Lewis & Clark Habitat For Humanity O’Fallon chapter’s second home build in O’Fallon at 122 Carson Street is making progress, and will have walls up soon, Ken Beeman, chapter president said Friday recently.
“We’re ahead of schedule compared to the first build we had in 2013, and things are going more smoothly because we have a better idea of what to expect this time around,” Beeman said.
For a 26-feet wide and 43-long single-family home, Beeman is confident that once the subfloor is nearly finished, “the timeline will be more clear, and we will have more big volunteer days, but right now we are having the skilled craftsman do the preliminary infrastructure work.”
A local brick layer’s union will be donating its services by sending a crew to the site for a full day of work, which Beeman said is all they need to finish the subfloor and crawl space that will be accessible from inside the home in case of a storm or tornado.
“They said they can do it one day, and that makes me a happy camper,” Beeman added.
O’Fallon resident and single, working mother of three Cherri Crunkfield latest recipient out of a pool of 10 applications that were narrowed down to five, and then three, by the selection committee for O’Fallon’s Habitat for Humanity chapter, Beeman said.
Prior to the selection process the chapter held three public meetings to inform the community and address questions and/or concerns about the upcoming project.
“We advertised at local schools, libraries and the food pantry. The applicant was required to have attended one of the three public meetings held, and then submit an application,” Beeman said. “We had about 40 people show up for the meetings, so we’ve been gaining more interest after the last home build in 2013.”
Beeman said that the owner Ria Haswell of the 2013 home built at 116 Carson Street helped applicants understand the process, and then helped the Habitat For Humanity Board choose the next homeowner for 2016.
“We go by often to see how her and her family are doing, she’s married now and has a new baby too, along with her two boys and she does a great job with the upkeep of her property — we couldn’t be more happy,” Beeman said. “She’s a perfect example of how someone can be given a second chance reach success. She used to be an instructor as Southwestern Illinois Community College (SWIC), and no is one of the O’Fallon Township High School (OTHS) science teachers.”
Giving opportunities for success can also be an investment in a community, Beeman said.
“We try to follow up as much as we can because we don’t want to let them loose after a build. We want to be there along the way if they need help or have questions — once affiliated with us they become a part of the Habitat For Humanity team for life,” Beeman said.
Crunkfield has three children, two boys and a girl, who all attend O’Fallon schools with the youngest being six and the oldest is 12-years-old.
Beeman said some of the qualifications include having good credit, the ability to make a modest down payment, and afford making monthly payments for a no-interest loan to cover the cost of real estate property taxes and home owner’s insurance.
“At this stage in the game Cherri really seems to have an all-in attitude and is an ideal candidate, and is not only more than willing to work on the home, but wants to be in the loop for every detail — she shows up for everything,” Beeman said with a tone of sincerity.
Beeman went on to explain that the recipient’s work isn’t over there, as “200 sweat equity hours must be logged by the recipient on the site during construction.”
The Rotary helped negotiate and provided funding for two other lots in the area, Beeman said.
“Our goal is to help families, but also to clean up the neighborhood too, there’s several properties that have gone to the wayside, and now we have three of them secured, with another possible one to be purchased at tax sale next year,” Beeman said.
After funding sources are ironed out, St. Clair County assured Beeman they would raze the building for the chapter saving them thousands of dollars.
“Sometimes the process happens so fast, and it can be a challenge to keep up with it all, but at the end of the day it’s one more family being helped,” Beeman said.