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Solar panel project cuts costs for local homeless center

NOW: Solar panel project cuts costs for local homeless center

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A solar panel project created by a University of Notre Dame graduate is cutting costs for a local homeless center. 

Emily Clements, who graduated from Notre Dame in the spring, organized the project to satisfy her senior capstone. For nearly a year, Clements created a sustainability plan and asked businesses and organizations to donate money and solar panels. 

The panels will be installed on the rood of Our Lady of the Road on Sunday. It's estimated to save Our Lady of the Road about $1,200 a month in energy costs. 

As an undergrad, Emily volunteered at Our Lady of the Road, which is a day time drop in center for homeless men and women. They can take a shower, wash their clothes, and eat a hot meal. Emily said she loved working with the people and wanted to give back to the center.

"I thought that doing something that would significantly reduce the operating costs of Our Lady of the Road, while also like being really good for the environment that's like a technical solution, was a really good intersection of everything that I'm like interested in and everything that I'm doing," said Clements. 

Clements also said it's important for people from all classes to understand sustainability. 

"Because this place is so focused on helping the most vulnerable people, the includes people in future generations as well as people who are currently facing problems with climate change and other countries, even if we don't interact with them, we're no less responsible for caring for them than we are for people directly in our community," said Clements. "This is a way for Our Lady of the Road to do that." 

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