By: James Pruitt
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
For the first time in four years a new Habitat for Humanity home is going to be built in Fulton County.
Financial struggles have prevented construction of the local group’s 21st home in the county and first overall in Swanton. More than 30 people attended ground breaking ceremonies in the Swanton neighborhood April 7.
“They will finally be able to move in,” Director Heidi Kern said of the new recipients. Habitat likes that the house is in Swanton and the family who is moving in also from Swanton and wanted to stay here, she said.
Bob Sauder will be construction manager once again as he has for 11 other homes. He has been given the nickname “Bob the Builder,” for his active role in all the project.
Sauder shared a passage from the Bible in laying the spiritual foundation for the land and project.
“This is hallowed ground,” Sauder said.
Pastor Erich Christman of St. John’s Christian Church gave the blessing for the family and the project. Also in attendance were Fulton chapter president Robert Nafziger and the director of the Swanton Chamber of Commerce, who conducted the ribbon cutting.
The new recipients are Doug and Spring Jones, a married couple of 13 years with three children, Austin 18, Kodi 15 and Elainna 10. The process from application to approval took a few months, Spring Jones said.
The family is excited to finally get a house several reasons.
“The boys want their own bedroom,” Spring Jones said. “And just to be able to own our place and have more room. We live in a two-bedroom apartment now.”
The family will be required to put in 250 hours of sweat equity, but that includes work on other homes as well.
While the family turned the first clumps of dirt and grass, the agency remains short of funding and volunteers to get the project completed.
More ground will be moved, but the actual wood construction won’t begin until late May.
“The schedule will be posted on our website,” Kern said. “We also need meals for workers.”
While it’s been four years between homes, Kern is optimistic the agency can regain its pace of one house per year, she said.
“If Heidi’s will matches God’s will,” Kern said.
James Pruitt may be reached at