A Polk County chapter, operating under the umbrella of the Rome and Floyd County Habitat for Humanity, recently formed. As the local chapter does not yet have the funds needed to build a new house – organizers hope that will happen in a few years – the local efforts are instead focused on helping existing homeowners with repairs.
“What we’re doing now is called a critical repair,” explained volunteer Dean Nissen. “In this case, we’re replacing the fascia and putting on a new roof.”
Nissen, along with volunteers Gus Zucker, Leonard Brogden, Harry Petersmarck, Michael Lee and Jennifer Lee, arrived around 9 a.m. Saturday at the Jud Kin Mill Road home of Lena Hampton. They will be there for several weeks.
“We need more help – experienced roofers, especially,” Nissen said.
Like other Habitat projects, Nissen explained, this was not a giveaway. The homeowner is expected to reimburse Habitat for Humnanity for the costs of materials purchased. They also are indebted to repay the gift of volunteers’ efforts by helping on their own project as best they can, and also participating in a future project, if possible.
Hampton, a retired widow, was helping Saturday as volunteers got up on ladders to tear off rotten wood and hammer new lumber in place. Portions of the home’s fascia and soffits were replaced. She said she was very grateful for the help.
“I’ve been so stressed trying to figure out what I was going to do,” Hampton said. “My husband passed away three years ago. It’s been very difficult.”
She’s looking forward to the new roof, which is needed due to multiple leaks.
“I had three five-gallon buckets and a trash can out the last time it rained,” Hampton said.
In addition to the roof and fascia work, the volunteers also plan to install a gutter system on the home.
Nissen said Hampton was chosen after organizers sorted through several applications that had been received at the Rome headquarters of Habitat for Humanity. The local chapter does not yet have an office phone number set up. Applications for the time being may be sent to the Rome/Floyd County organization at (706) 378-0030, or apply online at: www.habitatrome.org.