Habitat for Humanity building family's dream

July 11, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- Tessa McCarney's dreams were raised with the walls of her new home Saturday morning in Hagerstown.

McCarney and about 20 volunteers woke up early Saturday to gather at the Lanvale Street construction site to put up the walls of her house, which is being built by Habitat for Humanity of Washington County and Thrivent Financial Services for Lutherans.

McCarney said she hopes to move into the home with her two young children when the work is completed this fall.

"I think (the volunteers are) doing a very good thing," McCarney said. "I think they're doing a very good job."

McCarney said she won't get the house for free, but her mortgage payments will be lower than average at $400 to $500 per month.


The Rev. Edward Heim of St. John's Lutheran Church in Hagerstown said volunteers broke ground on McCarney's house April 4. Since then, volunteers from Habitat and Thrivent have been working part time on the house about two or three days per week, he said.

The sections of Habitat houses are delivered in prefabricated pieces, Heim said. The more complicated work, such as electricity and plumbing, is done by licensed professionals.

"People still need a lot of housing in America," Heim said. "The housing shortage is tremendous. Affordable housing is the issue."

Bob Budnicki, a Thrivent financial associate, said Habitat homes usually cost about $114,000 to build. On the homes it helps build, Thrivent foots about 65 percent of the bill, he said. The rest is provided by the local Habitat affiliate and the Lutheran community.

McCarney's house is the 29th home Habitat for Humanity of Washington County has built since 1994, said Kathy Powderly, Habitat's director of development. The 30th home is under construction in Smithsburg.

To volunteer

To volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Washington County, call 301-791-9009.

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