Habitat receives affiliate status
The Habitat for Humanity of Harrison County received its official affiliate status Sept. 1 from Habitat International.
“This has been a lengthy process involving many hours of preparation and work,” said Simon Stock III of Depauw, Habitat board president. “We have been a prospective status for over two years, which allowed us to use the Habitat name and solicit funds.
“As an affiliate, we will be able to select homeowners and start building our first home,” he said.
Habitat for Humanity is a non-denominational, Christian-based organization that helps God’s people — everyone — in need by building homes and helping individuals break the cycle of poverty. Habitat reinforces communities by strengthening the biggest asset of any community, its residents.
“We have been waiting, praying and working for this status for a long time,” Stock said. “Our board members and volunteers are anxious to put on their work clothes and start building.”
The Harrison County affiliate of Habitat was made possible by Blue River Services Inc., the Lilly Foundation and the Harrison County Community Foundation.
Also, Leadership Harrison County, as well as many churches, civic groups, organizations, businesses and individuals have contributed their efforts, energy and finances, Stock said.
Selection of homeowners
Stock said homeowners will be selected based on the following conditions:
* The need for adequate housing;
* Willingness to partner with Habitat for Humanity;
* Performance of 400 sweat equity hours on their house as it is being constructed, and
* Ability to pay a mortgage.
“Habitat is not a house-giving program,” Stock said. “Rather it helps working individuals and families and/or people with fixed incomes purchase houses who otherwise could not afford to do so.
“Habitat for Harrison County will be serving individuals who fall between 25 and 50 percent of the area median income, which is approximately between $9,400 and $19,000,” he said. “Good credit is a must.”
Homeowner applications are available at Harrison County Community Services at 101 Hwy. 62 NW, Corydon. Habitat board member Shirley Hawkins, the executive director of Harrison County Community Services, said persons who cannot pick up an application during regular business hours should call 738-8143 to have an application mailed to them.
A family selection committee will screen all applications and make recommendations to the Habitat board of directors, who will then choose the first homeowner.
Money to build
Contributions from Leadership Harrison County, Magdalena’s restaurant, churches, groups, organizations, businesses and individuals helped establish a foundation on which Habitat for Humanity of Harrison County can build.
“Presently, we have raised $20,310.28,” said William Harrod, chief operating officer at First Harrison Bank and treasurer of Habitat.
The Harrison County Community Foundation grant will match donations to the local Habitat organization dollar-for-dollar up to $30,000.
To raise the remaining funds, Leadership Harrison County is holding an opportunity drawing for an oak table and chairs donated by Keller Manufacturing Co. The drawing will take place in October at a chicken barbecue dinner.
“We are confident the additional funds will be raised,” Stock said.
Location, location, location
“We are looking for a lot in the Corydon area to build our first house on,” Stock said. “We have several leads but nothing in concrete yet. Habitat International has suggested a highly visible site for exposure and to quell the false assumptions that Habitat will be building ‘thatched roof huts.’
“Habitat houses are not extravagant,” he said. “Their design is simple but functional and will blend in with the other homes in the neighborhood. Quality construction materials will be utilized, and even though most of the house will be built with volunteer labor, qualified general construction contractors will be their guide.
“Also, volunteers are matched with their qualifications and experienced to each specific stage of house construction,” Stock said.
Anyone with a lot in the Corydon area who’s interested in donating it for tax purposes, or who wants to sell the lot, should contact Marty Bachman, another Habitat board member, at 738-2216.
Stock said they hope to start construction this fall.
Persons interested in volunteering, donating materials, assisting financially or learning more about Habitat can visit the Web site at www.habitatharrison.org