Building homes for empowerment (6 photos)Tuesday, February 26, 2013 by: Connie Carello
Habitat for Humanity broke ground at the build site of the now, almost complete housing structure on Northland Road only a few short months ago.
With hours of dedicated volunteers devoting their time at the build site, the home is near completion and awaiting occupation for a well-deserving family of four, the Devlin’s.
With only minor projects left to complete such as the exterior, the house is an example of the power of volunteerism.
Ron Cooper, a retired miner, is the build super for the house and has been dedicated to the project since the first day of the build, September 1st 2012.
“Myself, I find the experience rewarding because when I moved here I wanted to get into something that would keep me busy and help others” he said.
“Jimmy Carter and his involvement with Habitat influenced me because I remember watching him on TV and thinking it would be great to get involved with something like that.”
The build campaign is part of the non-for-profit organization’s mission to have safe, decent, affordable housing for all, through an innovative model that empowers partnering families by offering them a helping hand.
Families who submit applications are evaluated based on their level of need, willingness to partner with Habitat, and ability to repay a 0% interest free mortgage.
The payments made are then recycled into the Revolving Fund for Humanity intended to fund each new build.
Once twelve homes have been established, the mortgage payments alone will be able to fund the construction of one new home per year.
Twenty-one year old Dylan Houle is the volunteer who has spent the most time at the Northland build site with over 240 recorded hours.
“There were two reasons for me to come back every day” Houle said, “one was for me, I do not like to leave anything unfinished, I like to finish things, see things to the end; and two, well for me it is housing experience, I get to put my skills to use. Construction is new to me, I attended college for it, but there was only so much experience book work could provide. I like that this is practical work and I find the experience valuable and much more useful since I am building something for someone who needs it, helping out a kind family.”
One of the oldest volunteers on the build site has been involved with similar local projects since 2000.
Eighty year old Dan Rae was excited to be part of an amazing team effort, “I really find that it is a sense of accomplishment to look at a job finished. The satisfaction of working with others, the comradely that is established amongst others volunteers makes the work enjoyable and rewarding” he said.
Currently collecting pennies for their next build, Habitat is consistently looking for volunteers, individuals wishing to make a financial contribution, or corporate partners.
Those interested in becoming part of the team and taking part in the next build should phone (705) 942-7443 ext. 26 for further information.