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Habitat For Humanity gives local residents hopes and housing

A Habitat For Humanity worker assists other crew members during a recent project in Castle County. The group has built five local homes over the past 21 years.

Sun Advocate reporter

Habitat for Humanity has been in Castle Country for 21 years and have built five homes for qualifying families. Habitat houses are built using money donations and volunteer labor according to Irene Everett, a board member for Habitat.

Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller. Today, Habitat for Humanity is a world leader in addressing the issues of poverty housing.

The concept that grew into Habitat for Humanity International was born at Koinonia Farm, a small, inter-racial, Christian community outside of Americus, Ga. Koinonia Farm was founded in 1942 by farmer and biblical scholar Clarence Jordan.

The partner family agrees to put "sweat equity" into their home and the homes of others. Sweat equity is work done on a home by a family prior to being considered for a Habitat house. The family is required to invest at leest 20 hours of volunteer time.

The 20 hours is a trial period for both parties, used to determine the seriousness of the applicant and a trial run at volunteer time. "Two-hundred and fifty hours of sweat equity is required for every adult living in the household," Everett said.

A small down payment must be provided, once that is taken care of the family receives a no-interest mortgage through the program. Monthly payments go into a fund that helps build other houses. In addition to the monthly mortgage payment, utilities, maintenance, insurance and other standard expenses are the responsibility of the homeowner.

Habitat's most recent home was donated by Gus Cayne and Silvia Fassio of Price. The home was cut in two pieces, loaded onto trailers and trucked to Wellington where the new foundation for the home was put in by Fred Newman Construction of Price. "Fred Newman donated a lot of time on the project," Everett said. "He went above and beyond expectations, thanks a lot Fred."

Valgardson and Son Inc. of Provo moved the home to Wellington and have been in the home moving business since 1948.

The site of the home will now have families already in the program work on finishing what needs to be done to get the home ready for a Habitat family to move in.

Habitat for Humanity Castle Country is always looking for donations, board members and volunteers.

For more information call 637-9701. Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 724 Price, Utah 84501. Habitat is currently putting the finishing touches on a home in CastleDale and will begin working on the home in Wellington. Future plans include a home in Green River.

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