ShareThis Page
News

'Habitat' chapter plans big for summer

| Saturday, June 25, 2005

Habitat for Humanity's local chapter has big plans for its summer season, including building three houses and the opening of the area's first Re-Store.

"This is the only store of this kind in this area," said Dee John, president of the Fayette County chapter of Habitat for Humanity. "There are several of these stores out in eastern Pennsylvania, and one of our board members visited it and got the idea for the store we are opening here."

The other Re-Stores in the state are located in Coatesville, Lancaster, Nanticoke and York.

Individuals can donate items to the Re-Store that will be used to benefit Habitat for Humanity.

"Anyone who is remodeling can donate items such as cabinets, sink bowls or doors," John said.

The store offers items such as insulation, wallpaper, light fixtures, cabinets, shingles and bathroom items.

"We are going to price these items to sell. We encourage anyone who might be remodeling to check out the items we have to offer first," said Ray Polaski, vice president of the Fayette chapter.

Todd Brooks, the on-site manager of the Re-Store, said that the center has been busy with the donations.

"People call and bring the items by to drop them off," Brooks said.

"All of these supplies are donated, so of course we are making some money, but we use that money to build houses. It costs about $50,000 to build a house," John said.

Polaski said that items donated to the Re-Store should be either new or in like-new condition.

"If anyone wants to donate new- or good-condition items then we will come take a look at it and see if it is something we can use or not," Polaski said.

The Re-Store, which is located on 280 Fayette St. in Uniontown, is set to open in mid-July.

"I really enjoy working here. I can't wait until we open," Brooks said.

Habitat for Humanity is also working on building three houses on Faith Street in North Union Township. Two of the houses, on the site of a former elementary school, are being built in conjunction with the Uniontown Lions Club.

"Two of the houses at the Faith Street site are going to be handicapped accessible," Polaski said. "The third we haven't decided whether we will work with the Lions Club again or build it on our own."

Sherry Williams, 26, a substitute teacher for Laurel Highlands and Albert Gallatin, is a recipient of one of the houses.

"One of the teachers I work with is on the selection committee, and she encouraged me to apply," Williams said.

The house that Williams currently lives in is not handicapped accessible, and because Williams is in a wheelchair, it is difficult for her to maneuver.

"I would have to crawl through the halls or the bedrooms because my chair won't fit," Williams said.

There have been setbacks in finishing the house, but Williams is looking forward to moving in with her parents and two sisters, ages 2 and 14.

"My grandmother has been sick with cancer, and she lives just down the street from the new house, so it will be much easier to visit her and take care of her once we move in," Williams said. "I am definitely excited about getting the new house."

In order to qualify for Habitat for Humanity housing, individuals must be renting and show financial need.

In addition to these requirements, individuals must contribute many hours of labor toward the completion of the house, or "sweat equity."

In Williams' case, she worked at the Habitat for Humanity office doing paperwork and her family worked shoveling gravel into the new house's foundation.

"Those who receive homes from Habitat don't get the house free, but they get an interest-free loan based on the household's income," John said.

Habitat for Humanity relies heavily on its volunteers to build houses and to organize its events.

"The more volunteers we have, the quicker the houses go up. We usually need 10 to 15 volunteers to get the house built in a reasonable amount of time," Polaski said.

"We are just trying to make life a little better for people," John said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me