KOSCIUSKO — The three basic human needs are water, food and shelter. Have you ever been so thirsty you could not wait to get a drink of cold water? Or so hungry that you could not wait for your next meal?
The Ratliff family has such a thirst, such a hunger, but it is for appropriate, safe, secure housing. They along with Habitat for Humanity of Kosciusko County supporters and volunteers are building their new home at 630 Columbia St., Warsaw. The family consists of Lee and Gina and their three children, Zack, 18; Chadoe, 13; and Alex, 16. They will become Habitat homeowners after falling on hard times due to an injury Lee sustained, leaving him with a broken neck and back, unable to work. From outward appearances, their new home looks nearly complete, but the final touches of flooring, doors, trim, fixtures, cabinets and counters are still needed to finalize the fulfillment of their dream.
Families like the Ratliff’s who have fallen on hard times and unable to find safe, secure and stable housing due to their situation have the resiliency to start over and the desire to do better. These are the families of Habitat. Each family goes through an extensive interview process, financial classes and home ownership classes. They assist with fundraising for their home and must dedicate at least 250 hours from each adult in the family towards sweat equity.
The average home Habitat builds in Kosciusko County costs $80,000. It is not a fancy home, but a simple, safe, sustainable and affordable home for families to rebuild their lives. These homes provide a safe environment for their children. A place to bring friends and family to fellowship.
Habitat for Humanity of Kosciusko is a Christian focused homeownership program, dedicated to providing a hand-up and not a hand-out. The mission is putting God’s love into action by building hope, lives and houses for families in Kosciusko County.
Each project donation goes to build homes like the Ratliff’s. The building process can begin once 50 percent of funding has been received. This process from application to start of building can take up to three or four years. Families like the Ratliff’s find strength in the Habitat volunteers and staff. Patience is key. Families know the result will be greatly worth it. Gina Ratliff stated, “They are relying on God’s timing to finish building our home.”
The Ratliff’s still need funding to finish their home. Habitat is asking for donations towards those needed doors, trim, fixtures, cabinets, counters and flooring. When you give to Habitat and help a family like the Ratliffs, you are providing hope and making a difference in their lives. Habitat families become stronger in their faith, family unit, responsible tax-paying citizens and, most of all, homeowners who take pride in their community.
To give a donation to Habitat for Humanity of Kosciusko County for the Ratliff Family, go to kosciuskohabitat.org and give online, or mail a check to Habitat for Humanity of Kosciusko, P O Box 1913, Warsaw, Ind. 46581. Donations are tax-deductible.