Habitat for Humanity gets a hand

Donor’s $50,000 frees up organization to buy home

Thanks to a donation, Habitat for Humanity of Montezuma County now has enough funding to build or purchase its first home for a low-income family.

Habitat received a $50,000 windfall last month from the sale of a donated cabin in the Pike National Forest near Colorado Springs.

“Our store has raised over $40,000, and adding this wonderful gift, we now have enough to build our first home, so we are very excited and thankful,” said Lynn Anderson, sale center manager for Habitat.

The donor chose to remain anonymous.

Whether the Habitat board of directors will build a home or buy a remodel project is still being decided.

“Our original idea was to buy a fixer-upper and do a complete remodel because it helps to improve the neighborhood,” Anderson said. “We’re in negotiations on a boarded-up house in Cortez, but will move ahead with the soonest and best opportunity.

Habitat will inform the public when applications are accepted for a home. Habitat’s motto is “a hand up, not a handout,” Anderson said.

The successful applicant must be a local resident, be low-income, be employed, and be willing to contribute 500 hours of sweat equity. Habitat holds the mortgage, and the family makes interest free payments.

“The hard part will be choosing. There are a lot of families who qualify,” Anderson said.

In 2008, the organization opened its Cortez Sale Center, which sells donated home supplies to raise funds. It has been inching toward raising enough to purchase its first home.

“The generous donation from the cabin sale is a great morale booster for everyone,” Anderson said.

Habitat is always doing small remodel jobs and donating labor and supplies to low-income families and individuals.

In June through their Brush with Kindness program, Habitat constructed a handicap ramp for the home of Ella Raymond home in Cortez. Raymond drove a school bus in the county for 23 years.

Volunteer laborers dubbed “The Four Guys,” (Alan Carroll, Hal Brown, Jim Skvorc, and Gary Harding) built the wheelchair ramp and a back landing and stairs.

“We responded with donations of time, tools, and good will to provide Ella with resources to continue enjoying life and mobility,” said Gary Harding, president of Habitat for Humanity of Montezuma County. “It was an opportunity to give back to a woman who served her community for more than 20 years.”

Shop for home supplies, lightly used household goods, and furniture at the Habitat for Humanity Resale Store, the bright-blue building next to Belt Salvage at 6786 Highway 491/160, just past the intersection with County Road G.

Store hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Donations are accepted during store hours, or pickups can be arranged by calling 565-8327.