MIDDLEPORT — Tuesday marked another stop toward the completion of the first Habitat for Humanity house constructed in Meigs County — the hard hat tour.
Samantha Waldron, director of Community Engagement for Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio, explained that the hard hat tour is a way to show the project sponsors and donors what their donations are going toward. For many, they may have been at the house for the Blitz Build in November or the Wall Build at Mark Porter GM in late October, but they may not have seen the property since that time.
“It’s the wow factor,” said Waldron of the sponsors coming into the house and seeing the progress that had taken place. “Without them it is not possible,” said Waldron of the sponsors.
In addition to the Blitz Build sponsors Farmers Bank and Ohio Valley Bank, and Wall Build sponsor Mark Porter GM, many area churches have been involved in making the project a success.
Now, the cabinets are installed, the appliances are in and carpet was being put down in the bedrooms on Tuesday while the tour was taking place.
Habitat for Humanity projects are about more than just building a house for a family, it is changing the lives of those in that family and possibly others in the community.
Site supervisor Bryan Smith explained that the homeowner and her daughter have been spending time at the house doing work ranging from painting to cleaning windows and detail work. Smith has also been working with them to explain maintenance of the house and how to do some tasks at the residence moving forward.
Lauren Oliver from Habitat for Humanity explained to those at the hard hat tour some of the steps that go into the process for the future homeowner and the involvement of the family in the building process.
Homeowners are required to complete 250 hours of volunteer work, including time working on their own home.
Additionally, the homeowner receives educational information to allow them to be successful as they move into their own home.
Throughout the building process, the homeowner has been able to select the paint colors, flooring, cabinets, counter tops and other items in the house, so that when they move in the place will feel like it is home.
In picking the items and being part of the building process, the homeowner is “bonding with the house” said Oliver.
“We are not building a house for them, we are building a house with them,” said Oliver.
“I want to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart,” said Smith to the sponsors.
Smith, who has been in construction for more than 30 years, including the last two with Habitat for Humanity, said that of the seven builds he has been part of the current project in Middleport has been the “most enjoyable” and received the best community support.
Mark Porter said that when he was approached about the wall build, he wanted to be the first to do it, hoping that it would plant a seed which would grow for future projects.
Porter said that there are so many in need of assistance and help, and that this project may get more started.
“It is a good investment for the community. You never know who you are going to reach,” said Porter.
A dedication for the house is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday, March 13 at the house which is located at 690 Brownell Ave., Middleport.