By MATT KOESTERS
NEW ALBANY —
The parking lot of Northside Christian Church in New Albany echoed with the buzz of circular saws and the ringing of hammers.
Old and young, expert and novice, volunteers put together the frames last week for the final two of 10 houses set to be built in October during New Albany/Floyd County Habitat for Humanity’s Raise the Roof over Southern Indiana blitz-build project.
“We’ve got experienced and inexperienced,” said Bill Warren, serve pastor at Northside. “We just told people that there’s something for everyone to do.”
Overall, the frames for 14 of 19 homes being built by Habitat for Humanity are now complete. The other nine will be built for affected residents in Madison.
“It puts my mind at ease not to have to worry about this portion of it,” Habitat construction director Bill Moriarty said. “It doesn’t mean I don’t have other things to worry about, but it does make it very nice to know the 10 Henryville houses are framed and committed.”
There’s still plenty of work to be done. The foundations for the homes, set to be built in the Twin Oaks subdivision in Henryville, are still in the early stages of construction, and Habitat is still awaiting the release of federal funds that will pay for a portion of the project. Additionally, private donations, sponsorships and volunteers are needed to complete the project on schedule.
“People are calling and saying, ‘How can I volunteer? Where can I donate?’” New Albany/Floyd County Habitat President Lisa Curry said. “And we want that to continue, because we need land, money [and] volunteers. Right now, we also have a big push for the families, trying to get families identified. But there’s been so much community involvement. There’s so much need, there’s not enough to fulfill it, but we’re working towards that.”
For Raise the Roof over Southern Indiana to be a success, a total of about $1.7 million will be needed. About half of that will be covered by federal grants, but Habitat will rely on donors and sponsors for the rest. Both are still needed.
“If you’re in a position where you can help others, maybe you want to be a sponsor,” Curry said. “There’s every opportunity to sponsor a house, make a donation, to be a volunteer.”
Habitat and Northside got a helping hand from CrossRoads Missions, which helped organize the “Help Build Hope” event at Northside on Wednesday. For CrossRoads Missions, the act of volunteering is a spiritual thing. The houses framed by the volunteers Wednesday will be more than just homes, said Rob Minton, CrossRoads executive director.
“[The homes] become a living testimony of what people can do for people when they serve together,” Minton said.
The homes aren’t a hand out, but rather a hand up to people in need, Moriarty said. Qualifying homeowners will pay $1,000 down, help build their home and then pay a no-interest, subsidized mortgage.