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TTU News

Tennessee Tech University students will be turning a portion of Dixie Avenue into a “village of shacks” from Tuesday through Thursday, March 30 – April 1, to promote awareness of homelessness.

TTU’s Habitat for Humanity student chapter is organizing the Shack-a-Thon event in observance of this year’s HabiFest, the third annual student advocacy day sponsored by Habitat for Humanity International. TTU is one of about 200 campuses in nearly 40 states participating in this year’s HabiFest, themed “Where Will You Sleep Tonight?”

“We felt this kind of event would really make a lasting impression both on the students involved and on members of the Cookeville and TTU community who will pass by the Village of Shacks on Dixie Avenue,” said Jennifer Hackett, president of TTU’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

Both student and community organizations are invited to participate in the Shack-a-Thon. Groups will be required to construct a cardboard shelter from specified items only on the evening of March 30, and a representative from each group will be required to stay in the houses for a total of two nights.

The village will be located in front of TTU’s Walton House, the university’s presidential residence, and President Bob Bell will spend Tuesday night in one of the houses.

The houses will be open to the public for viewing all day on March 31 and until noon on April 1.

Awards will be given to participating groups based on stability, creativity and design of their houses.

One in nine Americans lives in poverty, according to recent estimates, and one in six people in the world lives on less than $1 a day.

Habitat for Humanity International is a Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. TTU’s chapter was established in 2001.

For more information about the Shack-a-Thon, call Hackett at 931/372-5306 or e-mail her at or call Lelia Gibson at 931/372-6231 or e-mail her at