Grundy-Three Rivers Habitat for Humanity is pleased to welcome its newest partner family, Kathleen Elsen and her son Patrick. The Elsens have been selected as the future owners of house 14, which is under construction in the organization’s Hancock-Page Subdivision in Morris.
Kathleen, a certified nurse’s assistant, has leased a small apartment with 10-year-old Patrick and her mother since her son was born. She and Patrick have long outgrown their space, which lacks a yard, and Kathleen has become concerned about the recent increase in crime in the area.
Although she holds two jobs, Kathleen felt stuck in the cycle of renting. Motivated by improving their quality of life, she applied for the home after learning about the Habitat program, which provides no-interest mortgages to working families who do not typically qualify for a conventional loan.
Following informational sessions, Habitat for Humanity volunteers and staff reviewed applications, verified financial information, and performed background checks on final applicants. The Elsens were interviewed in their home and eventually selected as the most qualified among the families.
Habitat officials are excited to welcome Kathleen and Patrick as the newest partner family. Kathleen, along with their friends and family, will contribute 400 hours of sweat equity toward the construction of the home, as well as through events in support of Habitat.
Volunteer construction manager Derrick Wren will lead the home build with advising from volunteer Construction Advisor John Latimer and the support of 75 to 100 skilled and novice volunteers. The Elsens’ simple, decent home is slated for 1,100 square feet and will include three bedrooms, one of which will be orange at Patrick’s request.
The Elsens will be warmly welcomed in to a neighborhood of Habitat partner families, as their house is the fifth in the organization’s subdivision, located at the former paper mill. An active Cub Scout, Patrick is looking forward to having friends over for a camp out in his new backyard.
As a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity, Habitat relies on the community to donate time to help build the home, as well as provide lunches for volunteers. Contributions of services and materials are also needed. To support the Elsen family’s dream of homeownership, please call 815-942-1452 or visit www.grundy3rivershabitat.org.
The public is invited to attend a home blessing ceremony on Sept. 13 from 5-6 p.m. to mark the start of the family’s journey. Progress will also be shared on the organization’s Facebook page.
• Julie Wilkinson is the Board President of Grundy-Three Rivers Habitat for Humanity