HJ/EDApril 24, 2006

Dassel family will move into Habitat for Humanity home

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

The Meeker County Habitat for Humanity has been hard at working completing a home for one young couple in Dassel.

After the home’s dedication, Sunday, May 21 at 2 p.m. Robert and Carrie Herr along with their two daughters Emma and Josie, will be able to move into their new home.

“We are excited to finally have our own home and a bigger place for the kids to play,” Carrie Herr said.

The Herr family is currently living in Creamery Apartments in Dassel and has been helping put the finishing touches on the new home.

Tom and Gail Wimmer of Dassel donated the property for which the new house rests.

All of Habitat’s supplies, properties, and money is either donated or paid for by fundraising, according to Meeker County Chapter Chairman Ethel Young.

The Herr’s will be receiving an oven and refrigerator donated by Whirlpool and $1,000 allowance to spend on other Whirlpool appliances.

Pat Kusler has been working with the family as Habitat for Humanities family advocate and was exciting to see such large community involvement, she stated.

Last year, the same chapter completed a home in Cokato.

“It was fun working with the family, it’ll be fun seeing them live in this house,” Kusler said.

The process

Once Habitat for Humanity finds property, applications are opened up.

Potential homeowners have to meet certain criteria in order to be eligible.

The family has to have an income large enough to make house payments yet unable to get loans.

The organization will then meet with the potential family and visit their home.

The family must have qualifying income because the owners will buy the house from Habitat for Humanity with no-interest payments.

“It’s a hand up, not a hand out,” is the Habitat’s motto according to Young.

The owners must also provide 500 hours of “sweat equity” in building the home.

“This helps give them ownership,” said Young.

The average time for building a Habitat home is seven months depending on the participation.

With Herrs’ home, Wells Fargo of Dassel donated $2,500 and 13 of its employees donated a days work and Dan Atkinson of Arne’s Plumbing in Kingston donated labor, according to Young.

Kids making a difference

Cokato Elementary’s fourth grade and Dassel Elementary’s third grade have helped Habitat for Humanity in their own way.

This last Christmas, the student’s made crafts and sold them throughout the school. A third of the money, about $1,000 combined with both schools was donated to Habitat For Humanity.

The money was used to purchase supplies for a play house that the students from the DC home building class built.

The play house will be raffled off at this summer’s Red Rooster Days with the proceeds going toward Habitat for Humanity. Tickets for the raffle will be sold at the Cokato Corn Carnival and throughout Red Rooster Days.

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