Hometown Habitat News

Students experience building firsthand

Kaleb Ward, left, a senior at The Villages High School, and Bruce Haberle, construction management academy instructor, work on the roof trusses on a Habitat for Humanity home under construction Thursday at Winners Circle in Lady Lake.
Bill Mitchell, Daily Sun

A local family soon will have a home with the help of 11 seniors from The Villages High School.

The students are building an 1,100-square-foot house in Lady Lake through the school’s Construction Management Academy’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity, a housing organization that works with communities across the nation.

On Thursday, the roof trusses were set on the house where the students have worn hard hats and climbed ladders four days a week since the beginning of the school year.

VHS Principal Bill Zwick stood at the construction site to observe and admire their hard work.

“This gives them the total experience of building a house from beginning to end,” Zwick said. “When they graduate, they’ll have this background knowledge. It’s a learning experience that will benefit them no matter where they go in life.”

The students started building the back wall Aug. 16, and their hands will be on the house until the project is complete at the end of the school year. So far, they are on schedule.

The two-year academy launched last year, and this is the first year it has been offered to both juniors and seniors.

The juniors learn the basics of construction and go through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration 10-hour training, and the seniors put their skills to the test.

“It gives us a good foundation to build a career,” said senior Colby Sharp, 17.

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Lake County students continue building home

 – A Lake County class has high school students building a home with their own hands.

The class works to build a home within the school year, leaving them nine more months to go. At the end of those months, the home will be turned over to Habitat for Humanity. The students will complete everything that is not mechanical, plumbing, or electric. As of Thursday morning, the foundation has been poured in and they are setting up the roof.

Students come out to build the home four days a week. Friday’s are held in the classroom.

World Habitat Day

More than 30 years ago, the United Nations General Assembly took an important step in promoting the idea that everyone deserves a decent place to live by declaring that the first Monday in October would be World Habitat Day.

Every year Habitat for Humanity joins our partners around the world to rededicate ourselves to recognizing the basic right of everyone to adequate shelter. Habitat for Humanity asks everyone to join together as one global network in communicating the message that every one of us deserves the opportunity for a better future, and that a decent place to live can remove barriers to opportunity, health, and success that might have been part of a family’s life for years, and in many cases for generations.

Our effectiveness is only as good as the people who help enact our mission – that’s you!  Help us spread the word about World Habitat Day and the underlying need it’s meant to address.

Take Action Now!
1. Share!     Push out our World Habitat Day message on your favorite social media platform.
We may not go viral, but if we can go local then we’ve reached the community we serve and have the potential to change lives.
                                                              

2. Get involved!

Our build sites always need extra hands, and Carlos is always ready to sign people up for the next project. Reach out to him at (352) 483-0434 x119 or Carlos@HabitatLS.org.

3. Donate!

Money moves mountains, and it also builds houses for local families in need – help us increase our ability to serve by donating to your Hometown Habitat today!

Donate Here

Wildwood family thankful for Habitat for Humanity refurbishing effort

Wildwood homeowners Mary and Raymond Scott say they’re thankful for the effort to refurbish their home.

In very short order, Raymond and Mary Scott’s home in Wildwood will be sporting a new coat of paint on the exterior, improved landscaping and a new window unit that runs both air conditioning and heat. That’s all thanks to Habitat for Humanity Lake-Sumter’s Preservation and Repair program and the large team of volunteers who showed up to do the work.

“Not everyone is aware that refurbishing homes is also part of our program, not just building new homes,” said Habitat for Humanity site supervisor Travis Wofford. “Last year we refurbished 50 homes in Lake and Sumter counties.”

A large contingent of the volunteers came from the Amigos Sports Club in The Villages.

“We’ve been around for 10 years” said Amigos Sports Club founder and president David Lindsey. “We gather to do charitable work and also party once a month.”

The club has grown and currently has a waiting list of more than a hundred people on it. Among the group’s many charitable projects is their work for Habitat for Humanity, which they have done for several years. Lindsey said that his chief duty on this project, in addition to rounding up enough volunteers, was to make sure he brought the doughnuts.

Qualifications for the Preservation and Repair program are based on income and home ownership. The Scott’s are retired and have lived in their home for 21 years. Mary retired after 30 years in custodial services with the school board. While she was driving one day, she saw a Habitat truck and a house being painted. She got out and asked questions and started the application process.

“I feel God sent me that way on that day,” she said. “This means the world to me.”

She was excited to pick out new colors for her exterior. “I wanted something brighter than the brown we had always had,” Mary said.

She decided to go with light gray and a darker gray for the trim.

“Travis helped me with the shades of the colors,” Mary said. “The thing I am most excited about is the new window unit,” she added, pointing out that the one they had “didn’t work very well and didn’t have heat.”

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National Home Builders Association-Best in America

As one of the top 10 homebuilders in the country, Habitat for Humanity is not new to the construction world. What differentiates us here at Habitat Lake Sumter is the ways in which we adapt to the evolving needs of the community and take advantage of unique opportunities to do so. One of the ways we accomplished that was through the building of the Veterans Village in Umatilla, and the project was novel enough to catch the eye of the National Association of Homebuilders. Check out the full article here!

Taking the classroom outside, students learn to build homes

 

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Lake County high school students learn how to build homes

Students who are part of the inaugural senior class of the Youth Construction Academy, a new program Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter, are learning how to build homes. (Sarah Panko, staff)

THE VILLAGES, Fla. — Some Lake County high school students are not only getting an education, but also learning how to build homes.

  • 10 students are part of Youth Construction Academy by Habitat for Humanity
  • Students first learn the skils and tools in the classroom
  • Then they take those lessons and apply them into building a house

Knowlen Kirkland is an 18-year-old senior at The Villages Charter High School. He says he wants to study construction management in college.

“My Grandpa was a shop teacher, my Dad and me remodeled my entire house and I enjoyed it all,” he said.

Kirkland is one of 10 students who are part of the inaugural senior class of the Youth Construction Academy, a new program Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter started last year.

Barry Martin, construction manager for Habitat, is supervising the students as they build a three-bedroom, two-bath house in Lady Lake.

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Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter builds homes for veterans, active military members

Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter built affordable homes for veterans, active military called ‘Veterans Village.’ (Sarah Panko, staff)

UMATILLA, Fla. — Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter is done building homes in a Lake County neighborhood.

  • Habitat for Humanity builds homes for ‘Veterans Village’
  • Affordable homes meant for veterans, active military

The 13 affordable homes are for veterans, activity military and spouses of those who have served.

It’s called the Veterans Village and it’s located in Umatilla.

Shawn Unger moved into the development at the end of June.

“(I) wanted to get out of the apartment living and into a home. I do have two small children in the house, so a little more wholesome living than that of the apartment,” said Unger.

Unger says he went into the Air Force when he was 17 years old after graduating from high school.

“My parents had to give me permission to do so and sign a form, and then I reported to Lackland Air Force base in 1985,” he said.

Unger’s house is one of 13 Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter started building in 2016.

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Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing 2018

Every year, the National Low Income Housing Coalition releases a report that discusses the cost of living around the country. With a specific focus on rent/mortgages, the report provides a very detailed look at just how unattainable safe, affordable housing can be for so many people. We’ve included some snapshots of this report below, and the link to the entire article is here.

Across a several-part series through the rest of the year, we’ll be breaking down what this information means for us through the “ABC’s” of the issue: Affordability, Baloney, and Clarity. These articles will seek to empower our community through understanding the problem, knowing the solutions, and being confident to act on them.

Stay tuned to our social media pages as we lead into each new article with some questions for you; the answers, and how you find them, will help you better understand the depth and intricacy of the housing world and the subject matter we’ll be exploring.


Lake County veterans village offers homes exclusively for America’s military heroes

 – Kathleen Mabry says joining the U.S. Army at 32 years old, was one of the most difficult things she has ever done. It was the early 1970’s and Mabry was a single mom who needed a job. So, she turned over temporary, legal custody of her children to her best friend and shipped out for grueling basic training.”It was tough. But I was raised tough.” Mabry says. She served stateside in the Army for 6 years during the tail end of the Vietnam War. Her career ended not long after a severe injury while on duty. Decades later, she received a thank you for her service she says she never saw coming. She is one of the newest resident in the Veterans Village. It is a small Umatilla neighborhood built by Habitat for Humanity of Lake/Sumter. All of the homeowners are veterans of U.S. military service.

The News Station’s Tom Johnson takes you there.

Click here for the video!