Mansfield News

Mansfield Habitat begins 10th home

Organizers for Mansfield’s Habitat for Humanity house are getting ready for a milestone -- building their 10th house.

Planning and fund-raising have begun for the three-bedroom home, which will be built next spring.

“We’re pretty excited that we’re still doing this,” said Don Miller, executive pastor at First Baptist and leader of the local Habitat organizers.

Mansfield also has another Habitat home that was built by Catholic Charities. The family for the next home has already been chosen, as well as the location. Now, the group has to raise funds for the $70,000 house. So far, they have approximately $35,000, but need to have the rest pledged by Dec. 9 and in hand by Jan. 15 to begin construction in February, Miller said.

“A lot of houses are built by big corporations,” he said. “We are unique. We bring in a lot of groups to help. We have a little over 300 volunteer hours available and we divide those up among the groups that want to help. We have a fantasy draft. Whichever organization donates the most money gets the most slots and gets to pick first. The minimum is $500 to work on the house.

“There’s enough for everybody to get the experience,” Miller said.

Some businesses donate “in-kind” services and materials, such as brick or concrete, which cuts the amount of funds the Habitat group must raise.

Trinity Habitat for Humanity sponsor relations manager Brett Barnett wants to go even further this year.

“I want to build two houses,” he said. “I’d love to build a spring house, but I’d also like to build one in the fall.”

Trinity Habitat, which backs the Mansfield house, has decided to focus on three “communities of character,” where they will build homes. The organization also will continue to build in Mansfield.

“Because things have been so successful in Mansfield, we’re keeping that house,” Barnett said. “You’ve done a great job.”

Habitat for Humanity homeowners have to repay the cost of their home with no-interest loans to Habitat, which uses the funds to buy more property to build more homes.

“The people who get these houses have to have a steady job, put in over 250 hours of sweat equity and pay for their houses,” Barnett said. “Most of the time they will be out there working with you. There are some amazing stories.”

For more information about donating to the Mansfield house, contact Miller at 817-999-9414.