The community celebrates the dedication of Gannon University’s new community-based gathering space.
Gannon University says this house will allow it to expand its service to the community, providing a space and a base for volunteers who visit the West Bayfront neighborhood.
The community is embracing Gannon University’s Saint Joseph House of Faith in Action. And, with Bishop Lawrence Persico’s blessing of the 2400 square foot house, it can serve its purpose providing a space for volunteers.
Dr. Keith Taylor, President of Gannon University, says, “The St. Joseph House, I hope, will serve as a catalyst for the continued transformation, the work that’s going on with Our West Bayfront, in Our West Bayfront.”
The house is located in the 400 block of West 4th Street. It has two bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a community room that will accommodate two permanent residents and at least a dozen visitors for short stays.
Anna Frantz, Executive Director of Our West Bayfront, says, “The opportunity to have a space that’s right here in the heart of the community that is welcoming, that is beautiful; it really is a very positive contributor to the neighborhood.”
They say the purpose of the St. Joseph House is to serve the community, but it was also the community putting faith in action that helped build this house.
Volunteer Kaitlyn Falk tells us, “I’ve been helping with the building process. So, I came a couple of times to spackle the wall. I did the paint.”
Kaitlyn did not only volunteer, she’s a Gannon Alumna, but she’s a soon-to-be full-time faculty member, one of the two who will live in the house permanently as caretakers. She says, “I’m most looking forward to cooking. Like, did you see that kitchen? There’s so much counter space. I’m so excited to have people over.”
Taylor says, “We really want to use this facility as a place to bring Gannon students, Gannon employees, students and people from other parts of the country in to see what transformation looks like.”
The Saint Joseph House is Gannon’s first residence built by volunteers.