They’ve got a big cheque in their hands, a site manager hired, and once they choose two families, it will be full steam ahead.
Humboldt’s Habitat for Humanity project got a boost during the RBC Cup when they were presented with a $10,000 donation from the Royal Bank of Canada on the ice at one of the games.
The $10,000 is just one of two cheques they collected on May 6, reported Ivan Buehler and Bob Bellamy, the co-chairs of the Humboldt project.
They also received $700 from Westminster United Church the same day.
Things are really ramping up when it comes to plans to build a duplex in Humboldt for two local families this year.
A site manager for the build has been hired. Tim Prytula from Humboldt will head the project.
“He has lots of experience,” Buehler stated, adding that Prytula has even worked with Habitat for Humanity on a build before.
“He’s got experience in all the areas we need,” said Bellamy.
The local committee is still working through the process of determining two families who will get a chance to own one half of the duplex each. These families have to fit a number of requirements, including that they are employed full time but do not make enough to afford paying for a house by traditional means.
If chosen, they will be given the opportunity to pay a mortgage on the home, held by Habitat for Humanity. They will also be required to donate 500 hours to help build it, alongside a host of volunteers from the community.
Buehler and Bellamy hoped to have the two families chosen by this week.
Once the families are chosen, the project is eligible for a government grant of $50,000 per door — that’s $100,000 total, which will give the project a tremendous boost.
The build has a total cost of about $250,000. To date, the Humboldt project has received cash and materials donations amounting to about $80,000. Even with the money from the government, they need another $70,000 from the community.
Some fundraisers are already being planned to get that money — businesses have indicated they will be holding barbecues and the like to benefit Habitat for Humanity.
This local project has had a number of businesses come on board to donate materials already, and they are getting eager to go with this project, Buehler believes.
“They want to give back to the community. They want to get started on this. There is definitely a positive feeling out there,” he stated.
“We’ve had a good response from businesses right in Humboldt and also within a 50 kilometre radius,” Bellamy put in. Those businesses in the towns surrounding Humboldt have stepped up and donated materials and their services as well.
“It reminds me of the hospital campaign,” Bellamy said. “The whole region sees the value and contributions are happening here as well.”
“It could be that in the future, we could build outside of Humboldt,” Buehler added. “Any community within 50 kilometres (of Humboldt) is part of our mandate.”
Once the families and the government funds are in place, the next step in the project, besides collecting more donations, is to get the site prepared, pour footings for the house, and get water and sewer service roughed in, Bellamy reported.
At the same time, the local project committee will be working on signing up volunteers to help.
“Our volunteer form has mutated several times,” Buehler laughed. “It’s now two pages long.... a little more sophisticated. People can indicate if they are rank beginners and in need of instruction, (or all the way up to) skilled workers,” he said.
These forms will make coordinating the build a much more efficient process, Bellamy said, as they will know the skill levels of the volunteers coming out.
Some businesses have already come forward expressing interest in sponsoring a day at the site.
For a donation to the project, a business gets to advertise their work at the site, as well as supply a work crew that day.
“It’s a more formalized day,” Buehler said, as opposed to days when volunteers from the community are on site.
The committee has also spoken to schools in the city about getting carpentry students out to the site in the coming months. But that’s still in the discussion stages.
“We’ll try to get as many different organizations involved as possible,” Bellamy said.
Right now, they are focused on getting volunteers signed up.
“We need that and the volunteer committee needs it. We need to know skill levels,” Bellamy said, so that the crews each day are balanced.
Those not able or comfortable volunteering for the construction crew can sign up for other jobs at the site, such as providing snacks, checking volunteers into the site or even babysitting while parents work construction.
“It’s not just construction volunteers needed,” Buehler stressed.
The committee is hoping to break ground on this project by the end of the month, once everybody’s had a couple of weeks to recover from hosting the RBC Cup, Canada’s national junior A hockey championships.
The building of this duplex will take between six to nine months, depending on how efficiently things go.
“Building with volunteers is often slower (than with professionals),” Buehler explained.