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Manley Students Rehab Abandoned Home

Manley High School students who helped rehab a long-abandoned railroad flat around the corner from their school will celebrate their success on Wednesday, December 21, when a Manley graduate who has purchased the home will take possession.

It’s the second Lawndale home rehabbed by students from Manley and the Umoja Student Development Corporation, a nonprofit based at Manley which provides academic, college and career preparation, leadership programs to students at schools across the city.

Over 100 students from Manley’s construction technology small school surveyed the neighborhood for community input, worked on architectural drawings, and completed demolition, framing, plumbing and electrical work with professional architects and contractors, said Lila Leff of Umoja. The project took two years.

The homebuyer is Carmen Morrison, a post office worker who is a 1994 Manley graduate and mother of two. As she saved up toward her goal of buying a home in Lawndale, she watched housing prices skyrocket and her prospects diminish. The Manley rehab is affordable because architects and developers donated time, and Harris Bank helped with financing, Leff said.

Students will turn the house over to Morrison on December 21 at 3 p.m. (2848 West Taylor), and a celebration will recognize student participants at 4 p.m. at Manley High School, 2935 W. Polk.

Umoja works with every student at Manley, offering academic, college, career, and leadership programs during and after school as well as weekends and summers. Before the program began at Manley, 10 percent of its graduates went on the college. Now over 60 percent of Manley graduates attend colleges across the country, Leff said.

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Category: CPS, housing, Lawndale, schools

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