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Friday, January 04, 2013 10:11 AM

Habitat project running short on needed funds

By CRYSTAL HERBER, Herald Staff Writer

The walls are up, but funds are needed for the work to continue. 

The next Habitat for Humanity home is nearing completion but about $20,000 in funds still are needed, Cindy Dengel, volunteer coordinator for Habitat for Humanity of Franklin County, said. Fundraising opportunities have been planned to help the nonprofit organization meet its goal of putting an Ottawa family in a new home. 

“We’re short about $20,000, but we have faith we’ll get it,” Dengel said without hesitation. 

A recent email campaign went out to Habitat supporters to help raise the funds, Dengel said. Also, the organization is planning to play host to another Church Choir Challenge in the coming month — a previous event in September raised about $700. Habitat also has applied for a grant from Walmart, Dengel said, that they hope to receive soon. 

David and Whitney Bethea were selected by the Habitat organization to receive a new home at 740 S. Elm St., Ottawa. The couple, along with a daughter, Niylah, 5, son, Shavion, 11, nephew, Devion, 13, and niece, Kyrie, 17, have been lending their skills to the build.  

The project — a 1,474-square-foot, four-bedroom, two-bath home — is ahead of schedule, Colton Waymire, contractor for the build, said. The large number of not only volunteers, but professional tradesmen has helped to expedite the process of building a new home from the ground up. 

“It all depends on who shows up,” Waymire said. “We’ve had the right people at the right times.”

Construction crews took advantage of the mild fall weather, making the push to get most of the outdoor work done before winter hit, Waymire said. Now what’s left is interior work such as painting, installing flooring and cabinets and plumbing and electrical fixtures. 

“Everything’s there. It’s just not finished,” Waymire said. 

Once the weather gets warmer, they will be able to finish putting on siding and painting the exterior of the house, he said. 

Besides the sweat equity a selected family puts into helping build their new home, its members also are expected to make mortgage payments. More than 66 percent of Habitat’s income is generated from the sale of the homes back to the families, according to the organization’s annual report. It relies on that income, Dengel said, to help fund the next project. 

“As we build houses, the homeowners pay mortgages,” Dengel said. “We don’t give these houses for free, and those mortgage payments that come in help pay for the next build.”

The payments are at a discounted rate through Habitat to allow them the chance to stay in their home for as long as possible, Dengel said. 

Not discounting the materials that people and businesses donate to the construction, Dengel said there still are needs for monetary gifts. The deadline to collect the necessary remaining $20,000 is by the time the Betheas take possession of the home, Dengel said. Dengel and Waymire both agreed that should be sometime in March or April. 

“I have no doubt that we’ll make that goal,” she said.

Those wanting to make a donation to the organization can do so by calling (785) 242-2600 or by going to www.habitatfranklincounty.org

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