Warren County’s Habitat for Humanity handed over the keys for the 28th time, turning over its latest home to a woman and her grandson Saturday morning in ceremonies at the Willow Run home.
“It’s so wonderful that we’ve finally got a home of our own,” said Kathy Morton who will live in the home with her grandson, Tyler Pomales. “Thank God for this opportunity.”
Tyler echoed her sentiments, praising the work volunteers have done for the past few months in raising the home. “The volunteers were splendid and all their hard work paid off. I’m just happy to have a brand new home to live in.”
The home was the 28th home that Warren County’s Habitat has built since beginning its work in 1998. Habitat for Humanity is a faith-based, international organization that seeks to help in building and renovating houses for families who qualify based on an income and need criteria. Habitat’s ultimate goal is to completely eliminate poverty housing and homelessness. Habitat was founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller and his wife, Linda. Since that time, there have been 1,500 affiliates pop up around the world and 800,000 homes had been built as of 2014.
Each house, according to Habitat board chairman Steve Koelbl, helps build the next, meaning clients of HFH are helping pay it forward to another family. The houses are built with contributed materials by volunteer labor. The completed houses are sold and financed over 20 to 30 years and are interest free. The monthly house payment is used to finance the construction of more houses. Meanwhile, a second note covers the value of the contributed labor and is forgiven at a percentage each year the family lives in the house.
Kay Ramsey, board member of Habitat, says it has all happened because of the volunteer spirit in Warren County. About 200 volunteers from schools, churches and civic organizations helped work on the project.
“This is for families who needed a hand up,” Ramsey said, noting the recipients pay for the houses. “It’s all because of everyone working together to help improve McMinnville and Warren County.”
Mayor Jimmy Haley, who served as keynote speaker for the house warming Saturday, called the house a gift of love to the family.
“When you look out from your front porch today, and see all these folks standing there, we did this out of love,” Haley said. “It takes a whole community to raise a child but it took a whole community to raise this house as well.”
Habitat accepts all the help it can get, whether it be volunteer labor, contribution of materials or land or even monetary donations. Habitat also operates Warren County Habitat for Humanity Restore, located at 191 Industrial Drive in the old cheese plant building. People may donate items to sell there or may come by and buy items. The proceeds go into Habitat. Restore is open Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Video of the house warming ceremony can be found at southernstandard.com in the multimedia section.