KOSCIUSKO — Habitat for Humanity of Kosciusko County, a Christian-based ministry, helps families in our community by building homes.
It takes approximately $75,000 for Habitat for Humanity to build one house in Kosciusko County. To qualify, a family must be a continuous resident of Kosciusko County for at least two years, have a need for adequate shelter as determined by Habitat, possess the ability to pay for a Habitat home via an interest free mortgage and be willing to partner with Habitat. Each family is required to participate in financial training and home-ownership courses. They are also assigned an advocate who supports the family before, during and after the housing process.
Habitat for Humanity of Kosciusko County is anticipating three builds for 2018.
Long-time residents of Winona Lake, Jim and Tina Bauer have worked all their lives. Prior to being put on disability, Jim did “a little bit of everything,” working as a carpenter and in maintenance after serving in the National Guard for nine years. Today, he is primarily home-bound. Tina is employed at LSC Communications. They are kept busy by their three children and eight grandchildren, and faithfully attend a local church.
Unfortunately, the quality of their housing did not reflect the quality of their character. After losing their home of over 10 years in the financial downturn of 2008, they moved into an apartment in Winona Lake. For over seven years, the Bauers lived in a rundown apartment, ill-suited to their needs. The stairway that joins the two floors of the apartment is in poor condition, resulting in difficulty for the Bauers, as Jim has issues with his knees and Tina with her feet. Even worse, the heating and cooling worked poorly. Frustrated after nearly four years of repeated requests for repairs were ignored, they made the decision to contact Habitat for Humanity.
Their Habitat journey began shortly after they met Mickey Kaufman, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Kosciusko County at a Habitat booth while attending an event at a local church.
The Bauers are looking forward to the construction of their Habitat home.
Robert and Jamie Nichter have been living in a mobile home with their three children for the past seven years. Their mobile home is old and deteriorating beyond repair. Their day-to-day living has become physically dangerous as well, as they have had several instances of burglaries in the area they reside in.
The Nichters need a safe home in which they can feel comfortable; now because of Habitat for Humanity Kosciusko County, they are going to get one.
Robert has been a flatbed driver at Lowe’s for the past two years. While delivering roofing for a Habitat home, he met David Kaufman, the local Habitat’s construction supervisor.
Since their acceptance, the Nichters have met and interacted with various volunteers. As parents, they are excited to give their children “a bedroom they deserve.”
Syracuse residents Alex and Sabrina Vuittonet live with their four young children. Both Alex and Sabrina had rough starts in life that led them down the road of drug addiction. Both were eventually arrested as a result. During their incarceration, they had to give up custody of their children.
Instead of losing hope, however, they found it. While in prison, Alex and Sabrina became sober. After being released from prison, and while Sabrina was in recovery and living at the Rose Home, they began attending a local church. Alex and Sabrina both accepted Christ and were baptized.
They regained custody of their children after being released from their recovery programs. At this time, both work at a factory while Alex pursues a career as an electrician.
Unable to apply for a home loan due to their felonies, the Vuittonets are currently renting a small house that has ductwork and insulation issues. In addition, the home is small, with all four children sharing a bedroom.
Alex and Sabrina are are still rebuilding relationships with their children after the time spent apart and want to provide the stability for their children that they themselves lacked growing up.
The mission of Habitat is “To build homes for those in need to create an environment of hope and dignity for all people…not just to build houses, but to build lives.”