Affordable Housing Brought To Attention In Knoxville By College Students

Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Four public relations students are traveling from city to city in Tennessee making a stand on the importance of Home and the lack of affordable housing today. The four students on the Lee University PRSSA Bateman team, Megan Ash, Allie Cable, Megan Jafari and Katelyn Tresh, launched a Tennessee statewide campaign titled, "Be a Neighbor. Be a Volunteer. Be Tennessee." The campaign’s aim is to raise awareness about the national movement Home Matters and its belief in the significance of achieving a modern-day American Dream.

The students are holding a luncheon at Knox Housing Partnership on Friday at noon.
 At the luncheon, they will give a presentation to further the mission of Home Matters and encourage local organizations to partner with the movement.

Home Matters is a national movement that aims to unite America around the importance of Home. The coalition and its partners believe that Home is the bedrock for success, and they focus on five essential elements in a person's life: health, education, public safety, individual success and a strong economy.

Knox Housing Partnership is one of the five Home Matters affiliate organizations in Tennessee. KHP strives to help their public achieve a modern-day American dream by educating potential homeowners, offering foreclosure prevention counseling, providing affordable rental opportunities and more. The organization is hosting the group of students with hopes of spreading more awareness of Home Matters in the Knoxville community.

Earlier in February, the Bateman team kicked off their journey on Feb. 2 by hosting a press conference and reception in the Legislative Lounge of the Tennessee State Capitol. Local housing authorities, government officials and others interested in the Home Matters movement attended the reception on that Monday evening. Guests enjoyed light hors d'oeuvres and refreshments while mingling with other Tennesseans concerned about this issue.

State Representative Kevin Brooks commented on the students’ work, ??"I believe in the Lee University students' campaign and their work with Home Matters because of the great potential this movement has to better today's Tennessee for a stronger tomorrow."?

Next, the team held a Fun Run and Chili Cook-off on Saturday, Feb. 7 at Greenway Park in Cleveland. Approximately 100 people attended the event, including Cleveland families, college students and Bradley County organizations.

Participants learned about the details of Home Matters and its value within their neighborhoods from two Bateman team members and two community leaders, Mayor Gary Davis’ executive assistant, Lindsay Hathcock, as well as Mayor Tom Rowland.

Mayor Rowland presented an official proclamation issued by State Rep. Brooks, proclaiming the month of February 2015 as Home Matters Month in the state of Tennessee. The proclamation urges everyone to “Be a Neighbor. Be a Volunteer. Be Tennessee.” and challenges all Tennesseans to help the Home Matters movement take action now.

To conclude both events thus far, Ms. Jafari, representing the 423 PR Bateman team, stated, "We believe that it's our duty as civilians to care for the community in which we live, and Home Matters believes that this movement is the perfect way to do so. Let's make Home Matters matter in Tennessee."

Home Matters is a national movement that aims to build public support for the essential role that Home plays as the bedrock for thriving lives, families, and a stronger nation. Participating in Home Matters is a coast-to-coast coalition composed of members of the general public, leaders of housing and community development organizations, as well as other organizations concerned about increasing the positive impact of Home in their communities. The coalition includes regional and local organizations from across the nation, as well as national entities like the National NeighborWorks Association, Citi Community Development, and Wells Fargo.

The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) holds a national competition called Bateman every year for students to gain experience and knowledge about developing and implementing a full public relations campaign – including research, planning, implementation and evaluation. The Bateman competition gives students ample opportunities to step out of a classroom setting and experience a taste of real-world professionalism.

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