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Schuyler Habitat for Humanity forms

SCHUYLER COUNTY—After many years of trying to form a local Habitat for Humanity group in Schuyler, one has been given the approval.
Dick Evans, volunteer, said for the last four years the Schuyler County Council of Churches had wanted to get the affiliation agreement with Habitat for Humanity. However, he explained that events like Hurricane Katrina became the focus of Habitat International. Finally, Evans said that this past winter an agreement was approved with the Yates County Habitat for Humanity, creating a Schuyler County version.
He added that even before the work to form the group over the last few years, an earlier group of Schuyler residents tried the same thing in the 1990s. Evans said the Rev. Rich Mastin spearheaded the effort, but it ended when he took a position out of the area. Most of the people involved in that effort are also no longer in the area.
The goal of Habitat for Humanity is to provide families a way to obtain affordable housing. Especially those who cannot qualify for conventional home financing. However, Evans said it is “not a hand out, it is a hand up.” If a family is chosen to have a house repaired for them to live in, the family must contribute to the work and pay the mortgage, which is set at zero percent. Evans said the Council of Churches wanted to create a Schuyler County Habitat for Humanity because its members saw a need for improving housing in the area.
However, he added that even if the group is formed, the house selection process probably won’t start until next year. Evans explained that first, more volunteers are needed to fill the committee groups like fundraising, family selection, recruitment, etc.
Organizers will hold a meeting Sept. 23, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., in the Human Services Complex, room 120.
Evans said the current organizers consist of Michael Hartney, Jim Yao, Ennie Cattin, Victoria Franzese, Jane Winner, Rocky Kambo, David Centurelli, and himself.


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