A House in Austin — a nonprofit organization that provides a variety of programming, including parent-child music classes and home visiting programs, to families on the West Side — held a fundraiser on Sept. 26 at One Lake Brewing in Oak Park. 

During last week’s event, representatives with the nonprofit said that they have big plans for the home at 533 N. Pine that will eventually become a center for the organization to carry out its mission. 

“A House in Austin provides three critically important, grassroots programs: a parent-child music class, parent chat hour and a home visiting program,” said Rachel Rettberg, the organization’s executive director. “These programs are free and they’re in a neighborhood setting.” 

With the help of funders, she said, the turn-of-the-century Victorian Home on Pine Street will be ground zero for that nourishment.  

Precious Jones, a music teacher and board member, said that the organization has been remodeling the home for roughly a year. Jones said that she looks forward to the new activities that will be housed in the remodeled home. 

“Last year, we mainly had a music class and parent chat class,” she said. “This year, we have therapists, health classes for kids and parents, and lessons on how to cook healthy meals.”  

Gary Kaplan is a neighbor of A House in Austin’s cofounders, Bret and Erica Hilgart. He said that he was immediately attracted to the couple’s mission. 

“I’ve always been a strong believer that if we’re going to change the world, we need to start with children, because that’s where it all begins,” Kaplan said. “You have a limited window of opportunity to make a difference with kids and to get them on the right path.” 

To donate to A House in Austin, visit: www.ahouseinaustin.org. 

CONTACT: michael@austinweeklynews.com