Grant County’s latest Habitat for Humanity house is under construction at the corner of Jefferson Street and Sowden Street in Platteville.
Habitat for Humanity Grant County as an organization could be said to be in similar condition — perhaps reconstruction — to the house.
The organization is in need of board members, committee members, and a staffer with accounting experience.
“It’s a great organization; it serves a worthwhile purpose,” said office manager Jill Hofmann. “The organization is definitely in need of some board members.”
That, however, isn’t stopping the organization from building its 11th house, nor from holding events to benefit the organization.
One of them is Saturday, when members of Platteville United Methodist Church will hold Raising the Wall, with 2×4 interior wall boards signed for $1 donations.
Another is Saturday, May 3, when the Building Dreams Benefit Concert will be held at The BarN in Platteville.
The house is Habitat for Humanity’s 11th in Grant County, but first in Platteville. Habitat’s previous homes have been built in Benton (because there is no Lafayette County chapter), Boscobel, Cuba City, Lancaster and Potosi.
Groundbreaking was held last August, and the walls went up before winter.
“People who lived in the area were able to donate sites to us, or find someplace that we have a cheap enough lot that we can afford,” said Hofmann. “A lot of times it’s word of mouth — you may know [somebody] with a great location but a run-down house, they’ll bulldoze, can we give it to you.”
“We don’t technically have to build every year. We used to have to build every year, but when the economy turned, the policy changed.”
The house will be owned by Shaina Stone, who has three daughters — Skylar and Sophia, twins in third grade, and Soraeya, 5. Stone’s family was chosen out of usual order, in that construction began before Stone’s family was selected, necessitating some floor plan changes.
“Fortunately, it happened when we were still able to do that,” said Hofmann, who added that families usually are chosen after the site is chosen but before construction begins.
Volunteers, including UW–Platteville students, and the hired site supervisor have been doing work on Saturdays. Members of the Platteville Kiwanis volunteered April 12 during the Kiwanis One day. Employees of John Deere in Dubuque also have been working on the site.
Stone has been working on the house, as have members of her church, Platteville United Methodist Church. Adults in the family are required to do “100 sweat-equity hours,” said Hofmann.
“Staff and board members are where we’re hurting, not volunteers.”
The house is a split-foyer style with two upstairs bedrooms, one downstairs bedroom, two bathrooms and a downstairs laundry. Habitat homes have no garage unless garages are required by subdivision requirements. The site has a shed that will be taken down once the house is completed.
Families chosen for a Habitat house have to go through an application process similar to applying for a bank loan, including holding a job and having the ability to pay back the zero-interest loan.
“We don’t want to set up people for failure,” said Hofmann. “They have a mortgage; they pay insurance just like everybody else.”
One of Habitat’s donors is United Way of Platteville, which gave Habitat money from the 2013 United Way campaign. The former United Way of Grant County was a previous Habitat donor.
The concert at The BarN May 3 will include Mighty Wheel House at 4 p.m., Triple Play at 6:30 p.m., and John Elefante, the former lead singer of Kansas, at 9 p.m.
Advance tickets, $15 for adults and $12.50 for students, are available at www.grantcountyhabitat.com and at Mound City Bank, My Tires, Driftless Market, the VFW Club and Red N Deb’s in Platteville, and other locations.