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Volunteers jump at chance to build with Habitat for Humanity

Saturday, 07 October 2017. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

Volunteers jump at chance to build with Habitat for Humanity
Louise Gagné of Habitat for Humanity, second from left, accepts a cheque for $1,267.23 from Charles Price of the Pincher Creek Elks, left, and Kari Zieffle and Jim Peace of the Pincher Creek Co-op. The Elks and other service organizations will join together to raise $80,000 to secure a new low-income Habitat for Humanity duplex.   Photo by Caitlin Clow

Volunteers jump at chance to build with Habitat for Humanity

By Caitlin Clow

The Town of Pincher Creek, alongside the Elks Club and a number of service organizations, worked together to tackle the housing issue one door at a time.  As a result, Pincher Creek will be the next community to have a Habitat for Humanity build.

But first, Pincher Creek Elks, Angels Within Us, the Masons, Cowley Lions, Pincher-Cowley Roaring Lions, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 43 and other organizations must raise $80,000 to build a duplex.

Charles Price, spokesman for the Elks, said the service clubs are always seeking new and creative ideas to raise the funds necessary for the build. Habitat for Humanity calls for $120,000 in donations, $40,000 of which can be donated in kind.

“We are truly honoured to be a part of Pincher Creek,” said Louise Gagné, director of regional development for Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta.

To kick the fundraising off right during the open house last Thursday, Rick Clark, president of the Elks club, presented Louise with a $500 cheque. Jim Peace and Kari Zieffle from the Pincher Creek Co-op donated $1,267.23, raised during Fuel Good Day.

“In all the open houses, we’ve never received a cheque on the first night,” Louise said.

Commending the town for completing an “amazing” housing needs assessment, Louise said Habitat for Humanity can help provide stability and strength for two families in the community.

However, families interested in moving into a Habitat build must meet certain criteria. They must have children, have inadequate living conditions and spend more than 30 per cent of total income on housing.

Family applicants must also be residents of the community for at least two years, have minimal debt, be considered low-income within the parameters set by the province and hold a full-time job.

Louise said Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta has already impacted 268 families and over 580 children.

She said Habitat for Humanity has moved away from legacy builds — those completed by members of the public — and now hires contractors and professionals.

The shift is due to the lack of skill level in the legacy builds, Louise explained. Legacy builds could take up to two years, she said, compared to contractor builds, which take about four to six months to erect.

The Habitat representative noted that local contractors are preferred. Donations in kind are also sought from local businesses, underscoring the community aspect and highlighting the idea that it truly does take a village.

Already, the Town of Pincher Creek has donated a vacant lot for the build that has been approved by Habitat. Donations have started rolling in and more fundraising opportunities are being planned, and the community has showed an outpouring of support for the project.

Louise said Habitat will now work closely with the town, complete due diligence of land assessments, celebrate the donors, support fundraising and begin the search for potential applicants who can call the new build their home.

Charles, Louise and Mayor Don Anderberg hinted that if all goes according to plan, Habitat should break ground on Dupuy Street by 2019.

Read more in this week’s online edition here.
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From the October 4, 2017 print edition of Shootin’ the Breeze.
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