The Herald Bulletin

April 27, 2013

Madison County Habitat for Humanity marks 25 years

By Nancy R. Elliott
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — A little bit of coffee and cookies, but plenty of elbow grease were in evidence last week as Habitat for Humanity Madison County volunteers put the finishing touches on an Anderson house.

Like a swarm of elves, the crew cheerfully set about their tasks, enjoying the work, the fellowship and just knowing that they are helping in their community.

It’s a Habitat thing, and it’s been happening in Madison County for 25 years. To date, HFH has built 42 homes, two of which were completed this year.

To celebrate the anniversary, HFH invites the community to see what it’s all about by participating in a community build event on Saturday, May 18. Everyone’s invited to register and attend the free event to see and have a hand in a project by Habitat.

A house will be framed up in the parking lot of the First United Methodist Church from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Everyone’s encouraged to attend, including families with kids 6 and up. The event includes lunch.

“We have an active base of 15 to 20 volunteers,” said Carl Graddy, executive director of HFH in Madison County.  Other individuals and persons from businesses and churches also get involved on various aspects of the projects.

Among the volunteers are members of the partner families that will ultimately take ownership of the new house.

“The goal is to provide housing for low-income families,” said Graddy, but that housing comes with the big added plus of pride of ownership.

Eligible partner families demonstrate a need for housing, an ability to pay for the home, and  a willingness to partner with Habitat through ‘sweat equity’ and active participation in the process. HFH sells their houses to qualifying families on a 20- to 30-year no-interest mortgage.

Although HFH Madison County generally builds their homes, the organization has also acquired four houses from the city of Anderson, facilitated by federal grant monies. Volunteers are making repairs and improvements to those houses prior to purchase by the partner family.

Last week, HFH workers put the finishing touches on one of those homes, a 1,200 square-foot house and single car garage at 1315 Nelle St.

“We’re just getting it ready,” said volunteer Bob Breece, as he installed a new lock in the front door, with an assist from Allen Beaty. They were among about eight volunteers that day, happy to have a hand in making an inviting new home for a partner family.