family Promise to create outdoor spaces around homes

Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 4:18 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Design for Good - that’s the name of a SCAD program that pairs students with community organizations looking to bring some life to certain parts of the city.

SCAD students are now working with the nonprofit ‘Family Promise’ to create fun and enriching spaces around homes on Savannah’s west side.

More than finding safe, stable housing for families that are without, the SCAD student-designed outdoor space will give new residents, especially kids, a fun place to play.

“The plan is to have a sand pit right here, and then a rock climbing wall, so the kids have something else crazy to do. Across the street, that lot we’re doing a koi pond, adding a mosaic path to pay homage to the house that’s being built right now, the original house there was a fish market,” said Jennifer Howell, a SCAD graduate student.

Savannah College of Art and Design grad student, Jennifer Howell, leaned on her previous experience as a school teacher to inspire her designs for the areas along Cumming Street, a block that’s been the focus of revitalization for several years.

“What do kids want? They want to play, they want to have imagination, they want things that are more than just inside their house. To get outside, and more than just technology.”

And the designs for the community space are deliberate, and includes nods to the past in west Savannah.

“When it came to historic preservation, knowing the west Savannah community and the history of this community, we wanted to make sure that we could preserve that as much as possible. So for us, connecting with SCAD was a no-brainer,” said Katrina Bostick with Family Promise of the Coastal Empire.

“Our students spend ten weeks, examining an issue, and bringing creative design thinking to solve that issue. And then, they get to see it brought to reality through initiatives like this,” said Scott Linzey, the director of SCAD Serve.

Also on hand today helping spruce up the Cumming Street properties that will eventually house families placed here by Family Promise were members of a youth group from Wesley Monumental Methodist Church.

“Yeah, we look around Savannah, we see that many of our neighbors are without housing. And so even though it’s a relatively small thing we’re doing this week...if we can provide somewhere to live for a family that needs it even for just a little makes a difference,” said Rev. James P. Owens, the director of Youth & College.

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