An Archbold woman is looking forward to the chance of finally owning her own home and possibly getting the keys by Christmas.
Kim Helmke is putting in the work along with several dozen newfound friends in constructing a three bedroom, one bath house on South Shoop Avenue in Wauseon. While Helmke lives in Archbold now, she works in Delta at State Bank, so moving to Wauseon makes sense.
Fulton County’s Habitat for Humanity chapter is leading the effort and is hosting building sessions every Friday and Saturday to get the house done.
The lot has been cleared and the trees trimmed to allow for construction, Heidi Kern, executive director, said. Several area companies came out to do the excavating and lay the foundation. Much the work was done within two weeks of acquiring the property, and for reduced rates or as a donation, she said.
She praised the location of the house, which was obtained through a very good deal with the owner.
Construction began Oct. 10 and the project has attracted a good turnout in terms of volunteer laborers.
“They went from decking to fully enclosed in five days,” Kern said. “We have been extremely blessed on this project. And we are just starting.”
This past weekend, crews were working on the house’s interior and insulating the garage. The garage came with the property and is being remodeled.
Helmke’s bedroom is on the back of the house and has a double window that looks out over her backyard. The women of Habitat and Helmke have looking out the window talking about the possibilities, Kern said.
“The guys are looking at us funny because they are still framing things out,” Kern said. “’What are you doing talking about the view.’
“It’s exciting for her to finally have something of her own.”
Helmke will pay back the mortgage to Habitat for her home, and Kern said that is something she is looking forward to doing. An adult daughter, Meagan, will live with her full-time while her son, Tyson, who is attending the University of Cincinnati, will have a place to call home as well.
Meagan works at the Fulton County Health Center and lives with her mom now.
“It’s so exciting, she has been looking forward to this for a very long time,” Meagan said. “I am excited for myself, and also for her; she really deserves this.”
The family is the 22nd the chapter has helped and the house is the 14th build. Several homes have been recycling projects. A home in Swanton is being dedicated Oct. 30.
The Helmkes will move into their home by Christmas, Kern said. The news surprised Megan.
“That’s my plan,” Kern said. “Let’s see if God agrees with me.
“If I have to close on Christmas Eve Meagan, we’ll close on Christmas Eve.”
The home will cover 1,056 square feet plus the garage. There will be a little turnaround in the front yard so the family can get on Shoop Avenue. Backing out onto the road is illegal in Wauseon.
For Kim Helmke, owning a home is a dream come true.
“It’s unbelievable,” Helmke said. “It’s hard to even say. It’s unimaginable.
“I am so thankful this is happening.”
Not only will she be close to her job, she will be able to walk to her church (Crossroad).
Having a home also has Helmke looking at the future and the potential of having grandkids over. That has led to decisions about flooring and having a bathtub put in. (So she can give baths)
“Grandbabies don’t take showers,” Helmke said.
Work will continue on weekends for several weeks and Kern said volunteers are needed each weekend. The project is being coordinated by Erich Christman, with additional oversight by construction manager Bob Sauder.
Anyone who is interested in helping can sign up on the organization’s website or Facebook page.
James Pruitt may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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