June 22, 2014–Summer found the Holy Ghost Lutheran Church Service Team brushing up on their painting skills at Habitat for Humanity’s House #15. A congregational project that included thirty youth and adults, as well as Habitat volunteers and the home’s new owners, got the majority of the structure painted in three hours that Sunday afternoon. Other church volunteers prepared lunch and made refreshments, cut down vegetation to allow for easier access for the painters, and also prayed for a few hours, in this case, for no rain.
The house, located at 306 W. Park Street, is across the street from two other Habitat homes built in previous years, forming a small Habitat neighborhood. The Perez family; Joshua, Roxanne, and children Imigin, Gertrude, and Creek, were selected from several applicants for the newest Habitat house which is also the organization’s first two story build. Due to lot size limitations, the home was built up and not out.
“It was great working side by side with the Perez family,” said Pastor Bobby Vitek of Holy Ghost Lutheran Church. “It was an amazing gift we received in being involved in this project.”
Like all Habitat homeowners, the Perez family had to meet strict criteria for consideration for the home. Homeowners must make monthly mortgage payments, which include insurance and taxes. They must be employed, be considered “low-income”, and have no criminal record. Background checks and home visits are made by the Habitat family selection committee.
Another criteria is the family must also put in 300 hours of “sweat equity” into their future home. Working alongside the Lutheran Service Team, the Perez family was able to log in more time in addition to the hours they have already put in after work and on weekends.
“We are so pleased to have the Lutheran Church volunteers helping us out on this home,” said Habitat Vice President Kelly Musselman. “It is truly a blessing that we have such caring individuals in our community who are willing to lend a hand to others in need.”
Habitat homes are built through the donated labor of local volunteers, headed up by construction supervisor Wayne Murphy of Fredericksburg, and by the Care-A-Vanners, volunteer RV Winter Texans, headed up by Dick Aide of Fox Lake, Wisconsin. Habitat homes are three bedroom, one and half baths, with central heat and air. Though there is no garage, there is a parking pad and shed located on the property.
The cost of a Habitat home has grown over the years, from $25,000 for House #1 in 1995 to $90,000 almost 20 years later for House #15. All costs are covered by donations from local businesses, churches, organizations, and individuals, as well as grants. Habitat’s recent “Raise the Roof” fundraiser for House #15 generated over $72,000 from contributions and grants. Habitat will kick off their 2015 “Raise the Roof” fundraiser this fall for House #16, which will be built next to the Perez family’s new home in 2016.
It is only through the kindness and generosity of the local community- its citizens, churches, businesses, and clubs- that we are able to accomplish the building of these homes for people in need of decent, safe, affordable housing,” says Kelly Musselman, Habitat VP.
To help Habitat continue to “Raise the “Roof” on Habitat House #15, donations are still needed and appreciated. Tax-deductible contributions can be mailed to Habitat for Humanity 102 E. San Antonio St. Box 5 Fredericksburg TX 78624. Volunteers are also welcome and may call 990-8585 or 889-3291 or visit fbghabitat.org for more information.