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|OUR 15TH HOME
Information and photos about our homes come from articles published by the Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune.
October 26, 2015 - The Habitat for Humanity house dedication was held Sunday afternoon, October 25, 2015. This was the 15th home built by the local chapter, and this year's house went to Andrew and Kelsie Cooper and is located at 1217 Normal Street, across the street from Grand River Technical School. The application process began in August 2014, and the Coopers were selected a couple months afterward.
Traveling Volunteers Help
Build Habitat for Humanity Home
CAPTION: Habitat for Humanity Care-A-Vanners have traveled from all over the United States, paying for their own travel expenses, and are volunteering free labor to help build this year's Habitat for Humanity house at 1217 Normal Street. Care-A-Vanners have been in Chillicothe for about two full weeks now and will leave on Saturday.
On Sunday May 3, 2015, 10 Care-A-Vanners arrived in Chillicothe to help build a home for a local family through the Habitat for Humanity program. The recipients of this year's Habitat for Humanity house are Andrew and Kelsie Cooper. This year's Habitat for Humanity house is being built at 1217 Normal Street, across the street from the Grand River Technical School. Care-A-Vanners have been in Chillicothe, helping build the home for about two full weeks now, and have built the homes floor, exterior and interior walls and yesterday afternoon they were putting on the roof. Care-A-Vanners have come from California, Ohio, Kansas and various places in Missouri to help build the house. They have been staying in their RVs at Grand Oaks, located off of Highway 190 for free. However, Figg said, a lot of the time Care-A-Vanners have to pay to park their RV's places. Care-A-Vanners have to also pay for all their own travel expenses. "These Care-A-Vanners do this all on their own expense, which makes it that much more amazing," Figg said. Figg said the only person paid to help build the house is their construction coordinator, Jim Clemens.
A Care-A-Van couple from Marshfield, Missouri, Paula and Mike Brown were helping put up the roof yesterday afternoon. Paula and Mike have been Care-A-Vanners for about ten years, and it is their first time visiting Chillicothe. Before getting involved with Habitat for Humanity, Paula and Mike were traveling all over the United States full time in their RV. "We were going to too many museums and couldn't remember all of what we would see, so we decided to break up our travel time with Habitat for Humanity," Paula said. Since getting involved with Habitat for Humanity, Paula and Mike have helped build about 15 homes. The Browns usually do about one house per year, however, this year they have helped work on three. Paula had some prior experience with building houses before getting involved with Habitat for Humanity. When she was 15, her family built their own home from the ground up. "It was like a family project," Paula said. Her and all her siblings pitched in with work on the house and got to see and experience first hand what all building a home entails. It took her family two years to build their home, due to her father working full time. While volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, Paula said she has done everything there is to do construction wise and she is comfortable doing anything there is to do on the construction site. Paula said her and Mike have met a lot of great people through Habitat for Humanity; however, Paula's favorite part of volunteering is "working really hard, and then at the end of the day you know you did something that made a difference."
Care-A-Vanners are scheduled to leave on Saturday morning. After Care-A-Vanners leave, local volunteers will come in and finish the home. Figg said he usually has a couple hundred volunteers every year pitch in. There are many different jobs for volunteers. They can help with siding, dry wall, painting, cabinets and much more. Figg said the house should be finished by Thanksgiving.
Tony Figg, president of the Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors, said there is an application process one must go through to receive a Habitat for Humanity house. Figg said an applicant must have three things to apply: need, ability to pay back and willingness to partner. To receive a Habitat for Humanity house, one must have a financial need for it. Home recipients will pay Habitat for Humanity back in full; however, the financial benefit is that Habitat for Humanity homeowners get a 20-year interest free loan, and house payments are generally very low, according to Figg. The most important of the three criteria to apply for a Habitat for Humanity house, is the ability to pay the program back, Figg said. "That's the first thing we look at when someone applies. We're a hand up, not a hand out. We don't give away houses; we sell houses," Figg said. Habitat for Humanity homeowners also need to be willing to partner, according to Figg, meaning they need to be okay with working with the media and being in the spotlight. They also need to be okay with non-professional home builders, building their home, Figg said. Habitat for Humanity also requires the homeowners to put in a little "sweat equity," meaning they need to be willing to help out where and when they can with the construction of the home.
Figg has been involved with Habitat for Humanity for about 13 years and said he "wants to be a Care-A-Vanner when he grows up." Figg has learned how to build houses through Habitat for Humanity along with many other useful skills.
If you'd be interested in volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, contact someone on the board of directors through the Chillicothe Habitat for Humanity Facebook page or this website.
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