Habitat for Humanity Lansing Celebrates 25 Years
Habitat for Humanity Lansing celebrates 25 years in the community this week. In that time, Habitat for Humanity of Lansing has built or rehabilitated more than 80 houses.
The organization's mission is to build houses in partnership with volunteers, sponsors, and families to provide affordable, safe, and decent housing for low-income families. It takes about 2,500 hours to build a new house -- that means a lot of people have put in a lot of hard work over the past 25 years.
"My fiancee and I are going through the program to get a house," said Tony Sollid at one of the recent Habitat builds.
Sollid is partnering with Habitat for Humanity Lansing to build a home for his family. Right now, Sollid is doing "sweat equity" for the program. To qualify for a Habitat house, families have to be willing to put in 300 to 500 hours of work.
"We have three really strong requirements," said Denise Paquett, Habit of Humanity Lansing's executive director. "Income, need, and the ability to partner with us."
Over the past 25 years, the organization has partnered with more than 125 families.
"That means we've helped a lot of families," said Paquett. "That's what it really comes down to. It's not necessarily about building the houses, although building the houses helps our community, but working with families and helping them improve their lives."
Charlie Breneman has been volunteering with Habitat for Humanity since 2005. He says seeing a build from start to finish is an amazing experience.
"When the family is there and the finished home is clean, made just for them, just to see the looks on their faces and see the kids running around and into their new bedrooms - that's my pay day and what makes it all worthwhile," Breneman said.
Breneman says he'll keep volunteering for as long as he can.
"I'll keep going until I can't stand up anymore," said Breneman. "Or I can't swing a hammer anymore."
And that means more families like Tony Sollid's will be able to achieve the dream of owning a home.
"I think it's amazing," Sollid said. "It's great. I look forward to another 25 years."
To celebrate 25 years of service, Habitat for Humanity Lansing is hosting a party at Troppo in downtown Lansing.
It will be this Friday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and there will be live music and food. It's a celebration for their first 25 years of work, and also a push to help support more years of the fight for quality housing.
For more information on the event, just head to habitatlansing.org.