Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Habitat for Humanity is Coming to Columbus!

”Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” Psalm 127:1

By Shelly Burke, Editor

If all goes according to plan, a needy family will see their dreams of a new home start to come true on May 1st, 2011, when ground will be broken for a Habitat for Humanity home near Bradshaw Park in Columbus, NE.

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness by providing housing for people whose current housing is inadequate, unsafe, or substandard.

Dan Staack, President of the local Habitat Board of Directors, said the quest to build a Habitat for Humanity home in Columbus began 3 years ago. It took about 2 ½ years to work through the application process and develop support in Columbus. On August 1, 2010, Columbus was granted permission to operate a chapter by Habitat for Humanity International.

The Family Selection process is underway, and qualified families may still apply for the home to be built in Columbus. (Contact information at the end of this article.) A family will be selected by mid-April. The houses are not given away; recipients of a Habitat for Humanity home must be able to make monthly interest-free mortgage payments. They must also invest “sweat equity” hours in physical work in partnership with Habitat to build their home. Each home takes about 15 weeks to build.

Habitat for Humanity depends extensively on donations and volunteers. Staack says “First and foremost, please ask readers to pray for our chapter, that we can meet our goal of building our first home this summer. God gives all of us different talents and treasures. All do not swing a hammer. Some cook (for volunteers), some can paint, some are good at presentations, some can landscape while others are good at organization and would be welcome on boards or committees.” Donations of tools, material, permanent storage facility, building sites, and money are needed.

Staack continues, “Any monetary donations become what I like to call a revolving fund of humanity. What comes into Columbus stays in Columbus for future homes.” As an example of the “revolving fund,” the Grand Island chapter of Habit for Humanity started in the late 1980’s. They are building five homes this year, and three of them are being built using money from mortgage payments coming in from previously built homes.

The Habitat for Humanity organization started in 1975, and since then 400,000 homes have been built world-wide, and an additional 100,000 homes are expected to be built annually.

To inquire about qualifications to have a Habitat for Humanity home built for you, volunteer time (you’ll be asked to fill out a form indicating skills and availability) or donate supplies or money, call (402) 564-4663; leave a message and your call will be returned.

Additional information from http://www.habitatforhumanity.org/

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