Habitat seeks help with next project

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— From people who have never driven a nail to professional contractors, Routt County Habitat for Humanity is looking for a few good volunteers.

The group plans to start construction on its second Steamboat Springs home June 1 and is hoping to find the same support that it received in building its first house along Conestoga Circle. That single-family home took 300 volunteers; Habitat's Bob Steele expects the new project will require a similar number.

With the help of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation and the Regional Affordable Living Foundation, Habitat was able to raise the money needed to purchase a duplex lot in the West End Village project. Habitat already has selected the family for one side of the house: Ellen Clare, a single mother, and her two children.

Steele said one of the most important task for Habitat is finding people who are willing to contract certain parts of the building project. Contractors are needed for laying the foundation, framing the house, the plumbing, electrical and heating work.

"What I think we would like to do is get a contractor to be responsible for each segment and then call volunteers from the list to fill in for help," Steele said.

Habitat also is looking for someone to be the general contractor; a task he admits takes a good deal of time. In the last Habitat house, Scott MacDonald contributed countless hours as the general contractor.

"Scott had a lot of experience. He was up there most all the time," Steele said. "That is what we need. We particularly need help managing the job for Habitat."

But as much as professional help is needed, help from those with no construction is still vital, Steele said.

On the last project, Steele said novices were used to hammer nails, help with the cleanup, do landscaping and put up siding. Help from service groups, local organizations and churches was critical in that effort.

Steele encouraged groups to participate again, and said they can sign up to help for a day.

People also can contribute to the Habitat house without volunteering their time. The organization is looking for donations of materials and money. The cost of purchasing the land already has been covered, but Steele said it will cost another $50,000 to $70,000 for construction costs.

Steele said Habitat plans to first pour the foundation, frame in the entire duplex and then finish Clare's side of the home. When her side is finished, Habitat will begin work on the second half.

The Habitat Family Selection Committee is in the process of evaluating families for the second half of the duplex.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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