Habitat for Humanity Newark is raising money for the construction a house in the West Ward in Newark to honor Pope Francis, who is visiting America for the first time this week.

“As the pope arrives, we are set to begin construction of this home to honor his commitment to social justice and his work to reinvigorate the Catholic Church,” said Jeffrey J. Farrell, CEO of Habitat Newark. “Building this home is a unifying celebratory opportunity for both Catholic and non-Catholic volunteers in our area to work towards a common goal.”

Habitat Newark leaders say the home will be a lasting celebration of the pope’s visit, and hope that generous donations can be the lasting legacy of his visit to the region.

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Jeffrey J. Farrell, CEO of Habitat Newark, helps cut a ribbon on a new home in Newark built by the non-profit.

Farrell noted that Pope Francis says that “work confers dignity,” adding such a project works in concert with the Pope’s beliefs and furthers Habitat Newark’s mission of building and preserving homes throughout Essex County.

The non-profit organization will be breaking ground later this year on the project and is seeking volunteers from throughout Essex County to help with construction, as well as donors who can provide vital matching grants. Habitat Newark is currently securing city permits to begin work.

“We are using the pope’s visit as a challenge the community at-large, including faith-based groups, schools and organizations throughout the region, to contribute the additional funds needed to achieve a true, community-wide partnership in support of the Pope Francis House,” Farrell said.

Habitat Newark is hoping to raise at least $60,000 as part of this campaign, and is urging people of all faiths, from all surrounding towns, to get involved.