Some things are worth waiting for.
In 2017 Habitat for Humanity held an event in Grampian, looking for families who would be interested in working with the organization to build a new home.
Susan Harris and her children attended the meeting and after learning about how the program works, decided that they would apply, and were overjoyed to be chosen.
The timeline for building a house, any house, varies. For this one, however, there were several setbacks, with the final straw being the spread of COVID-19.
Meri Collins, director of operations for Clearfield Habitat for Humanity, noted that the project had been going in fits and starts to begin with due to a low number of volunteers to help, but just when it looked like they were going to be finished, they had to quit.
Harris agreed that it was frustrating to suddenly stop when their goal was in sight.
For several months everything was put on hold. Then they got the go-ahead to start working again on a limited basis and, finally, the end is in sight.
Harris, along with her son Adam (eight-years-old) and daughter Chloe (seven-years-old) hope to move in by the end of this week. The children have already picked out their rooms and are making plans for where they will be placing their things.
Initially the lot, which is located on First Street in Grampian (US Route 219), was occupied by an abandoned house. The borough acquired the property and had the house torn down, donating the lot to Habitat.
Harris noted that the house wasn’t just given to them, they had to work for it.
Habitat requires families to put in at least 500 hours of work towards the construction of the house, called “sweat equity.” According to Habitat’s website, sweat equity can come from multiple sources. In addition to helping with the building of their own home, families can participate in building someone else’s home, working at a ReStore location, doing administrative work or other tasks.
The homes are purchased by the families with low-interest mortgage, Habitat helps with debt pay-off and teaches the families financial skills through Dave Ramsey’s program, which Harris said she believes everyone should participate in.
“It’s a hand up, not a hand out,” Collins said.
Local businesses and organizations participate by donating items, making monetary donations and also offering equipment at low-cost. Collins named some of those who helped, including Grampian Hardware, Granite Expressions, Dominion Energy, Lowe’s and Clearfield County Career and Technology Center among others.
Collins said they want to do another building soon, possibly in the Clearfield area, and they would also like to do more home rehabilitation, which is where they take an existing home and refurbish it instead of building from scratch.
To do that, Collins said they need more volunteers.
“You don’t need experience,” Harris added, “They will teach you what to do.” She noted that the skills she learned will be useful in caring for the home in the future, as well as in helping to build other Habitat homes.
More information about homes built and rehabilitated in Clearfield County, and ways you can volunteer, donate or apply can be found at ClearfieldHabitat.com.